BECKY LOCKHART, “UTAH’S IRON LADY,” TO BE 2016 PILLAR OF THE VALLEY

Becky Lockhart, an ambitious and driven political figure in Utah, tragically passed away in January 2015 due to a rare neurological disease. Though her death was sudden and early, her legacy lives on through her family, friends, and fellow politicians.  This year, the Utah Valley Chamber is honored to name the late Becky Lockhart as 2016 Pillar of the Valley.

Becky took a seat in the Utah House of Representatives in 1998, and was later elected as Speaker of the house in 2010.  She served with the house for 16 years, before her retirement in 2014. [1] Following her passing, Senator Curt Bramble referred to Becky as “Utah’s Iron Lady,” and noted her “consensus-building” style in the House. [2] During her tenure in the Utah House of Representatives, Becky pushed for greater education funding, transportation improvement projects, and economic development across the state. House Speaker Greg Hughes described her as having an “unwavering commitment” to furthering the growth and success of the Utah economy. [3]

Though a Republican representative, Becky was known for her ability to collaborate and bridge the gap between parties in order to achieve common goals. Following her passing, the Utah Democratic Party commented, “Speaker Lockhart was an icon, a role model, and a stateswoman at a time when too many are focused on politics. All Utahns could count on her to listen and ensure that everyone had a seat at the table.” [4]

Becky was chosen by her colleagues to be the Speaker of the House in 2010, becoming the first-ever female to hold this top leadership position in the state of Utah.  Through both word and deed, Becky served as a role model to women of confidence, devotion, and public service. Becky spoke boldly to women and encouraged them to use their “real voice…until we make it normal for women to be heard.” [5] Doing so, she said, might come at a price—but it was a price she was willing to pay.

During the 2014 Opening Legislative Session, Becky issued a call to her fellow congressmen that illustrates her dedication to Utah and its people:

We may be Republicans or Democrats, Conservatives or Liberals, Rural or Suburban. But we are all Utahns first. We have been given a great responsibility, and a sacred trust… Let’s be committed to the higher         purpose of the common good. Let us never forget who sent us here or why we chose to serve. Let us         represent what is best about… the State of Utah. [6]

Becky’s courage, tenacity, and years of public service have not gone unnoticed. Over the years, Becky has been named “Legislator of the Year” and “Friend of Business,” and received the Intermountain Healthcare’s Beacon of Hope Award. [7]  We are pleased to add to these accolades by naming Becky Lockhart our 2016 Pillar of the Valley.

The Pillar of the Valley Gala will take place on Thursday, March 24th at the Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo, UT. Becky’s daughters, Hannah and Emily, will be accepting the award on her behalf. Single tickets and tables of 8 can be purchased at www.pillarofthevalley.com.

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