Person 2 Person
KUTV.com | Stories - Person 2 Person: Olene Walker
Sunday, December 8 2013, 11:15 PM MST
Person 2 Person: Olene Walker

Shauna Lake: Thank you so much for doing this. It's so nice to see you again. It's been a little while. Tell me a little bit about what you've been doing since you left public office. We've missed you but I know you have been busy.

Olene Walker: Oh my goodness, well first we went to New York on a public affairs mission for the LDS church and our specific assignment was to get to know and make friends with the ambassadors at the United Nations.

Shauna Lake: Tell me is the mission more about religion, or do you talk about the religion with these people or is it more just goodwill?

Olene Walker: It's more just good will. In fact we were told not to put the emphasis on religion but to get to know the individuals and the countries. Since that experience I still have a lot of opportunities. You ask what I’ve been doing; one of the things that I’ve been doing during the past 2 or 3 years is working to start a walker institute at Weber state.  I grew up in Ogden. I went one year there and then went to BYU and got my masters at Stanford and my doctorate at u of u. But I felt that Weber needed some organization that would involve students in a greater number of internships and expose them to the political issues and to a great extent and so it's up and running.

Shauna Lake:
You said before we started that you loved your time with the legislature. You were with Utah government 22 years isn't that right?

Olene Walker: Yes I was elected to the legislature in the 80s. And I had 4 or 5 people say why don't you run and I was a little hesitant but finally the last day I went down and signed up as a republican and then I went home and looked at my legislative district and found out it was the 3rd most democratic area in the state. So I had to work hard to be elected. But I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Shauna Lake: What was it that made you want to go into politics?

Olene Walker:
I had been in student government, Vice President at BYU. I majored in political science and minored in history and there was this commitment that things that individuals should take an interest in their government. We live in a democracy and it’s up to the individuals to make decisions and be a part of it. And I had parents that were very active in community affairs.  It sort of followed a trend and I enjoyed the legislature--even running. In fact it was some of the best of times

Shauna Lake: You were so busy you had so much going on, you had your family and your career and you would sometimes try to save time by doing some creative hairstyling; creative ways to save time. Do you want to share that with us?

Olene Walker: I don't live very far from the capitol and so often I’d go with wet hair and open the windows and kind of stick my head out to let it dry by the time I drove to the capitol. One time in February it was especially a cold morning and I stuck it out and quickly went up to the office and it still had kind of frozen.  It had frost on it and everybody started to laugh. And it was just because it was a cold morning and I stuck my head out the window driving over around city creek canyon. It was a means to an end at the time, right? Yes it was. I did have to kind of shuttle time because I still was involved in a lot of activities and just tried to get everything done.

Shauna Lake: And then you went on to be governor; the first female governor in the state of Utah, and the oldest governor of Utah too. 73 years old when you took office. Was that just incredulous to you? Did you aspire to do that?

Olene Walker: When I knew that I was going to become governor I felt a very special almost a commitment to prove that a woman could be a very capable governor. I didn't want it to be said that she was just a caretaker, I was only there a relatively short time but I busily got 14 initiatives that I wanted to get started or at least become part of government that would make it better 

Shauna Lake: Do you feel like you paved the way for other women to be in high offices?

Olene Walker: I hope so. I hope other women will consider it and I hope they will be involved in government at every level and I’m very proud of what we accomplished in that short time.

Shauna Lake: You've had such a storied career and a long career in government, most women feel the need to choose one or the other, family or work, you had a large family--7 children-- and had this incredible career, I think all working moms feel that juggling act going on how did you do that?

Olene Walker: A lot of my children were older when I went in. The first time I ran for the legislature I was turning 50 and still had a lot of teenage children at home. I feel like they were an asset and I tried to involve them where I could.

Shauna Lake: And they must have been so proud of you.

Olene Walker: I hope they were. I'm proud of them so it was great. 

Shauna Lake: You're such an impressive woman and I’m just curious what would you most want people to remember about you?

Olene Walker: That I cared. And that's a simple statement but I cared about family, I cared about church, I cared about relationships, marriage, I cared about our state. And adding it all together I think I would want to be remembered for. You know there are many choices but when you really care you're prone to do things. To make things better

Shauna Lake:
I think there will be no question about how much you cared about people and the state of Utah. It has been so nice to meet you person to person. Thank you so much.

