By Hailey Minton • Photos by Adam Phillips
It has been fascinating hearing about the journeys of these businesswomen. Their stories have opened my eyes to the opportunities around us and to ways mothers can re-enter the workforce after dedicating years of unending energy to their homes and children. I’m amazed by how some of them listened to the challenges people faced and not only found solutions, but implemented them. I’m inspired by the courage they had to move forward, in spite of the challenges in front of them. The common themes I saw among these businesswomen are grit, hard work, determination, and a heart centered on serving others. They have grown their businesses with creativity, passion, and their own unique vision. I hope you enjoy reading about some of the phenomenal women from our neighborhoods.
Kassi Bybee is involved in the Visit Ogden Board, Davis Women in Business Commission, Weber Chamber Women in Business, the Ogden Musical Theatre Board, and starting in June, the Rotary Board. Today, she is the Ogden Eccles Conference Center & Peery’s Egyptian Theater General Manager. She began as an event manager in 2003 and was promoted to Director of Sales. Since then, she left to pursue other opportunities, among them, positions with the McKay-Dee Hospital and the Girl Scouts Utah office. Since becoming manager in 2016 the theatre has seen its strongest fiscal years. Beyond her professional success, Kassi loves being a part of the community. “You can’t come to Ogden without falling in love with Ogden,” she says.
Kendal has excelled in sales for a long time. She originally earned a degree in nursing, but the service industry wasn’t the best fit for her, since she was growing their family at the time. She got a job at the Standard Examiner for advertising and sales, and eventually created and took the reins for the Western Wasatch magazine. The western lifestyle is central in their family’s life, and you will more than likely find her and her husband cheering on their children at the rodeos. She was Miss High School Rodeo Utah and Miss High School Rodeo America, and has helped host clinics for contestants who are rodeo queen hopefuls. Kendal gives 100% in her endeavors, whether it is family, work, or running their farm.
Alyssa Adair competed in the Miss Rodeo Ogden Queen Contest for her first time, and she took home the title. As a 20-year-old, she has recently entered the competition for the older contests. “This was one of my first big PRCA contests, and I was lucky enough to win!” Among rodeo queen contests, Miss Rodeo Ogden is a very prestigious title to hold. COVID restrictions changed the dynamic of the competition, since all but horsemanship was closed to the public. This year, they delivered their speeches to the six judges instead of a larger audience, which made it a bit more challenging. She is looking forward to being a part of the celebration, kids’ rodeo, all horse parade, and the five nights of rodeo action.
Ashton Wilson is the Manager of Events at the Golden Spike Event Center. We at Connection Publishing wanted to highlight her particularly for her work in the Weber County Fair. Turns out, managing events runs in the family; her family has been running rodeos for 30 years, some even at the Golden Spike Event Center. Before that, she was an event coordinator and after about a year at that post, she threw her hat in the ring for the management position. According to her boss, Duncan Olsen who is the General Manager, she stood out because of her grit.
“It came down to her work ethic,” Duncan said. “That is hard to find.” She’s a woman who isn’t scared of long hours but who still makes time for her family. She finds the time to hunt, fish, and rodeo with them.