Sara-Jones400xSara Jones, a University of Utah chemical engineering alumna who has amassed more than 20 years of experience as a leader in partnerships, commercialization, fundraising, legal strategy and in building inclusive workforces, will be honored as one of six recipients of this year’s Distinguished Alumni Awards during the U’s 2021 Founders Day.

This year’s celebration is free and will be held virtually Thursday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. It is open to all alumni and members of the U community. Click here to RSVP and receive a link to the video stream.

Jones is currently chief executive officer of InclusionPro, a consulting firm on building inclusive cultures with a focus on team performance and team innovation. As a consultant, she has keynoted or trained more than 140 groups and executive teams on inclusive leadership, high performing teams, talent strategies, and career skills. She has provided services for industries including technology, engineering, manufacturing, financial services, legal services, e-commerce, distribution, and non-profit organizations.

She received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the U and a law degree from Brigham Young University. She was a patent attorney for Workman Nydegger Intellectual Property Law in Salt Lake City, was head of business development for School Improvement Network, and vice president of strategic development for Patent Law Works LLP. In 2014, she was chief executive of ApplicantPro, a human resources software company.

Jones co-founded and was chief operating officer of the Women’s Tech Council, a national organization that promotes the development of women in the technology sector. The WTC provides mentoring, opportunities, and networking to more than 10,000 women and men working in technology.

She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Salt Lake Valley Hospitals for Intermountain Healthcare, the Commission on Protecting Privacy and Preventing Discrimination for the State of Utah, the State Workforce Development Board, and is co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the Salt Lake Chamber. Jones is also an executive board member for Silicon Slopes, the non-profit that promotes Utah’s startup and tech community. She was named Utah Business Magazine’s CEO of the Year, received the Diversity Initiative of the Year for Women in IT, and was a featured speaker for TEDxSaltLakeCity.

Founders Day celebrates the founding of the University of Utah in 1850, and the U’s Alumni Association annually recognizes alumni and honorary alumni “who have excelled professionally, served the local and national communities, and supported the university in its mission.” These awards, along with honorary degrees, are the highest honors awarded by the U.

Past recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Engineering include former NASA administrator Gretchen McClain in 2015, School of Computing associate professor Miriah Meyer and entrepreneur David Jorgensen in 2017, and former Geneva Steel president Robert J. Grow in 2019.

Click here to see a list of this year’s award recipients.

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