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Distinguished Alumni

2018 Distinguished Alumni

Ellis R. Ivory

In 1964, after his graduation from the University of Utah, Ellis R. Ivory started out in the real estate business. Three years later, Ivory and his brother-inlaw, Roger Boyer, formed Ivory and Boyer Company, the original developer of the Bloomington project, south of St. George, Utah.

During the 70’s, Ivory prospered in the residential lot business as Ivory and Company, developing 400 subdivisions throughout Utah. Then came 1983, a rough economic time of tough career-altering decisions for Ivory. Before then, Ivory and Company sold all of its Bloomington lots to homebuilders. However, with interest rates hitting the roof at 18%, builders were going broke and unfinished homes were being abandoned. Ivory had never wanted to be a homebuilder, but he felt he had no choice but to salvage the subdivisions. In 1983, he built 30 homes.

Five short years of unfailing long days later, Ivory Homes was the number one homebuilder in Utah, a rank the company has maintained for the past 18 years. In 2000, Ivory sold the business to his son, Clark, who continues to build the Ivory legacy, a legacy that this has surpassed the completion of the company’s ten thousandth home.

Ivory has served as chairman of the Board of the Deseret News Publishing Company; Vice Chairman of the Newspaper Agency Corporation; and is currently Executive Director and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of This is the Place Heritage Park.

He and his wife, Katie, have seven children and 21 grandchildren.

Jeffrey K. Scott

Jeffrey K. Scott is currently President/Director of Scott Machinery Company and Intermountain Bobcat in Salt Lake City. Prior to that, he was employed with the American Express Company in sales, marketing and management roles in several operating divisions, in Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Sydney, Australia. Scott also has business experience in the travel and tourism, financial services IT and plastics industries.

Scott has served in Leadership roles in many civic and professional organizations, including; Board Member, Rocky Mountain Region- AED Associated Equipment Distributors, past President of the of AED Utah chapter, Chair of the College of Social and Behavioral Science Advisory Board and currently as a member of the University of Utah's National Advisory Council.

He is also a past member of the Salt Lake Community College Foundation, Utah Big Brothers Big Sisters, Utah Crimson Club. In addition, he is a founding Board member for the Utah Bicycle Coalition and is a United Way Leadership Circle member.

Scott has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Utah, and holds a masters in business administration from Thunderbird School of Global Management. Active as a sports enthusiast, Nordic skier and Bicycle racer, Scott spends his free time with his sons and his wife Sarah Shepard Scott.

Jody K. Olsen

Jody K. Olsen is the 20th Director of the Peace Corps.

Born in Utah, Olsen moved to Maryland in 1959 after her father, David King, was elected to Congress. She attended Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, graduating in 1961 before returning to her native state to study at the University of Utah. She earned a B.S. in sociology and a teaching certificate in 1965. Olsen later earned a master’s in social work (1972) and a Ph.D. (1979) from the University of Maryland.

After graduating from Utah, Olsen and her thenhusband, Robert Olsen, left for Tunisia as Peace Corps volunteers, where she taught English during her two-year stint. After earning her master’s degree, Olsen in 1974 was named director of the University of Maryland Center on Aging.

Olsen returned to the Peace Corps, this time as the country director for Togo, in 1979. In 1981, she was named regional director for North Africa, the Near East, Asia and the Pacific, holding that post until 1984. Olsen left the Peace Corps again, this time to become vice president of the student exchange group Youth for Understanding. But in 1989, Olsen was back at the Peace Corps, this time as its chief of staff.

In 1992, Olsen was named executive director for the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) and managed the Fulbright Senior Scholar Program, which facilitated college faculty exchanges. She left CIES in 1997 to become senior vice president of the Academy for Educational Development, a development consultancy.

Olsen in 2002 was named deputy director of the Peace Corps, holding that position until the early days of the Obama administration, and served briefly as acting director in 2006 and again in 2009. She also served for a time as acting country director for Kazakhstan. Olsen was visiting professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work in Baltimore 2010-2018. She also was director of the Center for Global Education Initiatives and spent several summers heading research projects in Malawi, El Salvador, and India.

Olsen has two adult children, David and Kirsten.

Senator Luz Escamilla

Senator Luz Escamilla holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Marketing and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Utah.

In 2008, Luz was elected to the Utah State Senate representing District 1 (west side of Salt Lake City and parts of West Valley City), becoming the first Latina elected in the Utah State Senate and the first immigrant elected in the Utah State Legislature. In 2012, and again in 2016, she was reelected to the Utah State Senate. Senator Escamilla serves in the Senate leadership team as the Senate Assistant Minority Whip.

In 2005, she was appointed by Governor Jon Huntsman as the first Director for the State Office of Ethnic Affairs. In this position, she oversaw the Directors of Asian, Black, Hispanic/Latino and Pacific Islander Affairs. She currently works as Vice President for Zions Bank in the Community Development Group representing Zions Bank in community and business relationships across the states of Utah and Idaho. At Zions Bank, she has worked as Director for the Business Resource Center, as well as the Hispanic/Latino Market Manager.

Senator Escamilla is committed to finding equity and justice for all people and has served in many capacities in different boards of nonprofit organizations and other agencies. She currently serves on the boards of Girls Scouts of Utah, Guadalupe Schools, Kingsbury Hall, Primary Children’s Medical Center, and the College of Social and Behavioral Science Advisory Board for the University of Utah. She serves in the Health and Human Services appropriations and standing committees as well as the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice committees. She has focused her legislative work on health-related, public safety, and veteran’s affairs issues.

She currently lives in the west side of Salt Lake City with her husband Juan Carlos Escamilla and their children.


Last Updated: 11/15/18