Appointed 2019. Ms. Church’s professional background includes more than 30 years of public and private service as an attorney and community activist. She served as Vice President/General Counsel for a Utah-based Fortune 500 company where she was involved in negotiating the venue agreements for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games. She served in the Cabinet of two Utah Governors where she advocated for issues of social justice at all levels, from helping individual families negotiate the challenges of mental illness to advocating at a national level for more effective substance abuse prevention strategies during Utah’s methamphetamine epidemic.
As Executive Director of Utah’s Department of Human Services, Ms. Church oversaw 5,000 employees and a $700 million annual budget addressing child protection, juvenile justice, mental illness, drug addiction, services for people with disabilities, elder abuse, and child support collection. Following that service, she was appointed as the Administrator for Utah’s Juvenile Court system, where she was able to continue her advocacy for youth and families across 29 courts statewide. She worked with judges and court staff to prioritize the needs of underserved youth such as girls in the juvenile justice system and teenagers aging out of foster care without family attachments.
Her community volunteer service focuses on issues of social justice, especially for youth and women who need additional advocacy. Ms. Church worked as President of Women Lawyers of Utah to encourage more women to apply for judgeships, and then was appointed by Governor Michael Leavitt to the Judicial Nominating Commission where she was able to advocate for many women appointed to the Utah courts. Ms. Church has served for many years on the boards that champion higher education, specifically the Dixie State University Board of Trustees and the Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority. She is a first-generation college graduate and sees the importance of providing college educations for youth across all income groups in Utah. She is also passionate about bringing resources to homeless youth through service with Volunteers of America.