Housed in the Department of Economic Development, the Business Advisory Board (BAB) seeks to encourage economic development and attract new business to Salt Lake City. But who exactly is this group, and how can you support and utilize this resource? Read on, and you’ll learn about a pretty fantastic group of people.
The Business Advisory Board is a volunteer board made up of entrepreneurs who care about what happens in Salt Lake City’s business community. They advocate for small businesses and provide recommendations and advice to City leaders on ways to improve the business climate, while addressing our challenges with affordability and growth.
Members receive no compensation, nor are they guaranteed support for their own business ventures. They are appointed by the mayor, represent almost every district in the city, and have experience in many different types of industries.
Their enthusiasm and support of our City is evident and their backgrounds speak for themselves:
|Angela H. Brown is Chairperson of Salt Lake City’s Business Advisory Board and has been a member since 2014. Angela has run SLUG Magazine for 18 years and launched Craft Lake City in 2009, …(read more about Angela Brown here).||1|
|Steve Labrum has been a member of Salt Lake City’s Business Advisory Board since 2012. Steve splits his time between supporting the financial management of the Eva Carlston Academy, and working as a Producer at 3 Irons. … (read more about Steve Labrum here).||3|
|Casey McDonough has been a member of Salt Lake City’s Business Advisory Board since 2011. He has over 25 years of experience in Architecture and is currently CEO of COM Designed. He also owns and operate Brio Coffee. … (read more about Casey McDonough here).||4|
|A BAB Member since 2013, JD Smith has over 20 years of experience writing, producing, and directing both radio and television commercials and promotional pieces for all types of businesses. As owner of Studio 702 Media Management, .. (read more about JD Smith here).||6|
|John Lair has been with BAB since 2013. He is President and CEO of Momentum Recycling, a family-owned business dedicated to moving communities towards zero waste. Although trained as a systems engineer, John has been an entrepreneur for over 15 years. … (read more about John Lair here).||2|
|Sue Rice has been with BAB since 2016. She is the former Founder and President of Cavanagh Services Group, Inc., a small business that grew from one employee to a national company landing multi-million dollar contracts worth $100 million. … (read more about Sue Rice here).||6|
|Karen Gunn has been with BAB since 2016. She is principal strategy consultant for Gunn Consulting Cooperative, LLC. Karen served as Associate Provost for Economic Development at Salt Lake Community College and Executive Director for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program. … (read more about Karen Gunn here).||6|
|Curtis Thornhill is Vice Chairperson of Salt Lake City’s Business Advisory Board and has been a member since 2016. He is CEO and founder of Apt Marketing, a consulting firm in downtown Salt Lake City. .. (read more about Curtis Thornhill here).||5|
|Darin Piccoli is a new BAB member in 2018. He is co-owner of The State Room, First Tracks Entertainment, and The Commonwealth Room. He co-produces the ‘Live At The Eccles’ , the new Deer Valley Concert Series and more. …(read about Darin Piccoli here).||1|
|Kestrel Liedtke is a new BAB member in 2018.She co-owns Tin Angel restaurant near Pioneer Park. She has experienced firsthand what it is like to open a business in a transitional neighborhood,…. (read more about Kestrel Liedtke here).||1|
|Ana Valdemoros has been an ex-oficio member of BAB since 2015. She started her career in city planning with SLC then non-profit NeighborWorks. She built Argentina’s Best Empanadas and more recently co-founded Square Kitchen. … (Read more about Ana Valdemoros here).|
|Kristen Lavelett has been an ex-oficio member of BAB since 2012. She is the Executive Director of Local First Utah and Vice President of the Granary District Alliance. …(Read more about Kristen Lavelett here).|
|Linda Wardell is an ex-oficio member of BAB. She is the general manager of City Creek Center, the retail portion of City Creek, one of the largest mixed-use … (Read more about Linda Wardell here).|
|Camille Winnie is an ex-oficio member of BAB. She has worked for the Downtown Alliance for over 12 years in a variety of roles including Director of Community Services, Director of Business and Community Relations and Program Manager… (Read more about Camillie Winnie here).|
Pretty impressive, right?
It is important that Salt Lake City continues to expand the resources available our business owners and the BAB provides yet another avenue where small businesses can more easily identify with their peers.
“The Business Advisory Board creates improved communication and heightened awareness for us as City government, to know where we are getting in the way, so we can start getting out of the way,” says Lara Fritts Director of Salt Lake City’s Department of Economic Development, “We are proud to have a dynamic group of individuals serving our City.”
Think you have something to add to this group and want to join the Board? We’d love to have you. The Mayor’s office and City Council review openings every year.
Meetings are open to the public and typically held on the second Wednesday of every month, from 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. in the City and County Building, Room 335, 451 S State, Salt Lake City. To learn more, please contact Roberta Reichgelt, Local Business and Entrepreneurship Manager at 801-535-7694.