In a somewhat depressing time for America, little bumps of kindness and non-greed buoy me up-especially when they come from Republicans. Two quick examples in the last few days. One with CEO of Zions Bank another with the President of the Utah Senate.
Last Friday I had a chat about education (the conversation strayed significantly) with Harris Simmons, CEO of Zions Bancorp at his office. Mr Simmons has been at the bank for over 30 years. I arrived a little early (with Nick, my headed-to-law-school-assistant). As Simmons came out to greet us, this boss of a $65 billion dollar, multi state bancorp conferred with his assistant. I overheard the conversation. Harris had to go to DC the following week. The topic was the air ticket price. He said to his assistant, words to the effect of '$1200 is a lot to pay. Can you check for a lower fare? That's a lot.'
How impressive. Concerned about the cost of the airplane ticket. I thought--those are Utah values at their best. Thrift and respect for other people's money.
Unlike the head of a major bank that held its shareholder's meeting in SLC a while ago, arriving in several private jets, taking the best suites in hotels and living like royalty. This out-of-state company even brought numerous chefs (I met one of the out-of-state cooks) to prepare food for the board while they were in Utah.
Harris Simmons. Good for you. An example not just for your shareholders but for Utah public officials (hello UTA) and businesspeople as well.
Second, today the President of the Senate, Wayne Niederhauser called. He was sending out a letter inviting the legislature to an event close to my heart that I had worked very hard for. The signatures on the letter were those of the Speaker and the President of the Senate. He wanted to know if I wanted my name added to the two other ones. Admittedly, a very small thing. But how classy and kind of Wayne to think of me. I am not a Republican and we seldom see eye-to-eye on issues but I appreciate the bond that allows us to work together, respect each other yet passionately represent our constituencies--and do so without personal rancor or ill-will.