Utah Rural Summit Celebrates Milestone 35th Anniversary

Kaitlyn ClarkeNews

More than 800 attendees converged on Southern Utah University’s (SUU) campus to celebrate the annual Rural Summit on Oct. 11-13, 2022. The event is the premier gathering place for converging Utah’s top leaders and decision-makers to discuss the state’s rural opportunities and challenges.

“This year’s summit was very successful and provided attendees with three days of information, inspiration, and leadership development,” said Stephen Lisonbee, senior advisor to Gov. Cox for rural affairs and SUU assistant vice president. “The networking opportunities were extraordinary, and individuals made valuable connections that will make immediate and long-lasting impacts for rural Utah.”

The festivities started Tuesday with the summit launch party, where attendees mingled and enjoyed dinner with an aerial flyover by SUU’s aviation school.

On the summit’s main stage Wednesday, presentations included what makes the OneUtah approach tangible and action-oriented. 

Highlights included:

  • the Utah Rural Legacy Leader award was given to Larry Echo Hawk for his meaningful service in bringing communities together throughout rural Utah, specifically in partnership with Utah’s Tribes
  • Shawn & Carrie Bradley’s conversation with Gov. Cox and Utah’s First Lady spotlighted how we can be stronger together
  • the fourth annual State Bank Business Challenge brought the top eight finalists to the stage, where they competed for $25,000 in cash prizes

In the afternoon, participants selected from a variety of informative breakout sessions. The sessions included topics such as Transforming Utah’s Healthcare Ecosystem, Rural Opportunity Partnerships and Investments, and Looking at Agriculture Through a New Lens. 

Leadership Day Thursday was an opportunity to invest in Utah leaders for the second year. Throughout the day, the stage was full of keynotes that spotlighted Greatness at Home, in our Communities, and in our Careers – including Lt. Gov. Henderson and Olympian Noelle Pikus-Pace.    

“We are thankful for the opportunity to use the power of partnership and convening to support the OneUtah approach to working together on what’s most important,” said Lisonbee.   

The next One Utah Summit is scheduled for May 1-2, 2023, at the Davis Conference Center in Layton.