Meet Jessica

Learn more about her background, why she's running, her qualifications, & other fun factoids. [Right here. For real.]

Background

The daughter of an Air Force officer, Jessica spent her youth learning to value the diversity across people and places. Often asked where was her favorite place to live, she answers, “I liked them all. Everywhere has something unique to offer.”
She feels the same way about people.
Jessica’s background in strategic planning, leadership, and education have instilled collaborative values that allow her to rally teams and produce data-driven outcomes. “My headstone will read, ‘She cared.’ and/or ‘She got stuff done,’” she chuckles.

Hard work, innovation, and continuous feedback have helped Jessica excel in her career. “I bring a good balance of visionary and process-oriented; I optimistically look towards and plan for the future, but I also get my hands dirty to get the work done in a systematic manner that allows others to feel engaged, have ownership, and mitigate risk.”

Born on Terceira Island (Azores Islands, Portugal), Jessica lived in Alabama, Colorado, Ohio, Maryland, California, and Nevada before settling in Utah. In conjunction with her love of people and Country, she credits her patriotic upbringing for her flexibility and pragmatic approach to problem-solving. “I grew up with the National Anthem playing before movies on the base theater and spending my childhood roaming the National Mall. Being uprooted every few years was challenging, but I learned to adapt. I learned there is a solution for every problem and that I was capable of finding that solution or identifying the right people who could help me. While there is power in self-efficacy towards positively affecting your career, it also adds a layer of bravery that makes it easier to innovate and to serve.”

One word has been essential to her growth. “Yes,” she says. “By saying ‘yes’ even when we’re terrified, we open doors and windows we may have not otherwise discovered. I had a science teacher in high school that would say “I’d love to!” in response to any question from his students. Those nuanced layers of confidence and kindness have stayed with me. It’s a powerful word!”

In fact, it is those three letters that prompted her to run for Mapleton City Council.


Why?

Jessica's passion for a leadership that is representative of the population lead her to co-found a group of individuals currently "tapping" women and people of color to run for elected offices. "It's important that diversity (of roles, thought, experience, demographics) is represented in our political leadership. For me, I want my nieces, nephews, and my son to see not only diversity, but that we have a responsibility to serve in this way. It was that line of thinking - of diverse representation and modelling leadership behavior - combined with my skills and passion for community that resulted in my running for office. Also, I didn't really want to be a hypocrite as I'm asking others to do the same!"

career

For nearly 18 years, Jessica has worked at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions RMUoHP), a graduate healthcare institution in Provo, Utah. She is often heard noting that it’s much more meaningful to build a university than just to work for one. Jessica values RMUoHP’s entrepreneurialism and vision, but also the ability to affect positive change in the organization’s growth and, ultimately, towards improving the quality of healthcare.

Currently, Jessica is the Executive Vice President of Strategy and Engagement. Within Strategy and Engagement, her role is to advocate and lead data-driven assessment, continuous improvement, decision-making, and strategy; promote institutional recognition and build strategic relationships; and fuse data and story to demonstrate University mission fulfillment.

Jessica currently serves in a variety of community and leadership roles, including:
  • Utah Women in Higher Education Network - Board of Directors, Executive Committee Advisor
  • Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce - Board of Governors, Executive Summit Planning Committee, Education Committee
  • Utah Valley University - Community Advisory Council
  • BusinessQ Magazine - Editorial Board
  • American Council on Education - Women's Network Executive Council
  • Provo City - Economic Development Strategic Plan Steering Committee
  • Utah Department of Commerce Division of Professional Licensure - Osteopathic Physician and Surgeon Licensing
  • Valley Visioning - Agriculture & Open Space Working Group, Workforce & Education Working Group
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities - Peer Evaluator


Previously Jessica also served as the Board Chair for the American Red Cross Central and Southern Utah Region and the Board Chair for the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Business Network.

Regarding her diverse responsibilities, Jessica commented, “I have the best job. I get to be both an introvert and an extrovert. This satisfies my data-junky side and my interest in building communities and networks.”

In addition to her roles at RMUoHP and in the community, Jessica is an entrepreneur and has a business strategy and consulting firm and is developing a new organization with business partner Janae Moss to motivate and support women and people of color to run for public office.

