In a society driven by achieving more, Gail Miller and the Larry H. Miller Management Corporation is focusing on giving back. Miller is the richest person in Utah, worth more than 1.4 billion dollars, but she believes her greatest impact starts with the youth. Thanks to two Weber High students, that message was shared with the Warrior student body in late March.
“Seeing this group of students who are excited about education, excited about business, and excited about making something out of their lives – that’s where it’s at for me,” Miller said to Weber Students during a FLEX assembly in March.
She added, “You don’t know what they are going to do with it, but you hope it will have an impact and make a difference for some of them. There are some in here that will go on and be very successful and make a difference in the world.”
Eastin Hartzell and McKenna Best are seniors at Weber High and active in the DECA club, which prepares leaders and entrepreneurs to be college and career ready. Their project this year was to host different promotional events around the school to teach their fellow students about entrepreneurship. They first had Alan Hall, founder of MarketStar, come speak and then somehow finagled Miller to be a Warrior for the day, too.
Because of these presenters and this project, both Hartzell and Best qualified for the internationals event in Orlando this summer. They will compete against about 350,000 DECA members from across the world, hoping to get Top-10 and the DECA Glass trophy.
Hartzell believes his team has a good chance saying, “Most people won’t get such a wealthy businesswoman to come their school. We will stand out by saying we got the richest person in Utah to come. Plus, this ties in women in business which is super prevalent today in business and life.”
Miller, at age 75, is the head of her family company founded by her late husband Larry Miller. Gail Miller now oversees 63 dealerships, countless movie theatres, a baseball team, 10,000 employees, and, of course, the Utah Jazz. However, it’s important to the Miller family to do good, a message she stressed to the Warrior faithful.
With a hand in many pots, yet a hand in wealth, she adamantly believes that it doesn’t take a lot of money to do anything big. Anyone from any walk of life can make a difference. “Money is the most important necessity of life, but more important than money is having core values,” she said, to those in attendance of the event sponsored by DECA. In fact, she adds, having money was never her goal. Using it for good was the goal. “You don’t need money to make a difference. You only need the desire.”
It’s with that desire and goodness that the world can be shaped in a positive direction. She says, “The future isn’t where we are going to, it’s a place we get to create.” That future, molded by service, kindness, and giving back will pay dividends in society but also internally.
Best loved this idea and said, “This quote represented something that I believe many students needed to hear. I think students when asked to think about their future they begin thinking about a job or a vacation. Our future isn’t just about the specific job we desire to have or the type of lifestyle we hope to obtain. It’s a place we get to create. It’s place where we are happy, where we feel safe. Our future is about finding what makes us smile and making something out of it.” She adds, “We have the autonomy to build our lives around us right before our eyes. It’s up to us to create that place. And if we work hard and understand who we are, there isn’t anything that can stand in our way.”