By LESLIE BEISTLINE
Alan and Karen Ashton of Orem will receive the 1997 Distinguished Utahn of the Year Award Friday at 7 p.m. in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.
The Utah Valley and Salt Lake chapters of the Management Society have planned a dinner and reception for this year’s recipients.
“It would be difficult to find more deserving individuals for this award than Mr. and Mrs. Ashton,” said Gary Cornia, interim dean of the Marriott School of Business. “They are generous leaders in the community and a marvelous example of doing the right thing for the right reasons.”
This is the fifth year a Distinguished Utahn of the Year Award has been presented. Past recipients of the award are The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints President Gordon B. Hinckley, former BYU President Rex E. Lee, motivational consultant Steven R. Covey and Dick Bass, founder and owner of Snowbird.
President of the Utah Valley Chapter of Management Society Julie Mackay said, “We choose recipients such as the Ashtons as models of success, both in business and in philanthropic endeavors.”
Alan Ashton, formerly a BYU professor of computer science, was co-founder and president of WordPerfect Corporations. He serves on the board of directors for Geneva Steel, Infobases, Bookcraft and International Power Technologies.
Karen has worked with the Orem Public Library, Primary Children’s Medical Center Board, KBYU, Utah Shakespearean Festival Board and the Lighting the Way Campaign for BYU.
The Ashtons also built Thanksgiving Point, a non-profit arboretum just off Interstate 15 by Lehi.
“It is important to us to recognize individuals who have made a positive contribution to our community and are role models for citizens who wish to make a difference,” Mackay said.
Past President of the Salt Lake Chapter of the Management Society Phil Hutchings said, “The Ashtons have unselfishly given back to the Utah. They have improved the lives of others by investing their time and financial resources to their community. They bless this state by reinvesting their resources, providing numerous opportunities for growth.”
The dinner and reception are open to the public. The cost is $25 per person for association members and their guests and $30 for non-members.