I started Utah Valley Magazine in 2000, and for two decades I’ve been featuring entrepreneurs, athletes, politicians, high schoolers, teachers, parents, lookalikes, and do-gooders. I have had a front row seat to the state’s economic boom with our second publication, Utah Valley BusinessQ. I’ve sat in thousands of offices and homes as I’ve heard success stories and lessons learned. Thirteen years ago, I started the UV50 to identify Utah Valley’s top 50 businesses and I’ve celebrated these 50 businesses in both print and in person with an accompanying gala (with the exception of this year — #socialdistancing).
In May 2019, Spencer Cox asked me to sit on his “kitchen cabinet” as he prepared to announce his candidacy for governor. In October 2019, he asked me and two other women to lead “Women for Utah,” the initiative he and Abby envisioned to encourage women to get involved in the political process. I continued to support the campaign as an endorser, flyer deliverer, phone caller and general cheerleader. And now it’s my turn to throw my name in the ring and be part of the conversation.
I am a perpetual problem-solver and listener. I have spent decades taking notes and aggregating information, and I will bring my listening ear and leadership to the Utah Senate. In short, I am very much like you. I’m raising a family and looking to do my part in ensuring that Utah is THE PLACE for our children and grandchildren to thrive. I ask for your support in being Senate District 14’s voice for the women, men, children and businesses in our exceptional area.
My husband, Matt Bennett, and I have raised our five children in Cedar Hills and Pleasant Grove. The oldest two got married a year ago and added two more to our family.
Utah Valley University Foundation Board Member + Emcee of UVU Scholarship Ball (2019-2020)
Featured First Female Speaker of the House Becky Lockhart on the cover of Utah Valley Magazine, 2014.
Awarded Top Woman Entrepreneur in Media by Folio Magazine, alongside Martha Stewart who was given the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Served in the Cox campaign as a co-chair of Women for Utah, worked on the Cox Transition Team that researched and reported back on the Labor Commission.
Since 2008, BusinessQ Magazine has hosted the UV50 awards (Utah County’s own Inc. 500). We feature the top 50 businesses in print and in person at the awards gala.
For 20 years, I’ve served on various nonprofit boards, including the United Way of Utah County.
“Jeanette Bennett is a trusted voice in our Utah community. She is principled, she is a collaborator, and perhaps most importantly, she is a listener. Your issues will be her issues, her voice will be your voice. We need her leadership on Utah’s Capitol Hill.”
— Senator Deidre Henderson, Utah’s Lieutenant Governor-Elect
“With Spencer Cox appointing Senator Hemmert to his cabinet, delegates in District 14 have the opportunity to select an incredible replacement: Our dear friend Jeanette Bennett. Jeanette is an unheralded hero in our community and the exact type of person we hope to inspire to get more involved in state government. When good people who care about Utah’s future step up, we’re going to support them — and ask that you do, too. You may know her as the CEO of Utah Valley Magazine, a position she’s thrived in for 20+ years. From United Way, Silicon Slopes, UVU, and Utah Philanthropy Day, she’s been a true difference maker. Most importantly, she is a mom of 5, a cancer survivor and a Utahn at Heart. Jeanette has a special ability to connect with others, and would make a terrific Senator. We need #BennettforSenate, and she needs all the support you can give. Please join me now in donating (@bennettforsenate on Venmo), volunteering and spreading the word for Jeanette!”
— Abby Cox, Utah’s Next First Lady
As the daughter of educators and the mother of five students (two in college, two in high school, and one in elementary school), I have been the beneficiary of quality teaching and meaningful educational leadership. Education is a leading indicator of Utah’s future economic success. We must inspire the next generation to solve the problems their parents could not. I am focused on preparing our students for the jobs of tomorrow, many of which do not exist today. I have served on the Utah Valley University Foundation Board and the Alpine School District Foundation Board, and I have witnessed first-hand the dedication and creativity of teachers as they wrestle with the challenges of full classrooms and low budgets.The future of Utah is sitting in a socially distanced classroom today. By prioritizing education, we can fulfill our constitutional duty to our schoolchildren and prepare our state for a bright future. For the past 20 years, one of my favorite articles that we produce every year features high school seniors from district schools, charter schools and private schools who are most likely to change the world. I am passionate about supporting students and teachers.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community and our state. I have been both the recipient of government programs (thank you, PPP) and also the brunt of tax burdens that create barriers for startup companies. I am passionate about maintaining the proper role of government when it comes to creating a business-friendly climate. Economic policies are human policies. Utah has spent much of the past decade at the top of lists naming the best places to start a business, live and raise a family. The state’s leadership in this next decade can ensure that opportunity and prosperity are not hindered by government. The government works for the people — not the other way around.
One of the CEOs in Silicon Slopes told me he specifically chose to build his expansive headquarters outside of Utah County because of transportation issues near the Point of the Mountain. Governor Gary Herbert told me in one of our interviews that if a politician had fought for a belt loop around Utah Valley (think I-215 from Alpine to BYU), the person would have been voted out of office — but he said that 20 years later, a statue would be erected in his or her honor for having the foresight and courage to take the long view. I am passionate about finding long-term solutions to Utah’s transportation issues. The Wasatch Front corridor is leading the nation in many ways. We also need to lead the United States in innovative transportation solutions. We must continue to prioritize strategies that aren’t simply a transportation Band-Aid. We need the proper infrastructure to support the growth of Silicon Slopes and beyond.
