Utah Lt. Gov. Deidra Henderson presented a lecture as part of Southern Utah University’s Entrepreneurship Speaker Series. Henderson’s speech took place on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 11:30 a.m. in the Dixie Leavitt Business Building.
The bulk of the lecture entailed Henderson’s early professional life. She studied at Brigham Young University, where she dropped out after her first year in order to raise her children. For multiple years, she worked various jobs to help her husband get through physical therapy school.
Henderson’s political career started with her taking phone calls for a running member of Utah’s legislature. She gradually gained more responsibility in this role as time went on. As described by her, she never planned to be in politics but fell into it.
In 2012, she won the Utah State Senate election, making her the 28th female to ever earn this position. Henderson noted that her views were not better than any of her peers, only different.
After serving on the Utah State Senate for eight years, Gov. Spencer Cox and she won the election for their current positions.
At the end of the lecture, Henderson invited students to ask questions about her professional life and general curiosities about politics.
One of these questions was how to get more information about local representatives in Utah. She said that vote.utah.gov is a great place to start since upwards of 45% of local candidates running for political positions are listed there.
Another student asked about the hurdles associated with getting younger demographics to start voting. Henderson said that this is a noticeable problem that she is taking steps toward addressing.
Henderson was also asked for advice she would give to people just starting in politics.
“Local politics is really important,” said Henderson. “It’s a place where people can get a lot of hands-on experience. Those experiences can help them as they move forward, maybe open doors for them down the road.”
After the lecture, a luncheon was held for students and faculty who pre-registered.
Two more entrepreneurship speakers are planned for the rest of the fall semester. There will be one on Tuesday, Nov. 28, and the final fall speech will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 5. For those that want to listen to past guest speakers, a full list of archived lectures can be found here.
Author: Carlos Grilli
Photographer: Carlos Grilli
Editor: Chevy Blackburn