You can tell a lot about a place by what kind of conversations are taking place there, observed Julie Hanna, keynote speaker at the Women’s Tech Awards Thursday.

“[In Utah], I feel like I’m in the future,” Hanna said. “You have a mindset I think is an example for the rest of the world and the country.”

That mindset and the women promoting it were recognized at the ninth annual Women’s Tech Council awards. Hanna, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor who has founded or headed companies like WebMD and who currently serves as executive chair of the board at Kiva, drew on her experience as a refugee and immigrant to illustrate the power of dreams and perseverance.

When Hanna was a young girl living in Egypt, war broke out near her home, and she and her family had to flee, first to Beirut and eventually to the U.S. Dreams, she said, are the great equalizer, regardless of circumstances, and the gap between having a dream and succeeding is determination.

Hanna’s dream was to help create a world where there was more fair access to opportunities, whether someone was born into a place filled with possibilities or into a war zone.

(See full article here)

By Lisa Christensen, Utah Business