On Saturday, April 23rd the top 10 Youthlinc Utah Young Humanitarian Award finalists will be interviewed at the Carolyn Tanner Irish Humanities Building at the University of Utah. Our Interview Judges for this Award are community leaders in service, education, business, religion, and politics.

Erin Armstrong-Wright,  Assistant to the President & COO, George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation

Erin Wright

Erin is a Utah native and a graduate of the University of Utah in Behavioral Science & Health and Gerontology.  Her experience at the University grounded her interest in community, and being active in the community where one lives. Erin currently serves as a board member of the United States National Committee for United Nation Women Utah Chapter. She has been involved in scholarship fundraising and other projects with the Young Alumni at the U, serving as Vice President and board member. Erin is the Assistant to the President & COO at the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. She enjoys the many engaging associations and activities that stem from her involvement with the Foundation and its varied projects. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking throughout the state, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.  She lives in Salt Lake with her husband Kevin.

Katie Barlow,  Strategic Initiatives Coordinator, Utah Commission on Service & Volunteerism

Katie Barlow Headshot Primary

Katie Barlow has been with UServeUtah for over three years. As the Strategic Initiatives Coordinator, Katie facilitates outreach and communications efforts for the Commission and supports the volunteer recognition and youth engagement initiatives. Known as the “tech guru” of the office, she ensures basic software and technology needs are met, including the maintenance of IPT, a software used to administer AmeriCorps records. Katie holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Brigham Young University and experience in internet publishing for web design startups. She has had articles printed in The Deseret News, The Daily Universe, and LDS Living Magazine. Born in California but transplanted to Utah at the age of seven, Katie claims Utah as her home and currently resides in Salt Lake City. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading, and trying new restaurants.


Deb Coffey,  Executive Director, Utah Refugee Center  & Development Director, Granite Education Fund

Deb's photo

Deb Coffey’s 25+ year career has largely been in the private sector specializing in operations & business management. Deb has six children, two of which were adopted from Ethiopia. Her family lives in Sandy, Utah and she spends most of her time supporting her children in their academic and sporting activities.

Deb is currently the Executive Director for the Utah Refugee Center and the Development Director for the Granite Education Foundation. Previously she was the Operations Manager for the Communications Division of the Utah Department of Workforce Services. She supervised and executed over 1,600 projects per year at Workforce Services and has been recognized by the Governor of Utah for her ability to navigate projects through various settings across all demographics.

Sean Crossland,  Assistant  Director, Thayne Center for Service & Learning, Salt Lake Community College

Sean Crossland

Sean Crossland currently serves as the Assistant Director at the Thayne Center for Service & Learning at Salt Lake Community College. He obtained his BA in Psychology from Iowa Wesleyan College, his MA in Community Leadership from Westminster College, and recently completed the Leadership, Organizing, and Action Program from the Harvard Kennedy Executive School. Sean spent several years as a counselor in a wilderness therapy program working with at-risk youth. Sean is driven to engage people in their immediate community, and to connect passion with action.




Valerie Flattes,  University Of Utah College of Nursing

VALERIE FLATTES 2_smallValerie Flattes has been a faculty member at the University Of Utah College Of Nursing since 2001. Her background in nursing includes medical surgical nursing, obstetrics, long term care, emergency nursing, and home health care. Since 2003, she has practiced as an adult nurse practitioner. She is currently a PhD candidate at University of Utah Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence. Valerie has a strong commitment to community engagement and has served as a member or officer in several community organizations over the last 20 years. Valerie has shown a passion for teaching and geriatrics. She has been a champion of enhancing gerontology content in the nursing curriculum in the undergraduate and graduate programs.

Rick Foster,  Manager of North America Humanitarian Operations, LDS Church Welfare Department

Rick Foster

Rick Foster is a Utah native – born and raised in Bountiful. After serving an LDS mission in Wisconsin, Rick obtained masters’ degrees in Health Services and Business Administration at the University of Utah. Today Rick, his wife Cherice and their children call West Bountiful home. Time with family is Rick’s primary passion. Together they enjoy traveling, boating and dirt biking.

Rick has worked for the LDS Church Welfare department for the past 20 years. He has served as the Director of Administration, Area Welfare Director, Manager of Welfare Square operations and now as the Manager of North America Humanitarian Operations. Rick interfaces each day with Utah’s key service providers in meeting the needs of the homeless, those stricken by food insecurity, victims of domestic violence, and refugees.

Glade Hamilton, District Governor, Rotary District 5420

Glade Hamilton

Glade Hamilton was raised in Sugar City, Idaho. He served in the US Army Medical Service Corps for 20 years. Since 2001, Glade and his family have lived in Cedar City where he serves as the Executive Director of Kolob Regional Care and Rehabilitation, a 120-bed health complex.

Glade has served in Rotary since 1999. He was the “centennial” club president in 2004-2005 for the Cedar City Rotary Club and currently serves as the District Governor for Rotary District 5420. He is a member of the Advisory Committee for the School of Nursing at Southern Utah University, a trustee on the Foundation Board of Cedar City Hospital, and a Board member to the Utah Health Care Association, the trade association for nursing homes.

Glade is married to Vicki Day. They have been blessed with two wonderful children and have three grand-children – 1 girl and 2 boys.

Isreal Santana,  2015 Young Humanitarian Award  Winner


Israel Santana is a student at the University of Utah majoring in Sociology. For the past six years Israel has been highly involved with Mestizo Arts & Activism Collective (MAA), a program that aims to empower high school students, living in the West side communities of Salt Lake City, to develop community-based leadership skills and undertake community-based research projects. Israel’s leadership has focused on empowering young people of color to pursue a higher education, become politically aware, and maintain a sense of pride in their cultures, all while pursuing positive social change.

Mayor Cherie Wood, City of South Salt Lake 


Cherie Wood is a lifelong resident of the City of South Salt Lake, and began her career with the City 22 years ago. She graduated from the University of Phoenix with dual Bachelor’s Degrees in Business Management and Business Administration, and was elected as South Salt Lake’s first female Mayor in 2009. She was named one of “30 Women to Watch” by Utah Business Magazine, and chosen by the University of Phoenix for their 2011 National Icon Campaign. She was selected as “Best of State, Elected Official” in both 2012 and 2013. In 2013 Cherie was re-elected for a second term as Mayor.

Cherie believes that every resident deserves a safe, clean, home and neighborhood, and the opportunity to prosper. She has set in motion the Promise South Salt Lake Initiative, which is changing the face of her city forever.

We also want to recognize our Application Judges who each spend 10-15 hours reviewing and ranking applications to narrow down our top-10 Finalists! Each application is reviewed and ranked by two separate Application Judges.