University News

Governor Herbert Stresses Innovation During Day Two of Utah Rural Summit

Published: September 04, 2019 | Category: Academics

2019-9-utah-rural-summit-day-two.jpgDuring the final day of the Utah Rural Summit Governor Gary Herbert stressed the need for innovative thinking to help rural Utah economically catch-up with the rest of the state. The governor touted the annual summit hosted by Southern Utah University as an event that allows leaders from around the state to converge and find new ways to grow rural Utah’s economic base.

“We’re finding suggestions and counsel in determining what we can do differently and what will produce better outcomes,” said Governor Herbert. “This coming together and sharing of ideas is really an important aspect of saying, here’s where we are today but here’s where we want to be tomorrow.”

One example of innovation was given by Southern Utah University President Scott L Wyatt who touted the recent decision to lower the cost of SUU’s online degree program, giving non-traditional students more of an opportunity to graduate from college.

2019-9-utah-rural-summit-wyatt.jpg“Some innovation is simply a solution looking for a problem,” said President Wyatt. “Where we make the real difference is innovation that solves big problems. That’s where we should place our focus.”

The innovation stressed by Governor Herbert and President Wyatt was on display during the final round of the State Bank of Southern Utah SpeedPitch competition. Ten finalists were narrowed down from nearly 60 submissions. A panel of judges, which included Governor Herbert, awarded more than $10,000 in prizes to the following winners:

First place:
LeeAnn and Mike Adams/Mad Freight. They developed a ride-sharing like app for freight. Total prizes include $3,000 for use in their business, a $1,000 accounting mentorship, $500 flexible use, as well as $750 for the audience choice award.

Tied for second place: 

  • Kylee Wharton/Ignite Candles - $2,000
  • Josh Price/Build-A-Course - $1,000 attorney consultation credit, and $500 Governor’s Choice Award.

Tied for third place:

  • Caleb Nelson/ Romeo's Rickshaws - $1,000
  • Dalton and Derek Dunnel/Puppy Love app - $500
  • Jenna and Jake Duncan/Geode Swimwear- $1,000
  • Dallin West/Medical Masks - $500

During the opening day of the summit, the Utah Department of Workforce Services, Salt Lake Chamber, and Economic Development Corporation of Utah signed a memorandum of understanding encouraging companies to identify remote employment opportunities and to fill those jobs with workers in rural communities.

The 32nd annual event was the most successful to date with nearly 500 attendees, more than double last year’s Utah Rural Summit. The summit is organized by Utah’s Center for Rural Life.


Tags: Cedar City Center for Rural Life Utah Rural Summit

Contact Information:

David Bishop
435-586-5400
davidbishop@suu.edu