A Moment in History: Recognizing an Outstanding Member’s Dedication

Elaine Bonham began her career with the Department of Employment Security in 1960.  She worked part time as a Claims Clerk for 5 years before transitioning into a full-time position.  As a full-time employee, Elaine was now eligible to join the Utah Public Employees’ Association.  On the day she joined UPEA, she was also elected as Chapter Secretary.

In 1997, Utah consolidated employment and public assistance programs in the Department of Workforce Services.  In December of 1997, Elaine retired from her career as an adjudicator for unemployment insurance claims.

Over the years, UPEA members, employees, supervisors, managers, legislators, and several governors recall Elaine as a fierce advocate for state employees.  In 2005, she was elected by the association’s membership to the position of Second Vice President and served as UPEA’s president from 2007 – 2008.

She has been appointed, assigned, and elected for just about every role and position at UPEA, and has always diligently served the membership.  In addition to her work with UPEA, she also served as the President of the Utah County Republican Women and remains involved as their Parliamentarian.  She has continued her involvement with UPEA by staying involved in the leadership of the Retirees District, Advisory Council, and chairing the Bylaws Committee.

Elaine has been recognized throughout her career with numerous achievements and success.  However, her greatest accomplishment is the pride she takes in her family, which includes 2 children, 14 grandchildren, and 16 great grandchildren (and counting).

Recently, Elaine has stepped back from her active role in UPEA to focus on her family, traveling, her many hobbies, and her volunteer work.  She has made a permanent and lasting impression on those who have worked with her.  UPEA staff and members will miss seeing Elaine but will recall her final line in her Farewell Message as UPEA President in May 2008, “I’ll be around,” and we are certain she will be.