Whirlwind Tour Fosters Support and Membership in UPEA

In the spring and summer of 1985, the Utah Public Employees’ Association launched the first “Whirlwind Tour”, with the aim to publicize UPEA goals and show appreciation for public employees. Over the 45-day tour, UPEA staff held 82 presentations, traveled more than 4,000 miles, and recruited 252 new members, averaging 5.6 new members per day.

After multiple pandemic-related delays, UPEA staff members were finally able to set out on an homage to the original Whirlwind Tour. The objective was the same; to share UPEA’s goals and appreciation for Utah’s public employees in agencies all over the state. UPEA staff designed retro-themed Whirlwind Tour t-shirts and swag to hand out at every stop along the way. Current staff members, consisting of UPEA Executive Director Todd Losser, and Employee Representatives Kendle Zdunich, Hannah Gorski, and Sam Unruh, hit the road August 9, 2021.

In the first week of the tour, staff traveled through Price, Moab, Blanding, Kanab, St. George, Hurricane, Cedar City, Panguitch, Richfield, Gunnison, Mount. Pleasant and ended the week with a final stop in Nephi. Staff originally set a goal to recruit 100 new members over the course of the tour, calling it the “Road to 100” initiative. Following the tremendous success of the first week, the recruitment goal was increased to 200 new members.

On August 17, the staff dedicated a full day to the Salt Lake Valley Local Government District, starting early at Salt Lake County Public Works and ending the day at the Salt Lake Valley Landfill.

The next full week of the tour began on September 27. Staff traveled through Roosevelt, Vernal, Heber and Midway on Monday; Spanish Fork, Salem, Provo, Orem, American Fork and Nephi on Tuesday; and Ogden, Logan, Brigham City, and Clearfield on Wednesday.

The final week of the tour took place all over the Salt Lake Valley. Staff visited offices on North Temple and in downtown Salt Lake City, Taylorsville, Murray, Sandy, Draper, West Valley City and all the way out to Tooele. Over 12 days of the 2021 Whirlwind Tour, UPEA staff held events at 100 agency locations, traveled 2,198 miles, and signed up 252 new members, recruiting an average of 21 new members per day

A special thank you to the district leadership and members who helped UPEA staff schedule events, reserve rooms, pick up food, and bring their nonmember coworkers. It would not have been such a success without your help!

Catch up on the Whirlwind Tour highlights on UPEA’s Instagram or listen to the PEP Squad discuss their favorite moments on the podcast. If you’re a UPEA member and haven’t received your 2021 Whirlwind Tour t-shirt, contact our office at 801-264-8732.