Bringing Economic Prosperity to Utah

Pete CodellaArticles

You might say Theresa Foxley was predestined for her career path. She has always taken a keen interest in promoting the health and vitality of Utah’s economy. In her role as president and CEO of the nonprofit, the Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah), she is charged with just that. Foxley’s number one responsibility is to bring quality jobs and capital investment into the state.

Foxley’s constant commitment to Utah’s economic development activities is awe-inspiring, especially to her co-workers. 

“Theresa’s contribution to economic development in Utah has been significant,” says Michael Flynn, chief operating officer at EDCUtah. “From her time at GOED, helping implement the governor’s vision for the state, to her time at EDCUtah, helping direct our organization to new levels of success, her impact is huge. Her analytical mind and strategic vision help move the state forward every day.”

A Distinguished Career

Born and raised in Utah, Foxley did her undergraduate work at Utah State University before receiving a law degree from the University of Utah. From her early days as a lawyer, practicing business and finance law, Foxley knew she wanted to work promoting Utah’s multi-faceted economy. The opportunity presented itself when the law firm she worked for established a new program with the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). She arranged for a one-year clerkship to work for GOED.

After her stint at GOED, Foxley returned to the law firm, then worked for a venture-backed health information technology company, and eventually found her way back to GOED as part of a change in leadership at the agency.

She has enjoyed several highlights throughout her career. When practicing law, she worked on a large-scale renewable energy project in Parowan. “It was a $300 million capital investment project supplying 80 megawatts of clean power that was built in Utah, by Utahns, and sold into the Utah market. It kicked off some of that great renewable energy development in a rural region of the state,” she said.

“I enjoy seeing the multiplier effect. When the economy is healthy, it leads to full tax coffers, which leads to smoother roads, better education and the ability to fund all of the quality of life assets we love,” notes Foxley.

Contributing to the multiplier effect is what Foxley does best. “Working hand-in-hand with Theresa, I have seen her tremendous contributions to the growth of Utah’s robust and dynamic economy,” says Val Hale, GOED executive director. “Her commitment and excitement about attracting new businesses to our great state are infectious.”

Pitching Utah to the World

In her role with EDCUtah, Foxley works with state and local government and private industry to attract and grow competitive, high-value companies to Utah. The end result is to drive the expansion of Utah businesses.

“I get to learn about all the cool things that are happening statewide, and I can tell you there’s no shortage of good ideas and wonderful people in Utah,” she says.

There are many wonderful things about being in statewide economic development, notes Foxley.  “I enjoy the endgame of my job. We’re trying to create quality jobs, and we won’t stop until the prosperity that has been felt in so many different communities in the state is felt statewide,” she says.

Spreading Utah’s economic prosperity to all corners of the state is a priority she is passionate about.

“Theresa is a respected partner to many of Utah’s business and community leaders,” says David Lang, managing director for Goldman Sachs’s Salt Lake City office. “Her economic development efforts and leadership are invaluable to the continued growth and vitality of the entire state of Utah.”

Foxley likes that EDCUtah is an investor-based organization. In addition to its 200 private-sector investors, it has about 40 public-sector investors. “I get the opportunity to understand what makes our investors unique, what their goals are and the vision they have for their community,” she says. “That is the most rewarding part of my job.”

“If Utah had to pick only one advocate to champion its economy—along with the well-being of our individuals and families—no one would be higher in the list than Theresa. She is ‘Team Utah’ to her core,” says Derek Miller, CEO and president of the Salt Lake Chamber. “Empowered by Gov. Herbert, and her love for all that Utah represents, she is responsible for creating high-quality jobs and increasing capital investment. Her vision for Utah is outmatched only by her passion.”