As I’ve sat around conference room tables and across desks from CEOs, I’ve developed a passion for Utah Valley that is unmatched. This is the epicenter of Utah’s growth in terms of economics, culture and infrastructure. Utah Valley has unique challenges when it comes to cost of housing, transportation, limited land, and education. I will continue to represent and prioritize Utah Valley’s short-term and long-term interests as part of Utah’s statewide planning and initiatives.
I have five amazing (and often messy) children. Devastatingly, I lost another pregnancy at 13 weeks . I am unapologetically pro-life. I believe abortions should be rare, only in the case of danger to the mother, rape or incest. I also believe more can be done to promote the culture of LIFE by supporting single women and also by working together on the conditions that lead to unwanted pregnancies. To truly make progress toward fewer abortions in this country, we cannot simply advocate against abortion. We also need to advocate for women throughout their lives to have the confidence, knowledge and resources to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
For the first six weeks of Utah’s public battle against COVID-19, I was attending multiple press conferences and Zoom calls a day to wrap my head around what was happening. I wrote several comprehensive updates a week and posted them on UtahValley360.com and on my Facebook page. I didn’t gain any revenue from doing this. I simply wanted to jump in and help — and my skill set centers on communication. I observed others in the state who also offered up their skills and resources. I watched our state unify around addressing what felt like an instant pandemic. I observed elected and non-elected Utahns step up and offer information and solutions. It was impressive. As the year wore on, that unity dissipated into disagreement. I believe we need to come together as a state and once again assume the best of those in decision-making positions.
As Utahns and Americans, we have endured much rapid change this year. I believe it is in our state’s best financial interest to leverage technology and innovation without raising taxes on hardworking Utahns, families and businesses.
Utah’s public lands are unique, sacred and enhance the quality of life in our state. How our lands are managed impacts us all, from those in southern, rural Utah to those in Senate District 14 who recreate in our canyons and mountains. I oppose decisions made by heavy-handed administrations in Washington, D.C., and support President Trump’s actions to reduce the size of national monuments within our state. The fundamental truth? It is best for management decisions to be made at the most local level.
I believe the U.S. Constitution is an inspired document and the foundation for the unparalleled freedom and prosperity we enjoy in our country. But as we have grown as a nation, we have fallen as a nation further away from these ideals. As your state senator, I will advocate for states’ rights, federalism, individual rights, limited government and free market capitalism.
Why I Am Running
For 20 years, I’ve been writing about people who left their comfort zone and pursued their dreams. I’ve done much of that myself as I’ve built a publishing company and even been named Top Woman Entrepreneur in Media by Folio Magazine. I also went through a cancer journey this year, which has thankfully led to a clean bill of health. I’m ready to continue doing what I love: Listening to, believing in and supporting our community.
A combination of my desire to pursue a challenge — and my understanding that every day is a gift not to be wasted — has led me to run for the Utah State Senate, District 14. This is a special election to fill the seat vacated last week when Senator Dan Hemmert was tapped for a full-time position with the Cox administration. The race will be decided by county delegates in Senate District 14 by the end of this month.
I believe now is the time for me to step forward as a passionate community advocate, informed voter, successful small business owner, and mother to five children. I’m a citizen who wants to bring my skill set to the state capitol as I specifically represent the incredible people of Utah County and the values we share. I exemplify the future of Utah, its dedication to technology and hope for the next generation. I bring much-needed gender representation to state government (did you know there are more senators named Dan than there are Republican women?) and I’m a forward-thinker who wants to build on the past but plan for the days ahead.
If you are a delegate or you know someone who is, please encourage them to consider me for this open Senate position. You can also help by contributing or volunteering your time. Contact me and I’ll be in touch.
Awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Business by Utah Valley University, 2019
Chair-Elect of Statewide Utah Philanthropy Day, 2021 (Emcee in 2019)
Jeanette At a Glance
- Bachelor’s and Master’s in Journalism/Communications at BYU
- Honorary Doctorate in Business from UVU
- Mother of five
- Mother-in-law to two
- Wife of 25 years to business partner, Matt Bennett
- Started Utah Valley Magazine in 2000 and I continue to grow the company from our Orem office
- Named Small Business of the Year in 2006 by Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce
- Named Business Leader of the Year + Keynote Speaker at UVU’s MBA graduation, 2018
- Named Top Woman Entrepreneur in Media in a NYC ceremony in June 2018
- Chair of Utah Philanthropy Day, 2021
- Emcee of UVU Scholarship Ball, Sego Awards, Utah Philanthropy Day
- Board member of United Way of Utah County, UVU Foundation Board
- Transition team member for Cox administration
- Former member of Alpine School District Foundation + Timpanogos Hospital + Silicon Slopes
- Utah’s Mother of the Year finalist, 2019
- Taught at Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) for two years
- Thyroid cancer survivor
- Love/hate relationship with running, the stock market and winter
- Love/love relationship with motherhood, Utah’s canyons, and inspiring youth and young adults