Utah Technology Council Announces CEO Search

May 3rd, 2017

President and CEO Richard R. Nelson to Transition from CEO Role in 2017; Organization to Discuss “UTC 3.0” Evolution at Annual Members Meeting Event on May 9

SALT LAKE CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)—The Utah Technology Council (UTC), one of the nation’s most vibrant and highly respected technology associations, has announced that it is launching a CEO search. President and CEO Richard R. Nelson, who has headed UTC for 18 years, since 1999, will be transitioning away from his current full-time role later this year. The Executive Committee is looking for qualified leadership candidates, who are invited to apply via UTCCEO@perelson.com.

UTC will discuss its plans for further evolution and growth becoming one of the nation’s most compelling locations for technology advancement at its Annual Members Meeting event on May 9, 2017, at 11:30 a.m. at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center. The 2017 luncheon event will feature a keynote by Mark Sunday, CIO of Oracle and UTC trustee, who will deliver a presentation on “Exponential Innovation.” At the event, UTC will elect trustees and present a series of awards honoring Executives and Legislators of the Year. A state of the industry’s acceleration and triumphs will be highlighted through the recent legislative session.

Notes Nelson, who has received multiple regional and industry awards for his service at the helm of UTC, “In just a decade and a half, we’ve been extremely fortunate to work closely with other top decision makers, especially state legislators and excellent governors, to change Utah’s fundamentals in early-stage capital and K-20 talent expansion.” Notable results during this time period include the following:

Fundamental change to the early-stage capital structure of the state by creating the $121M Utah Fund of Fund in 2003. It has attracted over 250 venture and private equity firms to fund great companies, making Utah the 9th most attractive VC state in the country with $170M in 19 deals (4thQ2016).

Talent acquisition. Nelson notes that Utah’s “nice problem to have” is the challenge of finding sufficient talent to fuel the growth of the state’s 6,000 tech companies, which represent 10% of the state’s total payroll. UTC has created the $40M Stem Action Center, changing students’ digital learning and working alongside the industry’s new STEM MX (Mentor Exchange) to connect industry resources with thousands of Utah’s outstanding K-12 teachers.

Utah’s Engineering Initiative. Another superb example of UTC’s accelerating innovation is the Engineering Initiative, which has expanded the number of computing and engineering graduates since 2001. Utah’s visionary $248M investment (including university presidents’ 1:1 match) has significantly increased the state’s talent capacity, producing additional ROI for thousands of Utah companies. “Over my nearly 18 years as CEO of UTC, it’s been my honor to work closely with over 300 trustees and thousands of great members,” Nelson said. “We’ve loved driving value to the industry’s CEOs who are changing the world with their teams. We are proud of the role we’ve played in Utah and beyond to achieve complex change and to establish powerful relationships for our members.”

Among the many awards Nelson has received during his CEO tenure, which include the “Governor’s Medal of Science and Technology,” “CEO of the Year” from Utah’s technology industry and “Distinguished Service Award” from the U of U College of Engineering, Nelson has repeatedly been named one of the “100 Most Influential People” in Utah by Utah Business Magazine. Concurrent with his UTC role, Nelson also served as the first chairman and CEO of the Technology Councils of North America (TECNA, 2007-2009), representing 20,000 technology-related companies. Most recently, of the 53 technology associations represented by TECNA, the organization awarded Nelson its first “Distinguished Leader Award” in early 2017.

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