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Devin D. Thorpe
Devin Thorpe

Report from the Social Good Summit Salt Lake City: Collaboration

Pamela Atkinson, advisor to Utah Governor Herbert, Presbyterian Elder, and tireless advocate for the homeless and refugees in Utah, kicked off the Social Good Summit Global Conversation event in Salt Lake City with an inspiring challenge for us to all get involved, reminding us that her favorite acronym is “Together Everyone Achieves More.”

Paul Christenson, representing The Road Home, explained the mission and purpose of the Salt Lake City homeless shelter, commending them for their efficiency and their effectiveness in returning people to permanent housing.

Ted McAleer, Executive Director of USTAR, explained his agency’s capabilities in providing support to entrepreneurs, offering to engage with Utah’s nonprofits as well.

Maxine Margaritis of the Utah Chapter of the American Red Cross talked about the various roles of the Red Cross, emphasizing disaster preparedness for businesses, including the nonprofits in the community, offering to be of assistance to those in the room.

Kurt Micka, Executive Director of Utah Partners for Health, talked about the opportunities for his organization to serve the community created by gaps in the existing health insurance programs, noting that his organization can provide the same care for $20, that a doctor charges $150 for in her office and that the emergency room charges $1300 to do.

Zach Bale, Communications Director of the Utah Chapter of the Volunteers of America, talked about the organization’s dual role in providing help for Utah’s homeless population and those struggling with substance abuse; Utah’s VOA shares roots with Pamela Atkinson’s homeless outreach program.

Amanda Thorderson who sits on the Salt Lake City Board of Education and also works full time at the Rape Recovery Center talked about the roles and functions of both organizations.

Darryl Alder of the National Parks Council of the Boy Scouts of America noted that boy scouts completing the requirements for the Eagle Scout rank are donating millions of hours each year–just in his Council.  The scouts represent an untapped resource of organized volunteer labor for all sorts of projects; just ask a boy scout that you know.

Christian Harrison, a partner in the Kentlands Initiative, discussed his vision for developing the Granary District of Salt Lake City, until recently, a decaying part of the urban landscape.  The Kentlands Initiative hopes to create a vibrant new version of the community that preserves its historic and neighborhood essence.

Jason Watson, a Vice President at Wells Fargo Bank and volunteer President of the MountainWest Capital Network reviewed the multiple roles played by the organization, all seeking to foster entrepreneurship and economic growth in Utah, including their annual Utah 100 Event to be held next month.

Brad Bertoch, President of the Wayne Brown Institute, a venture accelerator that has been facilitating successful capital placements for early stages businesses for several decades that now targets the creation of 50,000 new jobs within five years in Utah.

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