BY CINDY JONES, PHOTOS BY DAWN PAUL
When asked about their career choices, each of the women I reached out to for this year’s Women in Business feature said it came down to their desire to connect with others. Each of these women are dynamic, intuitive, and creative in their careers. But what sets them apart is the ability to meet their clients, customers, and patients wherever they are in their lives–whether it be fostering conversation, facilitating people with disabilities, or helping someone in a medical crisis. It was a great privilege and an inspiration to learn about each nominee. I hope their stories inspire you too.
(PARC) Bloom Coordinator
Pioneer Adult Rehabilitation Center
When Taysha Kruitbosch learned about the Bloom program at PARC, a project that empowers people with disabilities to use their creative talents and sell handmade items to help support themselves, she knew it was the position for her.
“It was a job where I got to help other people explore their creativity while using my own. Creating things brings comfort and confidence, those are important for people with disabilities.”
As Bloom Coordinator and Retail Specialist, Taysha helps prepare products like handmade cards, ceramics, soap, and candles for clients. She also acts as a liaison with retail shops and companies that help facilitate and sponsor the creators and their products.
“People can be nervous about interacting with disabled individuals, and the Bloom program really really connects our clients with the community.”
Paramedic & Firefighter
North Davis Fire District
Ashley Shelton knew early on she wanted to be a paramedic and firefighter. She also knew that women in those positions had to work harder than men because of physical differences in women’s bodies. In her 20’s, Ashley put herself through the required training and later learned techniques to improve her upper body strength, which she now passes on to new women coming into the role.
Ashley and her Paramedic crew are the first to arrive at the most extreme crises, trained in cardiology, interpreting EKG’s, intubations, and beyond. Though being a paramedic and firefighter can be mentally and physically taxing, Ashley wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“The bonds you make with people are what get you through.”
Bean’s Coffee Clearfield
As a Navy veteran and a mother with a PHD in Fire and Administration Management, Karen Blackwood always knew she wanted to open a coffee shop. “Not only to serve delicious and affordable coffee, but I wanted to create a place for people to gather and connect.”
At Bean’s Coffee in Clearfield, Karen has done just that. Bean’s Coffee opened in 2019, featuring unique coffees roasted in-house, and a small but eclectic menu of baked goods and sandwiches, all prepared fresh in the shop.
Soon after opening, Karen went beyond the usual marketing model, hosting community meetups with the mayor and other city officials at the shop. “You can’t get to know a city council member at a council meeting, I believe residents deserves a space for open communication with local government.”
Click the photos below to read about these incredible Women in Business!
Tru by Hilton
Cadet Mallorie Andersen
Utah Military Academy