Professional Achievements

Jessica is a frequent regional and national presenter on topics such as strategic planning, communication, influence, career development, networking, accreditation, and leadership. She is also the recipient of numerous industry and community honors and awards for excellence in achievement, leadership, and service, such as:
  • Chamber Champion, Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • Board Recognition Award, American Red Cross
  • Fab 40, Utah Valley Magazine
  • Presidential Award of Excellence, Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions
  • StartFEST Beehive Award, Beehive Startups
  • Special Recognition Award, Utah Women in Higher Education Network
  • 40 Under 40, Utah Valley BusinessQ Magazine
  • Fellow, Federation of State Medical Boards


Jessica is a published author whose original or co-authored works have appeared in a variety of publications, such as:
  • International Journal of Web-Based Learning and Teaching Technologies
  • Forbes
  • American Council on Education
  • American Council on Education - Women’s Network
  • Association for Institutional Research
  • Women’s Leadership Institute


Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology (BYU), a master’s of education degree in instructional technology (AIU), and a doctor of philosophy degree in educational leadership (TUI). Her dissertation research on non-cognitive factors within hybrid doctoral education was published in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Web-based Learning and Teaching Technologies.

An advocate for lifelong learning, after her degrees, Jessica completed certificate programs in financial management (Emory) and advanced leadership (U of U). She participates in regular continuing education activities, including recently completing the Political Development Series from the Women’s Leadership Institute.

Visit Jessica’s LinkedIn profile for more career details.

Personal Achievements

Jessica would tell you that her family is her most important achievement. She and her husband, Dan, have been married for nearly 20 years. They have lived together in Provo, Eagle Mountain, and Springville before settling iin Mapleton in 2016.
“It took a long time before Lukas joined our family and that prompted our interest in moving to a community with more open spaces. We also wanted to build a home to share with my incredible parents, Jan and Judy Dalby. Multi-generational living is a huge blessing to us. Besides having the build-in support system, our three-year-old gets to know his grandparents on a deeper level than I ever did.”
Two dogs, Tess and Ginger, round out the Egbert family. “Every day we play the game, What Did Ginger Destroy Today. Puppies. Gotta’ love ‘em.”

Lukas, the three year old, attends daycare at Lollipop’s in Mapleton four days a week and spends the other day with his Yaya and Grandpa. “The mom-guilt creeps in sometimes, but Lukas loves his teachers and is thriving. He’s the cutest thing in the whole world, really,” says Jessica. “He keeps us young and has been the most incredible miracle. It’s a tough balancing act to manage responsibilities sometimes, but we all have our seasons in life - I just want to use the skills and energy I have now to do something meaningful and give back. I’ll rest later.”

Favorites

ADVENTURE—
“Years ago, I came across a Groupon for scuba diving lessons. At first, a fear of sharks and claustrophobia creeped through my mind, but it was squelched by my “Yes!” tendencies. I bought it for us - without asking Dan - and we ended up going through both the certification and the advanced certification.

We’ve gone diving in many incredible places, but the most exciting and transformative experience was in Hawaii. We did a night dive at a manta ray feeding station. It’s exhilarating - and freaky - to dive down to 40 feet of water in pitch dark (with a flashlight) to experience the incredible ballet performed by the rays. It’s other-worldly! I can’t believe fear almost prevented me from having that experience!”

SNACK—
“It is not a secret that I have a testimony of tater tots. I didn’t discover ranch dressing and its varied uses until I moved to Utah. Don’t get me started on the power of a good fry sauce!”

MAPLETON LANDMARK—
“We love Mapleton City Park! The swinging benches, variety of slides, excellent green space, and pavilions are awesome. Lukas wants to go there for picnics and I love that he has created that association. You’ll find us swinging and sliding along with him, too, although sometimes Lukas will tell me to get off so I don’t break it….Hmm”

“Oh! A close second is the house on 800 South that does the incredible blue Christmas lights on their huge tree! I don’t know who lives there, but it’s A-MAZ-ING!”

SAYING—
“That’s a toss-up! It’s got to be either ‘I do not think that means what you think it means.’ from Princess Bride or ‘I’m not arguing that with you...if I would’ve said that, I would’ve been wrong!’ from Joe versus the Volcano.’

HIDDEN TALENT—
“I am an expert Rock Band guitarist. Or, at least I was before having a child! Someday….someday...”

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