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August 2021 Newsletter

By August 30, 2021July 8th, 2022No Comments

A Note from Erin,

A mother from Loa, Utah talked with me the other day and wanted to share how excited she and her daughter were to come up to Salt Lake and attend the Women Who Succeed event at Kahlert Village.  The mom said she could not express her gratitude enough for the opportunity for her daughter to be mentored by an amazing woman!  She said, “This type of opportunity just doesn’t come along that often in rural Utah, thank you!”  I wanted to share this small sentiment as it really made my heart swell.  You are making a difference!  Right now, right here. Thank you, members of Women Who Succeed.  And now, a few highlights: Chiao-ih Hui and Susan Johnson were some of our early Women Who Succeed members and mentee Diana Zahidi who is a first-generation college attendee and was born in Afghanistan.  Please take a moment to get to know these amazing women.

Members Spotlight

Chiao-ih Hui

Chiao-ih is the Director of Global Operations at Arcserve, a data encryption, backup, and recovery leader. Her background in Engineering and Business has given her opportunities in research with small R&D firms to program management in IPO startups and working in large organizations such as the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, VA.
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Susan Johnson

Sue is the President of Futura Industries, which is a world class, medium scale Aluminum Extrusion Company.  Their scope covers extrusion, anodizing, light – to sophisticated CNC machining and fabrication. Sue has also been President of Daw Technologies Inc. and Mack Trucks.  
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Diana Zahidi

wDiana Zahidi is first-generation student attending Salt Lake Community College and majoring in Business.  She was born in Jaghori, Afghanistan and came to Utah in 2010.  She works as an Afterschool Specialist with Promise South Salt Lake.  She is excited to have a mentor who will show her the different sides of the business industry.
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RyLee has a busy life as Director of Community Engagement at U of U Health and a new mom! We wish you the very best RyLee, as one of our amazing Women Who Succeed!

The Kahlert Mixer

Our first in-person event on July 29th at the University of Utah Kahlert Village was a smashing success and a true show of the momentum that our initiative is gaining!  Thank you to all those that were able to attend, women and young ladies alike. It was a pleasure to meet you and see the synergy that is already developing between our mentors and mentees.

To recap the excitement, we enjoyed mingling and tours of the STEM Tower, over light appetizers and live music provided by folk musician, Iris (Britney Holman). During the evening program we heard from several dynamic speakers including University of Utah VP of Student Affairs, Lori McDonald, accomplished Utah students, Loretta Rowley and Annika Tanner, as well as our generous Host Sponsor, Heather Kahlert, VP of the Kahlert Foundation.

We were honored to announce Dominion Energy’s $7,500 donation in support of our mentorship program, as well as the substantial and sustaining Women Who Succeed Endowment for the Kahlert Institute on Technology.
After our first event, we couldn’t be more certain that our mission to uplift Utah women and build confidence and leadership skills in young girls resonates and is well on its way to changing the landscape for our next generation, one opportunity at a time!

Upcoming Events

Image Photo Shoot

Let’s put a face to Women Who Succeed! Join us for a professional photo shoot with Radiant Image Photography at Vega Media Studios on August 12, 5:30pm – 7:30pm. Here we will gather images for our website, newsletters, and marketing materials. We look forward to having you there so our diversity is captured and reflected in our brand. Dress is Business Casual. Tips: avoid white & patterns, our primary brand colors include deep purple, cobalt blue, and blush. Thank you for hosting us Brandy Vega!

To register:

Diamonds on Ice Signature Soiree

This is the night to bring your purse and loosen the strings ladies! Please join us at our annual fundraising event, Diamonds on Ice Signature Soiree at O.C. Tanner on September 30th. Due to overwhelming demand, once again we are blazing a trail with an unheard-of back-to-back event! One event will be from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, and the other will be 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm.

Come network with fellow WWS members who have joined forces to inspire leadership, encourage confidence, and create opportunity so that girls across the state can realize their true potential. Slip on your favorite little black dress to enjoy an evening of hors d’oeuvres while you watch for your number to match the same one that reveals the sparkling Grace Diamond solitaire – if it does, you’re the lucky lady who gets to take it home! You will also be able to support our mission by purchasing any of our enticing packages. Our goal is to raise $125,000 to elevate our mission in the name of women and girls across Utah.

Opportunity Drawings

Grace Diamond Solitaire, $150/ticket

  • Revenue Goal: $37,500

Louis Vuitton Handbag & Scarf, $100/ticket

  • Revenue Goal: $5,000

Auction Packages

Gourmandise Private Pastry Party for 20

  • Revenue Goal: $3,000
  • Intimate experience for 20, paired with chefs to create delicate French pastries at the new Gourmandise Commissary in downtown Salt Lake City.

