On September 4th, Southern Utah University welcomed Jodi Hart-Wilson, a prominent Utah lobbyist, as the first speaker of the semester for the Entrepreneurship Speaker Series. The Entrepreneurship Speaker Series is a course on campus that invites various successful business owners and executives to present to the class each week. Speakers present on their accomplishments, challenges, and wisdom they’ve gained from their path to success.
During Wilson’s presentation, she told SUU students about the importance of being involved in school and how these experiences led her to discover her passion for lobbying.
Wilson is known to those in the governmental arena as one of the most effective lobbyists in Utah. Her expertise and knowledge of public policy issues is respected by policy makers, business leaders and government relations practitioners alike. Wilson represents a variety of nationally known Fortune 100 companies, local companies and trade groups. Wilson is active in serving her community and participates on many boards and associations including: President of the Utah Fallen Soldiers Assoc., President of Capitol Hill Assoc., President of the Utah Alliance for the Boys & Girls Clubs, and Board member of the National Assoc. of State Lobbyists.
Recently, she has become the Vice President and Founder of Advantage Arts Academy Charter School, a tuition-free charter school that is Scheduled to open in August 2019. Wilson’s son, Cole, inspired the creation of the school. During her presentation, she explained that her son has autism, and while working with him on school work, she discovered that Cole retained information best when the arts were integrated into his learning. Wilson found there were other students that learned similar to Cole, so she took initiative and began the Advanced Arts Academy Charter School. The school uses the arts to help students learn in a way they understand and enjoy.
Additionally, Wilson is a political affairs guest lecturer at schools, colleges and universities through the state. Wilson is a proud graduate of SUU, which made her presentation especially moving. She discussed her pathway to SUU, and how all of her experiences in school lead her to discover talents and interests she didn’t know she had.
"It was a pleasure to hear Jodi Hart-Wilson's story as part of the Entrepreneurship Speaker Series,” said Mackenzie Maness, an SUU senior of Integrated Sciences. “Like many of us, she started as a fellow T-bird and university leader. Her journey validates the idea that hard work and the willingness to learn can take you anywhere you desire to go. Jodi is the example of a woman who does it all and never settles for no."
The Entrepreneurship Speaker Series is a one credit upper division class, designed to give students the opportunity to learn from successful business owners. There are no prerequisites and the class is open to any majors. All students are welcome to attend, even if they are not enrolled in the course. The class is held Tuesdays from 11:30-12:20 in the Dixie L. Leavitt Business Building in room 126.