Distinguished Alumni

lisa gough

Lisa Gough

Lisa Gough – 2017 Distinguished Alumni

Lisa Gough returned to school after she was passed up for a promotion at a local HVAC company solely because she didn’t have a college degree. “The day my boss told me I wouldn’t be considered is the day that I enrolled at SLCC,” Gough recalls. She enrolled at Salt Lake Community College and received her associate’s degree in business in 1995. A single mother at the time, she credits the college for accommodating students who are trying to balance work and family by offering a wide range of class availability. “It was flexible, which helped tremendously because I was a nontraditional student at the time,” Gough says. “I thought the small class sizes made a big difference. They created a great learning environment.” Gough says that many of the classes at SLCC helped teach fundamental skills such as public speaking, communication and collaboration, all core skills she continues to use today.

She continued her education and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Utah in 1997, the same year she was hired as a staff accountant at Sysco Intermountain. She earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Westminster College in 2007, walking on graduation day with her son, Justin.

Gough went on to hold several high-ranking positions before being promoted to president of Sysco Intermountain in 2010. She was elevated further to corporate vice president of Sysco in 2015.

She has been featured as one of Utah's 30 Women to Watch by Utah Business in 2009. In 2013, the Salt Lake Chamber honored Gough by naming her a “prominent woman” in local business. Gough has volunteered with The First Tee of Utah and donated to a variety of local charities each year.

lisa gough

Shawn Newell

Shawn Newell – 2017 Distinguished Alumni

Shawn Newell is the vice president of business development at Industrial Supply Company. His motto is “Education is a path to success.” Employed by Industrial Supply Company for more than 20 years, Newell views his connection to customers as essential to understanding their needs. He received his Associate of Science degree in marketing management from Salt Lake Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from the University of Utah and a master’s degree in management from the University of Phoenix. Newell said he liked the intimacy of small class sizes at SLCC and credits marketing professor Curtis Youngman with having an impact in his life. “It is humbling to be recognized by an educational institution, knowing how when I was young, I struggled with school,” he says. “I had to learn, at a young age, that my future depended on my willingness to put forth the effort to create what I want through the educational process.”

He approaches his leadership role in sales with the same competitive spirit that drove him to succeed in football at the University of Utah. In 1984, he tried out to play with the Chicago Bears, but injuries prevented Newell from pursuing NFL dreams. Newell is the current Vice President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Salt Lake Chapter, a Program Advisory Committee member of SLCC’s Business Marketing department. He is also a certified sports conditioning specialist and certified strength coach, sports official. Newell serves as a commission member for the Governor's Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Commission. He recently started a scholarship for SLCC marketing students.