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Welcoming Salt Lake
2001 S State St  S1-300
PO Box 144575
Salt Lake City, UT 84114
(385) 468-4861  

New Americans Task Force

Mayor Ben  Lane Beattie  Dr Dinesh Patel

Co- chaired by Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, Salt Lake Chamber CEO/President Lane Beattie, and Dr. Dinesh Patel, Welcoming Salt Lake’s New Americans Task Force is a multi-sector stakeholder task force charged with developing and implementing a welcoming strategy for the Salt Lake region. The task force includes approximately 100 community leaders representing the education, government, and business sectors and the community.

The New Americans Task Force kicked off on March 31st 2016.  After the kick off meeting, the task force divided into subcommittees to develop recommendations in three focus areas:

Vitality & Vibrancy

Focus: Employment, Education & Training

Chairs: Lori Chillingworth, Zion’s Bank & Lavanya Mahate, Saffron Valley

Lori Chillingworth
Lori Chillingworth
Zions Bancorporation Chief Credit Administrator Small Business

Lori was appointed Chief Credit Administrator of Small Business for Zions Bancorporation in April 2016. While her primary responsibilities are credit risk management for small business, she is also overseeing Project Management for Process improvement of small business loans through-out the enterprise. Prior to this position Chillingworth served as Executive Vice President of Zions Bank’s Small Business Division. Chillingworth has been a small business advocate her entire career. In 1997, Chillingworth was hired at Zions Bank to be the founding manager of the Zions Bank Women’s Financial Group. Under her leadership, Zions Bank’s Women’s Financial Group was honored to receive the 1998 Advisory Council Award from the SBA for its contributions to women business owners and the agency’s 2001 Women in Business Advocate of the Year Award.

Known throughout the industry for her experience in the small business, she was a member of the Executive Committee of the National Association of Government from 2007-2013. She has participated in roundtables hosted by the SBA Administrator and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in 2011 and 2010, respectively.

An active community volunteer, she is the past chair of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Executive Committee. She previously served as a board member and chair for the Salt Lake Community College Foundation, Family Counseling Center, Pete Suazo Business Center, and as a member of the Junior League of Salt Lake’s community advisory council.

Chillingworth launched the Women’s Leadership Institute in January 2015. The Women’s Leadership Institute elevates the stature of women’ leadership by improving society’s understanding of the value of diversity in leadership roles, training women in leadership skills, and conveying the positive impact women leaders have on economic development, vitality, and the overall health of business and politics. In October of 2015, Chillingworth received the “Community Impact” award by U.S. Banker Magazine.

Chillingworth has been recognized five times in U.S. Banker magazine’s “Most Powerful Women in Banking” issue, ranking among its “25 Women to Watch” list. Chillingworth was also honored as a member of Zions’ “Top Team” of women senior leaders six times.

Chillingworth is a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School, American Institute of Banking and the Northwestern Bank Leadership Program. As a recipient of the International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation 2014-2015 Fellows Program scholarship, she attended the Harvard Business School and INSEAD, Business School for the World, in Paris for advanced studies in global leadership.


United Vision

Focus: Policy, Government & Leadership

Chairs: Senator Luz Escamilla, Utah Senate & Jonathan Hardy, Department of Workforce Services

Luz Escamilla
Senator Luz Escamilla, Utah Senate


Jonathan Hardy
Jonathan Hardy, Department of Workforce Services

Jonathan Hardy serves as the Director of the Housing and Community Development Division within the Department of Workforce Services. He has also held roles as the Area Director for Workforce Development in the Salt Lake and Tooele County area and previously served as the Director for the State of Utah's Community Services Office and the State Small Business Credit Initiative. He is a graduate of the University of Utah.


Connecting Communities

Focus: Communities, civic engagement, citizenship

Chairs: Luis Garza, Comunidades Unidos & Byron Russell, Multicultural Commission

Luis Garza
Luis Garza Executive Director Comunidades Unidas

Luis has been involved in community affairs for the past 10 years. Prior to working at Comunidades Unidas, Luis worked for the SLC Mayor's Office of Diversity & Human Rights, The State Office of Ethnic Affairs, and the University of Utah Hospital.

Luis has Bachelor’s degrees in Economics and International Relations, and a minor in Business from the University of Utah. In 2011 he obtained a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a Non-profit Management emphasis also from the University of Utah. He focused his graduate thesis on Mexican migrant health, their access to health care services, and the particular challenges this population faces when interacting with the Health Care System in the United States. Luis is very passionate about US and Mexican politics and their implications on migration and immigrant integration.

Luis is accredited by the US Department of Justice, Bureau of Immigration Appeals, to provide immigration services in the state of Utah.

  • Luis has received numerous awards during his career:
  • 2013 Community Foundation of Utah’s “Enlightened 50”
  • 2009 Utah Hispanic Business Leadership Foundation Scholar
  • 2005 and 2007 College of Social & Behavioral Science Honor Roll Scholar.
  • 2004 and 2006 University of Utah’s Department of Economics Scholar
  • 2006 Utah Hispanic Business Leadership Foundation Scholar
  • Dean’s List for 4 consecutive years


Byron Russell
Byron Russell

Byron Russell is the principal managing partner of Byron Russell LLC, which was founded in March of 2011, and is based on his years of experience in academics, national and international politics, journalism, development, finance, economic development, higher education and public relations.

Byron was previously Executive Vice President of Method Communications, leading business development, and client management in public relations.

Byron was also Vice President of Development for Western Governors University (WGU). Byron led the WGU National Advisory Board, consisting of Fortune 500 corporate partners to enhance the quality of an educated workforce.

As a Zions Bank loaned executive, Byron led the Salt Lake Chamber into financial solvency, created relevant programing and affiliate member opportunities.

Byron worked in Development at the Utah Symphony; was a political reporter for the Washington Times covering the U.S. Congress and the Executive Branch; worked in the British House of Commons, specializing in human rights issues in South Africa and contributed to Namibia’s campaign for independence.

Byron is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park in Government and Politics, and Journalism.


On August 11th, the subcommittee chairs will present their recommendations to the task force chairs. The recommendations will be the foundation of the ‘Welcoming Salt Lake Plan’. 

List of New American Task Force Members