Utah’s business community recognizes local leaders’ contributions and positive impact throughout Utah
Business and community leaders gathered Thursday at the Grand America Hotel to recognize Ray Pickup of WCF Insurance as the 43rd Giant in our City for his ‘exceptional and distinguished public service, as well as extraordinary professional achievement.’ The award is presented by the Salt Lake Chamber, Utah’s largest and longest-serving business association, and is recognized as the most prestigious business award given in Utah.
“There are many individuals in our community who time and again step up to support the greater community, and within this select group Ray Pickup is first among equals,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance, in announcing the award. “Whether he is contributing time at the local food bank or raising funds to save local businesses during the pandemic, Ray is always among the first to lend a helping hand and say, ‘What can I do to help?’ This is at the heart of Ray’s very nature, recognized by everyone who knows him. We are delighted to be able to recognize him as a ‘Giant in our City.’”
Attendees of the Giant in our City event were entertained by musical selections from Sanders Kirk Crellin and Proctor, as well as reception music provided by Jason Steed and Patrick Maloney; and video montages of congratulatory salutations from business and community leaders across the state and Traeger Grills’ Diva Q.
“I am overwhelmed and honored to receive this recognition,” said Pickup. “I’m grateful to live in the great state of Utah and to associate with all of the amazing people who make Utah a great place to live and do business. I especially appreciate the Salt Lake Chamber for the outstanding work they do in representing Utah business.”
In addition to Pickup’s recognition, the Salt Lake Chamber’s social impact foundation, Utah Community Builders, honored Aden Batar, Director of Migration and Refugee Services for Catholic Community Services of Utah, with the 4th annual Lane Beattie Utah Community Builder Award. The award recognizes an inspirational individual who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to address critical community needs.
Batar was selected by the Utah Community Builders Advisory Board, co-chaired by Lisa Eccles, president and COO of the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation and Clark Ivory, CEO of Ivory Homes.
“Since Aden came to Utah more than 25 years ago, seeking refuge for his family from war in Somalia, he has been a tireless advocate for the many refugees who now call Utah home,” said Eccles. “In highlighting Aden’s years of dedication and service through this award, we are delighted that even more members of our business community and citizens throughout Utah will come to know and appreciate his extraordinary contributions to our state.”
The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation and the Clark and Christine Ivory Foundation also presented a contribution of $100,000 to Catholic Community Services to support Migration and Refugee Services.
Premier sponsors of the Giant in the City event included: Deseret Management Corporation and WCF Insurance. Gardner Companies, HKS, Intermountain Healthcare, The Larry H. Miller Company, and Merit Medical Systems were presenting sponsors. Clyde Companies, Dominion Energy, George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, Huntsman Foundation, Ivory Homes, Ken Garff, O.C. Tanner, Utah Jazz, Woodbury Corporation and Zions Bank were event sponsors. The Boyer Company, The Buckner Company, Gallagher, Jacobsen Construction, Leavitt Group, Modern Display, Moreton & Company and Rustler Investments Inc. were executive sponsors.
For more information regarding these awards and a full list of sponsors, visit: slchamber.com/giant.
Giant in our City Honoree bio below:
Ray Pickup recently retired from being the director and chief executive officer of WCF Insurance. He joined WCF in 1993 as CFO, became COO in 2006, and president and CEO in 2008. Prior to WCF, Pickup was vice president of finance at First Health Strategies and a senior audit manager for Ernst & Young. He is active in the community and serves on several boards, including the Salt Lake Chamber Board of Directors, the Economic Development Corporation of Utah Board of Trustees as the Audit Committee chair, the Junior Achievement of Utah Advisory Board, and the University of Utah Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute Advisory Board. He is also a member of the U.S. Department of Transportation Air Ambulance and Patient Advisory Committee as representative of the workers’ compensation insurance industry. Pickup holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brigham Young University and is a certified public accountant.
Lane Beattie Utah Community Builder Award Honoree Bio:
Aden Batar received his law degree from Somali National University. After marrying and starting a family, civil war broke out and Batar hid his family for two years. When his older son died as a result of the war, Batar and his family fled Somalia and came to Utah, the first refugees from Somalia to resettle in Utah through Catholic Community Services.
After spending two years studying at Utah State University, the Batar family moved to Salt Lake City and he took a job with Catholic Community Services to help with resettlement. He became director of the refugee program in 2001 and is still working to resettle refugees in Salt Lake City. For 25 years he has fought valiantly to bring refugees to the state and to protect their rights and identity. Batar founded Somali Community Services of Utah; he is the president of the Islamic Society of Salt Lake, and volunteers with his family to benefit the refugee community in other ways.
Batar also earned his MPA from the University of Utah and served the Alumni Board. He also serves the Utah State Advisory Board and had previously served Utah Judicial Performance Evaluation and many other boards in the community.
In 2017, Batar was awarded the Gandhi Peace Award. The award is presented annually by the Utah Gandhi Alliance for Peace to recognize someone in the community who has worked tirelessly for peace and exemplifies the well-known quote by Gandhi, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”