The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development’s Executive Director, Val Hale, was honored over the past few months with three prestigious awards.

In August, the Office of Outdoor Recreation (OOR) recognized Hale’s accomplishments with the Utah Outdoor Summit award, followed by his induction into the 2020 Utah Tourism Industry Hall of Fame in September. He also received the Utah Rural Summit Rural Economic Influencer award in October.

The Office of Outdoor Recreation recognized Hale’s guidance and leadership at the 2020 Utah Outdoor Summit Awards ceremony. During his tenure at GOED, he has supported the office’s growth and development and was recognized with a framed picture of Mount Timpanogos. The framed print represents Hale’s commitment to the outdoors and OOR’s mission, as both the executive director of GOED and as a resident of Utah County.

Since Gov. Gary R. Herbert appointed Hale as GOED’s executive director in 2014, the agency has received numerous national and local accolades. Among the distinctions are Utah being ranked for a decade by Forbes as a top-three Best State for Business, including six times in the No. 1 spot, a May 2019 number two ranking for Best Economy by U.S. News & World Report, and The Wall Street Journal in December last year dubbing Utah “American’s economic star.”

In a Tourism Conference video tribute posted to YouTube, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox remarked, “Val has been such a force for good in this state in helping to bring business to the state, but especially helping us become the premier tourist destination across the entire world. Thank you for representing the very best of Utah.”

Under Hale’s leadership, Utah continues to have a thriving economy, post record rates of job creation, and maintain low unemployment as just a few of the state’s economic shining stars. 

Hale also received the Rural Economic Influencer award, which was presented to him at the Oct. 6, 2020, Utah Rural Summit. In a video tribute posted to YouTube and played at the Rural Summit, Vicki Varela, Utah Office of Tourism’s managing director, said, “During his time at GOED, many dozens of Utah leaders from government, business and organizations of all types, along with individuals, came to know Val as a true economic development partner and friend.”

The list of Hale’s distinguished accomplishments while at GOED is remarkable. Under his expert guidance, Utah has one of the most diverse economies in the nation, anchored in information technology, life sciences, aerospace and defense and outdoor products.

Hale has announced his retirement when Gov. Herbert leaves office, but his influence in Utah will continue for many years to come.

Val Hale
GOED’s Executive Director