July 13, 2024

Keynote speakers for 36th annual women’s conference


Whether liberal, conservative, traditional or unorthodox, Robert Kirby’s piquant look at the peculiar people he writes about in his Salt Lake Tribune columns or one of his nine books, will be further explained as he keynotes the afternoon session of the 36th Annual USU Eastern’s Women’s Conference on Friday, April 10.
Kirby’s life has many threads in Eastern Utah and he often writes about his favorite people and places in this area. Although for the most part, his columns are strictly for humor, he can be spot on when describing a life-changing event.
He refers to himself as the OxyMormon because his column appears in the Salt Lake Tribune, whose readership encompasses many non-LDS readers. He attempts to explain in his usual humorous way, the LDS way of thinking to outsiders. This approach either alienates those Latter Days Saints who feel their beliefs should not be satirized, or endears itself to the readers.
He started his career as a police officer in Grantsville and later moved to Springville. While taking night classes at Brigham Young University, he began writing columns for the local newspapers under the pen name Officer “Blitz” Kreeg.
He left his career as a police officer in 1989 and devoted himself to full-time writing. He started writing his column for the Tribune in 1994 where he has won several regional awards.
His fiction books include “Dark Angel,” “Brigham’s Bees,” “Wake Me Up for the Resurrection,” “Sunday of the Living Dead,” “Kirby Soup for the Soul,” “Pat and Kirby go to Hell (or heck if you have the sticker edition),” “Family Home Screaming” and “Happy Valley Patrol.” His only nonfiction book is “End of Watch: Utah’s Murdered Police Officers, 1853-2003.”
In addition to Kirby a native of Carbon County who has served under four governors and is a member of the House of Representatives will be the morning keynote speaker.
Sophia DiCaro graduated from the College of Eastern Utah, and the University of Utah where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
At the governor’s office, she has worked as deputy director and chief operating officer, interim executive director, finance director, lead budget and policy analyst, federal assistance management officer and state data center coordinator. In addition, she is an adjunct instructor for the masters of public administration program at the U of U.
She adores political science and studied abroad, but destiny led DiCaro to discover she had a way with numbers and budgets and is working to keep Utah’s economy growing.
DiCaro grew up in Price, her father’s hometown, where he worked as a coal miner and her mother a seamstress. Her father met her mother when he was stationed in Japan as a U.S. Marine Corp. sergeant, and that’s where DiCaro studied abroad, focusing on East Asia relations.
On her campaign webpage, she states, “As a West Valley City resident of 10 years with my husband Robert and my three young children, I share with you a vested interest in the future of the state, particularly in the areas of job growth and creation, education, good governance and preparing for substantial population growth along the Wasatch Front.”
She serves on the Utah State University Regional Advisory Board and Utah Multicultural Commission. In May 2013, she was selected as one of 30 Women to Watch by “Utah Business Magazine.”