Rural Online Initiative
Nick Tatton has worked in both the private and public sectors since his graduation from the College of Eastern Utah in 1989 and the University of Utah in 1991 majoring in business marketing, management and finance. Nick received the official designation and certification of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) from the International Economic Development Council in 2006 and is presently one of only a handful active individuals in the State of Utah to hold that designation.
Jordan Leonard is one of the Program Coordinators for the Rural Online Initiative and will be based out of Emery County. He has a bachelor’s degree in Sales & Marketing through the Technical Sales program from Weber State University. He has 10 years of experience managing his own small business in rural Utah and spent the last 3 years as the Emery County Economic Development Director. Under his direct supervision tourism in Emery County has taken flight, a FIRST Robotics Program has been brought into the school district, and he has been key to helping assist businesses with grants, incentives, and the training they have needed to succeed in a coal devastated region. Jordan loves to golf, fish, coach his son’s baseball teams, camp, and spend time with family and friends.
Jade Powell is the deputy director and regional economic development strategist at the Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments|Southeastern Utah Economic Development District (SEUALG|SEUEDD). Powell has experience working with rural counties and communities throughout southeastern Utah in regards to strategic planning, community outreach/education and fundraising for private and public investments.
Powell’s education includes receiving an undergraduate degree from Utah State University in business administration.
In addition to his duties at SEUALG|SEUEDD, Powell serves as a commissioner on the Price City Planning and Zoning Commission and as Vice-President for the Kiwanis Club. Powell enjoys recreating throughout southeastern Utah with his wife – Danyan – and his dogs – Zoya and Kaz.
Vikki is Branch Manager, Assistant Vice President for WAFD Bank and has been in this position for the past 6 years. She loves helping mortgage and business customers with their banking needs, building lasting relationships in the community is her day to day focus and passion.
She has a long history in the community previously working as County Recorder for Carbon County for 2 terms. She was an escrow agent for a South Eastern Utah Title Company where she developed and maintained many relationships with local realtors and financial institutions. Vikki currently sits on the Planning and Zoning Board for Helper City.
In her spare time she loves playing with her grandchildren and has a passion for knitting and needlework.
Taren is the marketing/PR and community development specialist with Emery Telcom. She loves this position because she gets to be involved in the different communities Emery Telcom serves. She attended Utah State University and the Jon Huntsman School of Business where she received her Master’s in Business Administration and Management. She has a passion and sincere love for rural Utah. She was born and raised in Carbon County where she met her husband. They are parents to a sweet little boy and one big fur baby. She is excited to be part of the board and is looking forward to giving back to the community.
Garrett is the Managing Director of Silicon Slopes. He has worked in venture capital, economic development, and startups in the bay area and Utah. He enjoys watching entrepreneurs build companies and helping out where he can. When not working, he enjoys hunting, fishing, and playing sports, mainly golf.
San Juan County Economic Development and Tourism
Doug Miller Ph.D
Jon Huntsman School of Business Faculty
Utah Association of Counties
Elaine Gizler is the Executive Director for Grand County, Utah Economic Development, and the Moab Area Travel Council. As the Executive Director of Economic Development and Tourism, Elaine resides in a spectacular city that includes Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, and The Mighty Colorado River. When she is not in Moab performing various administrative and managerial duties about Economic Development, Branding, and Marketing Moab, she meets with Developers, Businesses, Entrepreneur. She conducts FAM Tours, travels to International Destinations to train Travel Agents, and meets with Tour Company management.
She is an At Large U.S. Board Member, a Board Member on the Utah Office of Tourism State Board, the Moab Chamber of Commerce Board, and the Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway Chair. Elaine has an extensive background in Sales, Marketing, and Branding with years in the Cosmetic industry and happy that she does not have to worry about launching a new lipstick every season. She is thrilled to represent an area that can be a journey of a lifetime filled with adventure.
Doug Miller is an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship with the Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. He holds an MBA from The University of Montana and a Ph.D. from Washington State University. In addition to being an award-winning educator, Doug is a sought-after speaker on Creative Problem Solving, Leading with Emotional Intelligence, and Developing Leader Potential.
Doug is an active researcher and studies firm innovation and entrepreneurship, with particular attention placed on the efforts that a firm makes to protect its innovative practices. He also studies founder psychological ownership and consults on community entrepreneurial ecosystem development.
In addition to his work with USU and USU Eastern, Doug is the founder of CLIMB Ventures and Camp CLIMB.
Stuart Clason is the Regional Growth Director for the Utah Association of Counties, and before starting this position he worked as the Associate Department Director for Salt Lake County’s Department of Regional Transportation, Housing, and Economic Development. Clason works with public and private partners to advance regional policy initiatives focused on improving the economic conditions in targeted Counties.
Clason has nearly 20 years of experience in international, national, and regional development efforts. Clason delivers complex solutions that generate positive externalities to diverse constituencies. Utilizing years of experience, innovative initiatives and a willingness to compromise, Clason has successfully created impactful projects, programs, and policies that are regionally significant.
During his time at Salt Lake County, Clason focused on the international connectivity of the regional metro by modernizing the existing economic development policy tools and establishing innovative initiatives that improved regional economic development efforts.
Prior to his time at the County, Clason worked at the Governor’s Office of Energy Development, where he was the statewide expert on conventional energy development. Clason holds a Master’s Degree in Economic Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Department of Workforce Services
Zac Whitwell works for the Utah Department of Workforce Services as an Assistant Division Director in the Workforce Development Division. He is also the Service Area Director for the Castle Country, Southeast, and Uintah Basin regions in Eastern Utah and has been with Workforce Services since 2011. In addition to his public employee service, he has over 15 years’ private sector experience in social services, communications, and the manufacturing industry.
He grew up in Clemson, SC, and moved to Utah in 2005 after graduating cum laude from Bob Jones University (Greenville, SC) with a Bachelors of Science degree. Zac enjoys all things outdoors, reading, and spending time with his wonderful wife and young family. He and his family currently reside in Helper, Utah.
I am a lifelong resident. I married my highschool sweetheart LaRae after serving a mission to the Philippines. We have 9 children, 2 sets of twins, and have 32 grandchildren. I was part owner of Nelco Contractors working there for 38 years. I sold my interest in 2014 and now serve as a county commissioner. I am very active and involved in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints which has occupied much of my time away from work. I enjoy helping others and have been taught at my mothers feet to take care of those in need. Nothing brings more joy to my life than family, trying to be obedient to God’s commandments and helping others.