A Message from UPEA President, Dennis Kay

This is the second year UPEA has found it necessary to cancel General Council and conduct the required business through virtual meetings. I miss tremendously our annual General Council. The social aspects, the training, renewing friendships, and making new friends are the hallmarks of this event. I look forward to the new normal which includes future General Council events.

In this very public forum, I want to thank Lori Benton for her leadership as UPEA President during this most challenging year.

I also want to recognize and thank all the Public Employees who support UPEA through their membership. Those who are willing to give extra as leaders of each UPEA District, Advisory Council, State Board and Officers.

A special thanks UPEA Executive Director Todd Losser and the UPEA staff. They have overcome a global pandemic in making sure UPEA has had a successful year.

The hurdles of the past year have been many. Politics have become even more partisan. UPEA has always taken pride in avoiding that partisanship. In working cooperatively with elected officials to find solutions which provide better government services, improve employee working conditions and moral.

In so many ways, UPEA continues to work toward the vision of its founders and first president, Leonard W. McDonald. He was the Executive Director of the Utah State Retirement Office for 24 years. In a 1987 interview, McDonald said UPEA was established to secure and protect retirement benefits, ensure fair compensation, and employee rights But just as important, UPEA was founded to increase self confidence and pride for those who work in the service of the public.

Going forward one of UPEA’s first tasks will be to organize a task force to study and make recommendations regarding Civil Service and employee compensation. The task force will consist of UPEA members who will represent the perspective of employees from multiple state agencies.

This task force is just one of the many ways UPEA continues to work toward the vision of UPEA’s founder and first president, Leonard W. McDonald. He was the Executive Director of the Utah State Retirement Office for 24 years. In a 1987 interview, Leonard said UPEA was established to secure and protect retirement benefits, ensure fair compensation, and employee rights. But just as important, UPEA was founded to increase self confidence and pride for those who work in the service of the public.

I would like to share what Jackie Pino, UPEA Second Vice President expressed so well:

“I have been amazed and humbled by the sacrifices, innovation, and strength that our Public Employees have displayed during this global pandemic. Each and every day, as we slowly return to a new normal, Public Employees deserve acknowledgment and recognition for their efforts.”

Thank you all for your dedication and I look forward to serving as UPEA President for the coming year.