_Executive Director

Q. Val Hale

Val Hale is the executive director of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), which promotes state growth in business, tourism and film. Hale was appointed to the position in 2014 by Gov. Gary R. Herbert. Before accepting the position as executive director, Hale served for two years as president and CEO of the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce, leading efforts in business community issues. Hale received his bachelor’s degree in public relations in 1981 and a master’s degree in communications in 1987—both from BYU. Hale and his wife have three children and 13 grandchildren, and he currently resides in Orem, Utah.

801-538-8769 vhale@utah.gov

_Deputy Director

Benjamin Hart

Benjamin Hart is deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). Hart helps develop the strategic direction of the office. He oversees corporate recruitment and incentives, the diplomacy office, strategic partnerships and various other programs designed to help expand Utah’s economy. Prior to GOED, Hart served as the director of employer initiatives for the Department of Workforce Services. Hart helped develop programs such as the Small Business Bridge program, the UCAIR Clean Air Assist program and the Utah Cluster Acceleration Partnership.

801-538-8799 benhart@utah.gov

_Managing Director of Internal Operations

Jill Flygare

Jill Flygare is the managing director of internal operations. Before joining GOED, Flygare was the finance director at the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts, where she supervised the financial team for the agency. Previously, she was a policy and budget analyst at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, where she worked closely with many state agencies on budget issues. Ms. Flygare is also affiliated with numerous national organizations such as the Association of Government Accountants, where she is the president.

801-538-8623 jflygare@utah.gov

_Managing Director of Tourism, Film and Global Branding

Vicki Varela

Vicki Varela is the managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism, Film and Global Branding. She oversees the state’s national and international marketing strategy, including the Mighty Five National Parks and The Greatest Snow on Earth. Vicki was named the U.S. Tourism Director of the Year in September 2016. She has held many public and private sector leadership roles, including Vice President of Kennecott Land, Deputy Chief of Staff and spokesperson for Governor Mike Leavitt, and key driver for Prosperity 2020 and Utah’s hosting of the 2002 Olympics. She has two adult sons and one beautiful granddaughter.

801-538-1369 vvarela@utah.gov

_Managing Director of Business Services

Ginger Chinn

Ginger Chinn serves as the managing director for urban and rural business services for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. As managing director, Chinn directs a strategic growth plan for Utah’s industry cluster program and manages GOED’s rural programs and workforce development initiatives. Additionally, Chinn oversees GOED’s business services including Utah’s Business Resource Centers and the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC). Chinn was previously the vice president of external engagement and economic development at the Davis Applied Technology College (DATC).

801-538-8850 gchinn@utah.gov

_Director of Marketing and Communications

Pete Codella

Pete Codella is the director of marketing and communications for the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). Before joining the GOED team, Codella worked in public relations and marketing communications with experience in higher education, the private sector, and as a consultant and entrepreneur. He has taught public relations and social media courses at Utah Valley University, UNLV, UCI Extension, and the University of Utah. He is a former local chapter president and district chair for the Public Relations Society of America. He has also been a local chapter president for the International Association of Business Communicators and Social Media Club. He received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Brigham Young University and an MBA from the University of Utah. Codella and his wife — a high school special education teacher — have two teenage children and an ausiedoodle, and reside in South Jordan, Utah.

801-538-8774 pcodella@utah.gov

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