Keith McMullin, former president and CEO of Deseret Management Corp., received the Utah Business Leader Community Impact Award at the One Utah Summit on Friday, the annual event formerly known as the Governor’s Economic Summit.

In videotaped comments, McMullin said he was surprised, but honored, by the distinction awarded by Utah Gov. Spencer Cox.

“I thought there were many people more suited to this type of award than myself but then I thought about the importance of the state of Utah and consider it a privilege to be so recognized,” McMullin said.

McMullin said a unique set of characteristics distinguish the state as a particularly great place to operate a business.

“Utah is an incredible place,” McMullin said. “It not only holds a very high ranking as far as its economic performance, but it has a morale and cultural heritage that is influencing the entire nation and will continue to do so”

The veteran leader also offered some insight to members of Utah’s business community.

“A piece of advice I would share with other Utah businesses is this: There is a cultural heritage, an ethos here, that can be embraced and incorporated into your own business experiences and culture that will serve you very well,” McMullin said. “Study it, embrace it and adopt it.”

McMullin served as chief executive of Deseret Management Corp., from 2012 until his retirement on Dec. 1, 2023.

Under McMullin’s stewardship, the media companies of DMC, which include the Deseret News, KSL and its broadcast partners under Bonneville International, Bonneville Communications, Deseret Book and Deseret Digital Media, have undergone transformation and have become industry leaders for innovation. Its initiative in “Faith and Media” has been presented around the world, including at the Shard in London, with Google News in Mexico, at the Louvre in Abu Dhabi and at the Vatican.

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McMullin is a banking and finance graduate of the University of Utah. Earlier in his career he worked for the Ford Motor Company as an investment and financial analyst and also managed several small businesses.

He was called to be second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Dec. 27, 1995. Prior to his call to the Presiding Bishopric, he served as managing director of the church’s Welfare Services Department. McMullin served as a mission president in Germany where he also was a missionary as a young man.

McMullin was born in St. George, Utah, and grew up in the nearby town of Leeds and in Salt Lake City. He and his wife, Carolyn Jean Gibbs McMullin, have eight children and 29 grandchildren.

Other One Utah Summit awards presented on Friday include:

Utah Businessperson of the Year

Lavanya Mahate, founder and CEO, Saffron Valley Restaurants, Bix Bakery and Cafe, and RISE Culinary Institute.

Utah Business of the Year

bioMérieux.

Utah International Person of the Year

Fraser Bullock, president and CEO, Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games.

Utah International Business of the Year

PMI Foods.

Cameron Russell Williams Rising Impact Award

Kimmy Paluch, managing partner, Beta Boom.

Pete Suazo Business of the Year

Rancho Markets.

Energy Pioneer Award

OxEon Energy.

Utah Governor’s Medals for Science and Technology

K-12 Education

Juliette Bautista Barahona, founder and director, Club Ability.

Academic/Research

Cornelia Ulrich, chief scientific officer and executive director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center, Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Industry

Gregory C. Critchfield, co-CEO of EarlyDiagnostics, Inc., and board member of Sera Prognostics, Inc.