Bastian encourages us to tell our personal stories


Last week, I had the privilege of introducing Tami’s and my good friend, Bruce Bastian at the Peace and Possibility Speakers Series at Weber State University. If we look back over the last 25 years of progress made in Utah on issues involving civil rights, and in particular LGBTQ rights,  a whole lot of that progress has been pushed, prodded and carried by the work of one individual.   That individual is Bruce Bastian.   Tami and I are eyewitnesses to many of the ups and downs and ins and outs of this journey.    Whatever the particular issue, often the driving question was – and still is - “what does Bruce say?” Not only has he made things happen with his donations, he takes an active role in helping set policy.

Bruce spoke to an enthusiastic audience of Weber State University students, faculty and staff.  In his talk, titled "Leveraging who you are to achieve success and make a difference," Bruce shared some of his life experiences in growing up in a conservative Mormon family, attending BYU, creating a successful business (Wordperfect) and coming out as a gay man.

He shared his own struggles with letting others define him, and talked about how once he accepted who he really is, he was able to focus on the important work of doing what he can to make the lives of others better. 

Bruce asked the audience to consider what is their main goal in life.  He hoped that for most people it would be to "be happy."  He said "every person's path to happiness is unique.  Discover your own path and don't let it be defined by anyone else."

When asked by an audience member what advocacy work most needs to be done now, he encouraged everyone to continue to tell their personal stories.   It is the power of stories that changes hearts.    He also reminded the audience that "happiness is a process, not a moment."

Tami and I are grateful for Bruce’s friendship and leadership in the community, and stay tuned for more from the Peace and Possibility Speakers Series. 



Bruce Bastian to Keynote Peace and Possibility Speaker's Series


The Jane and Tami Marquardt Peace and Possibility Speaker Series aims to bring high profile LGBTQ leaders and advocates to Weber State University to provide cultural opportunities, enhance the "welcomeness" and inclusion of campus, and to cultivate the "ally" community.  This year, our good friend and fellow philanthropist Bruce Bastian will keynote our series.  

Bruce is the co-founder of WordPerfect, and has been a generous contributor to the LGBTQ+ Community as well as the arts across the country and here in Utah.  

Come join us for the annual Marquardt Peace and Possibility Speaker Series on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at Noon in Ballroom C of the Shepherd Union Building. We are very excited to welcome Bruce W. Bastian as our keynote speaker this year. All are welcome to attend and the event is free. 

For more information, click here


LGBTQ+ Olympians make a great example


With the 2018 Olympics entering the second week, I’ve been reflecting on the number of “out” LGBT Athletes competing in the games.  This year 15 “out” athletes are participating in the Winter Games, beating the record of 7 in Sochi in 2014 and this year some of those 15 are men.  Standing out (no pun intended) is Figure Skater Adam Rippon.  

Adam’s skating has come second to his openness about being a gay athlete and what that means and doesn’t mean.  According to the Olympic Creed  “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part,” the Olympic Creed reads, “just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.” Few have been the personification of that Olympic Creed quite like Rippon.  

Other LGBTQ+ Olympic Athletes have made an impact on the lives of LGBTQ+ people at home.  Skier Gus Kenworthy, who participated in Sochi in the closet, is out this year, and kissed his boyfriend on National TV after his qualifying slopestyle free skiing run.  Gus said, ““To be able to do that, to give him a kiss, to have that affection broadcast to the world, is incredible. The only way to really change perceptions, to break down barriers, break down homophobia, is through representation. That’s definitely not something I had as a kid. I never saw a gay athlete kissing their boyfriend at the Olympics. I think if I had, it would’ve made it easier for me.”

These Olympians are not only exemplary athletes, but wonderful examples to the thousands of LGBTQ+ youth that aspire to compete at the Olympics.  These athletes are breaking stereotypes and paving the way for the future Adam Rippon’s of the world.  Congratulations to all the athletes on a wonderful Olympic games. 

United Way of Salt Lake Legislative Priorities


Last week, I attended the United Way of Salt Lake’s annual Legislative Preview Breakfast.  I always look forward to this event.  It is an event that showcases the work United Way does, creating a collective impact by working with the government, the private sector and the community.  During the breakfast, we heard from Legislative leaders from both parties, as well as the Lt. Governor, who spoke about working together to make our community better.

The United Way fights for policy that supports early Childhood Education, Student Success, vital human services, and healthcare.  This year the United Way is also supporting 2 ballot initiatives, Our Schools Now, and Utah Decides Healthcare.  To learn more about Our Schools now, visit and to learn more about Utah Decides Healthcare, visit

During the 2018 Legislative Session, there are several key issues the legislature will take up, including high quality preschool, literacy, school counselors and effective instruction.  This year, you can help the United Way advocate for these important issues by visiting


Quiet Heros - Show Times announced!

Quiet heros 2.jpg

Award winning director Jenny Mackenzie along with Jared Ruga have produced an incredible film telling the story of Dr. Ries, and Dr. Snyder called Quiet Heros.  Quiet Heros debuts on Sun January 21 at the Sundance Film Festival.  

Sun. 1/21, 6:30 p.m., Wagner, SLC
Tue. 1/23, noon, Egyptian, PC
Fri. 1/26, 7:00 p.m., Holiday 4, PC

Advance tickets are already sold out, so click here to learn about the waiting list.  Tami and I are proud to support the preservation of the work done by Dr. Kristen Ries and Dr. Maggie Snyder and look forward to seeing this film.   For more information about the Sundance Film Festival, visit