Luxurious Oceanside Beach-Front Home

  • Revenue Goal: $10,000
  • 1 week stay for 12 (3200 sq. ft. 4 bed/5.5 bath)

Hamilton at the Eccles, Garff Family Suites

  • Revenue Goal: $20,000 (2 packages available)
  • 3 private suites and 29 seats for the Broadway at the Eccles production of Hamilton
  • The last public release of tickets for this show sold out in 30mins, include a private dinner at Brio and the Garff Family Suites and you’ve created an over-the-top experience for your family, friends, or colleagues
  • Not to be competitive, but this package sold for $10,000 three times over to gentleman buyers at our Clay Shoot

Mercedes 1 Year Lease

  • Revenue Goal: $15,000
  • You are succeeding, so show it in your Mercedes A-Class Sedan
  • Thank you to our gracious sponsors: OC Tanner, Maverik, and Two Ferry.

To register:


Your Dollars Have Impact

Our gratitude continues to women who see our initiative as important and impactful!  Thank you to those members who are referring change makers to our circle and championing our mission by word of mouth.  Because of you, we have grown our membership by 15 and $15,000 this month!

Looking forward, we are developing targeted campaigns for mentorships, scholarships, and event sponsorships which allows each WWS component to gain exposure and support. For example, in our inaugural year we estimated $100,000 was needed to cover college mentor stipends, as well as related events and programming costs.  To date, we have $42,000 to afford the monthly stipend for 21 college mentors.  However, as additional dollars come in, our impact can grow, and we can begin pulling young women off our waiting list of 53.  Similar campaigns to highlight and direct dollars to our scholarship fund and events will follow.  I look forward to getting to know you all as donors, what drives your engagement, and how your corporate and personal dollars can continue to spread our mission deep and wide!


Many thanks to all who participated in the Mentor Orientation – it was such a wonderful experience to share and learn from one another! We have such a talented group of women that will serve as phenomenal mentors. For those that were unable to attend, you may view the recording HERE. One of my favorite quotes from the Orientation came from Wendy Ogden:

“What I’m looking forward to is the chance to support their confidence, ability to self-advocate, and encouraging them to use their voice. Don’t apologize. You don’t have to apologize for your thoughts, input, or expertise… I look forward to letting these young women know that their thoughts and feelings are valid. We need them.”

This year’s Mentoring Workbook was created based from research from Dr. Susan Madsen and the Utah Women & Leadership Project at Utah State University – Huntsman School of Business. The workbook is comprised of solo and group activities, reflection prompts, and discussion topics. Monthly workshops will provide supplemental opportunities to build technical skills. The curriculum has been designed to build self-awareness, confidence, and support academic and career exploration. You are welcome to review a digital copy of the Women Who Succeed Mentoring Workbook HERE. We look forward to an exciting year to come!

Members Spotlight cont.

Chiao-ih Hui cont.

Chiao-ih received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Utah and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Utah, David Eccles School of Business.  Chiao-ih has been honored as the youngest “Rising Star: Top 40 Under 40” by Utah Business Magazine, has received the Rising Star 2010 Women Tech Award from Women Tech Council and is a governor appointed member of the State of Utah’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Action Center Board.
Chiao-ih loves being a mother, is passionate about new places and new foods, and finds being active and outside restorative.  She, her husband, and young sons live in Salt Lake City, Utah with their beloved dog.
Chiao-ih said she joined Women Who Succeed because “I love the idea of women reaching back and helping lift the next generation of women so that each generation is able to achieve more.  Because when women succeed, our entire community benefits!”  A fun fact about Chiao-ih is that she has ridden an ostrich and says it is a lot of fun!

Susan Johnson cont.

Sue has a B.S. degree in engineering from California Polytechnic State University and graduate studies from University Santa Clara, UC Irvine.  She has served on the Board of Trustees for the Utah System of Technical Colleges, the University of Utah Hospital Board and Clinics, Zions First National Bank Board, Utah State Board of Trustees, Northern Utah Academy for Math, Engineering and Science, and many others.
Sue says “I joined Women Who Succeed because quite simply I believe that if women ran the planet, it would be a better, more rational, more peaceful and productive place – my husband says this all the time!  I adore men for sure – but we see the results of their running the show, polluted planet on the verge of tipping into climate crisis, an underlying lack of trust that threatens our very democracy, and deeply ingrained prejudice based on fear and ignorance.  It’s not just our job to help these young women to become good businesspeople, but strong leaders who trust that their voice is important and vital.”
Fun fact: Sue obtained her undergraduate degree at San Luis Obispo in engineering.  To pay for school she worked summers in the tomato harvest fields, 12 hours a day 7 days a week often driving a D-8 CAT that hauled 30 tons of tomatoes.  One time, a surprise border patrol raided the farm and detained all of the field workers, including Sue.  She said she gained a huge sense of understanding through that experience as to what the migrant farm workers go through that she would not have otherwise known.

Diana Zahidi  

She is particularly interested in entrepreneurialism, although she is also looking at being a scientist, an FBI agent or a cardiologist.  Diana has grown up with the mindset that she did not have to be what others wanted her to be, but that her happiness mattered most.  She loves learning new languages, art, psychology, business, horror movies, basketball, skateboarding and dying her hair for fun!  Diana leaves us with this “Thank you for accepting me and I will do my best while in the program. It is an amazing program for young women who do not know where else to look and this will open a lot of eyes!”

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