(KUTV) Natalie Gochnour is an associate dean at the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah and is the chief economist at the Salt Lake Chamber.
She is the youngest of 11 kids--seven of them brothers. Her parents emphasized education while growing up.
"I believe my father has instilled in me an attitude of 'you can do anything you can dream,'" she said.
Gochnour has advised three Utah governors: Governor Norm Bangerter, Governor Mike Leavitt and Governor Olene Walker. She also served with Leavitt in two federal agencies in Washington, D.C.--the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services.
"I've spent an enormous amount of time in the public sector," she said.
She likes to work at what she calls the "intersection of government and business," where the government works to create an environment for businesses to succeed.
As an associate dean at the David Eccles School of Business, Gochnour has been assigned to create a new public policy institute.
The institute, which is now under construction, will be housed in the Wall Mansion on South Temple.
"We'll have about 25 researchers and analysts there working on Utah issues that will help make the state more prosperous," she said. Those researchers will put forward data that will help Utah leaders make important decisions.
One of Gochnour's passions is to see more women in leadership roles in Utah.
"I do believe that it is underreported how many incredible women that are in this state making an incredible difference," she said.
Gochnour believes men and women are quite different and that's why a woman's voice is needed in leadership. "I think feminine values represent civility and collaboration and beauty and stewardship, that are really important to business decisions and good public policy decisions."
Natalie Gochnour and her husband of 30 years, Chris, have two children. She has spent much of that time as a working mother.
Despite all of the help and support she had from her husband, employers and extended family, raising children and having a successful career had its challenges. "It is still the most difficult thing I've ever done," she said.
In the future, Gochnour wants to see a stronger community, and hopes to help in that effort. "If I can make a mark in helping to unify the community and help us make progress from the 'common sense middle,' that's where I'd like to be," she said.