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Distinguished Speaker Series

The Quarter Machine: The Success You Can't See
March 7, 2017: Ron Dichter

ron dichter

Although most people crave the certainty of known outcomes, the uncertainty of entrepreneurship can have its own rewards. For the seasoned entrepreneur, the risks are worth it, but every venture has an element of uncertainty. Learning to trust the process and trust that your planning and preparation will keep you on the right track.

Serial entrepreneur Ron Dichter got his start while still attending the University of Utah. His first venture, Eliot Management Group (, was sold by Mr. Dichter in 2010 and still operates in 15 states today. Since then Mr. Dichter has gone on to start a national leading credit card processing company, Blue Dog Business Services (, where he still serves as the CEO. He also started and currently serves as the CEO for the nutritional company, SIX PAC OTG (, which can found on many of your favorite store shelves.

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Political Science: A Platform to Prolific Paths
November 15, 2016: Brian Peterson

Brian Peterson received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Utah and his master’s degree in business administration from Westminster College. He currently works at Netlist Inc., the leading provider of high-performance modular memory subsystems to the world’s premier OEMs. Peterson has over 20 years of experience in managing sales, marketing, finance, operations and business development across global organizations.

September 8, 2016: Steve Badger
steve badger

Steve represents the commercial property insurance industry in emerging and significant risk exposures, both as a plaintiff in large loss catastrophe subrogation matters and as a defendant in coverage matters involving weather related litigation. Currently, Steve’s practice is devoted entirely to leading the insurance industry response to the emerging hail risk.  His practice focuses solely on addressing the issues arising in hail damage claims and resulting litigation.  In addition to representing his clients in litigated disputes, Steve spends considerable time working with the insurance industry and other interested stakeholders in finding solutions to the abuses and outright fraud prevalent in these matters.  This includes development of policy form changes and legislative solutions to address common issues, as well as the identification and pursuit of actions against fraudulent actors involved in these matters. 

Degrees to Everywhere
February 9, 2016: Matt Eyring
matt eyring

As Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at Vivint Inc., Matt Eyring leads Vivint's directional growth initiatives in the home automation, security, wireless internet, energy management, and solar markets. Eyring currently serves on the board of VirginPulse, part of the UK-based Virgin Group and as a member of the National Presidential Advisory Board of Utah Valley University. He is the co-author of several Harvard Business Review articles. Eyring holds a BA in economics from the University of Utah and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

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February 3, 2016: Jim Jardine
jim jardine

Political science alum and one of Utah's top lawyers James Jardine shares his perspective on what he's learned about giving effective and helpful counsel as well as advising university presidents.

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Degrees to Everywhere Spring Panel
October 27, 2015

degrees to everywhere thumb

Guest Speakers:

Representative Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Utah Democratic Whip, District 24
Mayor Robert Dahle, Holladay
Mayor Ben McAdams, Salt Lake County
Jen Seelig, former Utah State Legislature Representative, District 23
Mike Zuhl, Government and Public Affairs Director, R & R Partners

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2014-2015 Series

February 3, 2015: Ellis Ivory and Roger Boyer

Ellis R. Ivory ( B.S. Political Science) is the founder and retired CEO of Ivory Homes, Utah's top homebuilder for 22 consecutive years, with nearly 50 locations along the Wasatch Front and St. George. In 1967, H. Roger Boyer (B.S. Economics) joined Ivory and the two formed the Ivory and Boyer Co., the original developers of Bloomington, a well-established community just south of St. George. Roger then created The Boyer Company, which has developed more than 30 million square feet of commercial projects throughout the Intermountain West.

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October 7, 2014: Tom Love

Tom LoveTom Love, President and CEO of Love Communications, discusses how his political science degree has helped him market several of Utah's political campaigns.

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October 28, 2014: Oakley Gordon

Oakley GordonOakley E. Gordon, associate professor of psychology, discusses his research on the Andean Cosmovision (how the indigenous Andean people perceive and interact with the Cosmos).

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November 10, 2014: Harris Simmons

Harris SimmonsHarris Simmons, President, CEO and Chairman of Zions Bancorporation, discusses the state of banking in the wake of the financial crisis.

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Last Updated: 7/8/19