World Leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Receive Salt Lake’s Highest Award

SALT LAKE CITY, September 18, 2003 – The Salt Lake Chamber and the Salt Lake community will honor President Gordon B. Hinckley of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as “A Giant In Our City” on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003, at The Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City.

President Hinckley will be honored for his lifetime of enduring contributions to the greater Salt Lake community and its residents. As a leader of one of the nation’s largest churches, President Hinckley has had a direct impact on the economic and cultural health of downtown Salt Lake City. In Salt Lake City, he was behind the construction of the 21,000-seat Conference Center, the renovation of Hotel Utah into the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, the creation of the Brigham Young Historical Park, the Main Street Church Plaza, the Eagle Gate Towers office building, the Medals Plaza used during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, and the purchase and revitalization of Crossroads Plaza Shopping Mall.

“Beyond being the head of an organization that has a tremendous impact on the prosperity of this community, President Hinckley has an incredible ability to bring people together in our community,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “His love of Salt Lake City and Utah is unbounded. His positive attitude about what is possible is infectious. His call for tolerance and understanding is not just good advice; it’s good business practice. People may disagree with him, but he is never disagreeable. He exemplifies leadership without guile.”

The Giant In Our City tribute dinner will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003. A 6 p.m. reception will be followed by dinner at 7 p.m. The event will be held at The Grand America Hotel, 555 South Main Street. The cost is $120 per person and $1,200 for a table of ten. Reservations should be made by Oct. 21, 2003 at, by e-mailing or by calling (801) 328-5077. People interested in attending should reserve early because seating is limited. Companies interested in sponsoring this event should contact the Salt Lake Chamber at (801) 328-5055.

A Giant In Our City
The Salt Lake Chamber’s Board of Governors established the Giant In Our City award in 1969. The award was created to honor lives of exceptional and distinguished public service and extraordinary professional achievement. It is considered Salt Lake’s most prestigious award and is given periodically upon unanimous vote of the Chamber’s Board of Governors.

Past winners of A Giant In Our City include: 1970: Eric C. Aaberg, 1972: Clarence Bamberger, 1974: E.M. Naughton, 1977: John M. and Glenn Wallace, 1978: N. Eldon Tanner, 1981: John W. Gallivan, 1982: George S. Eccles, 1984: Richard A. Van Winkle, 1985: Wendell J. Ashton, 1986: Arch L. Madsen, 1987: B.Z. Kastler, 1990: S. Chris Johnson, 1992: Governor Calvin R. Rampton, 1994: G. Frank Joklik, 1995: Fred S. Ball, 1998: Kenneth Y. Knight, 1999: Scott S. Parker, 2000: Verl Topham, 2001: Spencer Eccles, 2002: W. Mitt Romney, and 2003: Don Cash and Nick Rose.

Wells Fargo is a major sponsor of this event. Event sponsors are America First Credit Union, Haven J. Barlow, The Boyer Company, CR England, Envirocare of Utah, Intermountain Health Care, Ivory Homes, Merit Medical, Larry Miller, Neways International, Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Utah, Stampin’ Up, Utah Power, and Zions Bank. In kind sponsors include Bonneville International, Modern Display, and Richter7.  A video tribute donated by Bonneville International Corporation and produced by Scott Freebairn of Freebairn Entertainment will be shown at the dinner.

Gordon B. Hinckley                                            
President Gordon B. Hinckley became the 15th world leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on March 12, 1995. He had earlier served 14 years as a counselor in the First Presidency (the top governing body of the Church). In that position he worked closely with three previous presidents of the Church. President Hinckley also served 20 years as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (the second-highest governing body of the Church). Except for three years during World War II when he worked for the railroads, President Hinckley has worked for the Church since 1935 and as a General Authority since 1958.

As President, he has been the primary driving force for the building of dozens of temples around the world. These and other ongoing construction projects have employed many Utah firms and improved Salt Lake City. Behind the scenes, the Church’s donations to local nonprofit and arts groups also has had a major cultural impact on the community. The Church has also had a long history supporting local business as a charter member of the Salt Lake Chamber in both 1887 and 1902.

Since 1935, President Hinckley has promulgated not only his Church, but the beauties and attractions of Salt Lake. Since becoming president of the Church, whose more than 11 million members are spread over some 160 nations and territories, he has traveled to more than 59 countries. He has given numerous interviews to major news media, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and the CBS 60 Minutes television news magazine, which featured him and the Church in 1996 on a show seen by more than 20 million.

In September of 1998 he was the guest on the popular CNN cable television program Larry King Live. Larry King again interviewed President Hinckley on Christmas Eve, 1999, and a third time on September 2001, following the September 11th tragedy. During the 2002 Olympic Winter Games held in Salt Lake City, President Hinckley did 13 major interviews, including NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw and a number of international journalists. He also met with President and Mrs. Bush, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other visiting dignitaries.

He is also the best-selling author of Standing for Something, a book about the universal virtues of love, honesty, morality, civility, learning, forgiveness, mercy, thrift and industry, gratitude, optimism and faith. In 1999 and 2000, Americans who were surveyed in a Gallup poll named President Hinckley one of the most admired men in the world.

In addition to his Church duties, President Hinckley has been active in community and business affairs, serving as chairman and board member of a number of business corporations. He has been the recipient of  a  number of educational honors including:  the Distinguished Citizen Award, from Southern Utah University; Distinguished Alumni Award, from the University of Utah; and honorary doctorates from Westminster College, Utah State University, University of Utah, Brigham Young University, Southern Utah University and Weber State University. He has received the Silver Buffalo Award of the Boy Scouts of America, has been honored by the National Conference for Community and Justice (formerly the National Conference of Christians and Jews) for his contributions to tolerance and understanding in the world, and received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

He has served as chairman of the executive committees of the Board of Trustees of Brigham Young University and of the Church Board of Education. The Church Educational System includes not only Brigham Young University’s Utah and Hawaii campuses, but Brigham Young University – Idaho in Rexburg, Idaho, LDS Business College in Salt Lake City, elementary and secondary schools in developing countries and hundreds of seminaries and institutes of religion serving several hundred thousand high school and college youth.

President Hinckley was born June 23, 1910, in Salt Lake City. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Utah and then served two years as a full-time missionary for the Church in Great Britain. He married Marjorie Pay in 1937. They have five children, 25 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren.

Salt Lake Chamber      
As Utah’s largest business association, the Salt Lake Chamber is Utah’s Business Leader™. With roots that go back to 1887, the Salt Lake Chamber has been standing as the voice of business, supporting its members’ success and championing community prosperity for over 100 years. Reorganized in 1902, the Salt Lake Chamber is a statewide association of 1,700 member firms representing approximately 350,000 workers. It shortened its name in 2001 from “Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce” to “Salt Lake Chamber.”