Follow us on Instagram and join the conversations every Wednesday at 12pm MST all throughout the month of March!
Wednesday, March 3
Rilee Buttars - CEO of Donde
I'm a first-time founder of a fintech/travel startup. My background is in advertising, sociology, film, events, and product management, so naturally, building this startup makes complete sense. I'm an ENFJ (and proud of that F) and Gallup declared my 5 strengths as Achiever, Activator, Futuristic, Competition, and Communication. These seem to paint an accurate picture so I continue to use them. I have one kid named Blue, my husband's my cofounder, and we live in an old house at the mouth of a canyon. I have pink hair because I wanted to be a rebel 7 years ago, and now I think it's permanent.
Wednesday, March 10
Pandora Thomas - The Earth Is My Employer
Pandora Thomas is a passionate global citizen who works as a caregiver, teacher, farmer, designer and speaker. Her work emphasizes the benefits of applying ecological principles to social design and reconnecting humans to our non-human kin.
As a presenter both domestically and internationally, she has given keynotes and lectures on topics ranging from designing mutually beneficial diversity strategies, collaborative design for community driven planning, social justice, youth and women's leadership, social entrepreneurship, permaculture and sustainability. She has designed curriculum for and taught groups all over the world as diverse as Iraqi and Indonesian youth to men serving in San Quentin and men and women returning home from incarceration.
She is currently a co-owner of the collectively run permaculture design firm The Urban Permaculture Institute and a Senior Climate Innovation Fellow with the Movement Strategy Centers Climate Innovation Team.
Wednesday, March 17
Sarah Himadeh - Actress/Singer/Activist
Lebanese-born, Canadian-raised, Sarah Himadeh now resides between New York and Los Angeles. A Biotechnology grad from McGill with a career as a Merrill Lynch private banker in London and a stint as a Public Relations executive at Edelman in Montreal, Himadeh eventually moved to the United States to pursue her calling as a storyteller. She completed a degree in Acting for Theater and Film at William Esper Studios in New York, and now enjoys storytelling both on stage and on set.
In 2019, Himadeh joined the Lebanese revolution, spent months on the streets fighting for accountability and human rights for the Lebanese people. She has been an advocate and a public figure, and speaks frequently about it on global media outlets, in addition to leading relief efforts for Lebanon after the collapse of their banking system and the August 4th, 2020 port explosion.
To cope with the collapse of her ancestral home, she found solace in song, and is currently creating a musical album to be released later this year.
Wednesday, March 24
Davis Smith - Founder & CEO of Cotopaxi
Davis Smith is the Founder and CEO of Cotopaxi, an outdoor gear brand with a humanitarian mission. He is a member of the United Nations Foundation’s Global Leadership Council and one of President Bill Clinton and George W. Bush’s Presidential Leadership Scholars. Davis was Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s “CEO of the Year,” an EY Entrepreneur of the Year, and previously started Brazil’s “Startup of the Year.” Davis holds an MBA from the Wharton School, an MA from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA from Brigham Young University. He is an adventurer who has floated the Amazon on a self-made raft, kayaked from Cuba to Florida, and explored North Korea.
Wednesday, March 31
Troy Williams - Executive Director of Equality Utah
For the past 16 years, Troy has been a community organizer for LGBTQ Utahns. In 2004 became the community affairs director of 90.9 FM KRCL. He was the executive producer and co-host of the talk show RadioActive. In 2010 the Salt Lake Tribune dubbed him "the gay mayor of Salt Lake City."
Troy's work has since been featured in the New York Times, Anderson Cooper 360, CBC Q, Democracy Now!, The Advocate, OUT Magazine and Interview Magazine. In 2010 he co-wrote the award-winning play, The Passion of Sister Dottie S. Dixon and in 2011 appeared in the Errol Morris film, Tabloid.
Troy became the executive director of Equality Utah in the fall of 2014. In 2015 he helped pass Utah's historic LGBTQ non-discrimination protections in housing and employment. In 2016, he led efforts to rename 20 blocks of downtown Salt Lake City as "Harvey Milk Boulevard". In 2017 he worked to successfully overturn the state's 'No Promo Homo' law which prohibited discussion of LGBTQ issues in the classroom. In 2020 he led the campaign to successfully protect minors from the dangerous practice of conversion therapy.