-Written and Produced by Angie Dennison

(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)

Person 2 Person: Olene Walker


More Person 2 Person

Person 2 Person: Tyler Glenn (Part 1)
Person 2 Person: Tyler Glenn (Part 2)
Web Exclusive: Coming Out & the Band
Web Exclusive: Trust
Web Exclusive: Going on a Mission
Person 2 Person: Frank Layden
Web Exclusive: Loving Your Job
Web Exclusive: Hall of Fame with Barbara
Web Exclusive: Life with Barbara
Person 2 Person: Joe Lake
Web Exclusive: The Disney Miracle
Web Exclusive: Keeping the Kids First
Web Exclusive: Working With Celebrities
Person 2 Person: Nicole Roundy
Web Exclusive: Seeing the Potential
Web Exclusive: Message to Others
Web Exclusive: Meeting Her Biggest Supporter
Person 2 Person: Joseph Carbone
Web Exclusive: Eye Care 4 Kids "20-20" Campaign
Web Exclusive: Helping Children in School
Web Exclusive: Future of Eye Care 4 Kids
Person 2 Person: Leigh Steinberg
Web Exclusive: Leigh’s Book, “The Agent”
Web Exclusive: Skills of a Successful Agent
Web Exclusive: Athletes as Businessmen & Role Models
Person 2 Person: Mario Capecchi
Web Exclusive: Handling Attention
Web Exclusive: Skills of a Successful Scientist
Web Exclusive: Growing up in a Commune
Person 2 Person: Jim Sorenson
Web Exclusive: Responsibility of Money
Web Exclusive: Learning From Failure
Web Exclusive: Giving Back for Everyone
Person 2 Person: Sage Kotsenburg
Web Exclusive: Taking a Risk
Web Exclusive: Looking Ahead to 2018
Web Exclusive: Handling Popularity
Person 2 Person: Gail Miller
Web Exclusive: Dividing Up The Business
Web Exclusive: Owning the Business
Web Exclusive: Growing Up Poor
Person 2 Person: Steven Holcomb
Web Exclusive: Post Olympics and the Future
Web Exclusive: Getting Started in Bobsled
Web Exclusive: Hiding a Secret
Person 2 Person: Trey Burke
Web Exclusive: Girlfriend & Future Son
Web Exclusive: Crossing the Border: The University of Michigan
Web Exclusive: Developing a Thick Skin
Person 2 Person: Gina Barberi
Web Exclusive: Radio From Hell off the Air
Web Exclusive: Motherhood
Web Exclusive: Meeting her Husband
Person 2 Person: Alan Crandall, M.D.
Web Exclusive: Who is Dr. Alan Crandall?
Web Exclusive: Current Medical Care
We Exlcusive: Moran Eye Center
Person 2 Person: Reverend France Davis
Web Exlcusive: Civil Rights Movement
Web Exclusive: Calvary Baptist Church
Web Exclusive: Accidental Name
Person 2 Person: Brent Andersen
Web Exclusive: Early Stages of Building the Aquarium
Web Exclusive: Size of the Aquarium
Utah's Interest in the Underwater World
Person 2 Person: Robert Workman
Web Exclusive: Goal Zero
Web Exclusive: Provo Craft
Web Exclusive: Reacting to Corruption in Congo
Person 2 Person: Keith Stubbs
Web Exclusive: Bombing on Stage
Web Exclusive: Keith on the Radio
Web Exclusive: Keeping Comedy Clean
Person 2 Person: Pat Bagley
Web Exclusive: Olympic Pins
Web Exclusive: Adapting Cartoons to Technology
Web Exclusive: Cartoon Festival Cow
Person 2 Person: Sean Reyes
Web Exclusive: First Day on the Job
Web Exclusive: Building a Thick Skin
Web Exclusive: Reyes' Six Children
Person 2 Person: Greg Miller
Web Exclusive: Being Chosen as CEO
Web Exclusive: Biggest Lesson He Learned
Web Exclusive: New Leadership Style
Person 2 Person: Stephanie Nielson
Web Exclusive: Waking Up After the Accident
Web Exclusive: Reaching Out to Others
Web Exclusive: A Blog for Everyone
Person 2 Person: Becky Lockhart
Web Exclusive: Leading Town Hall Meetings
Web Exclusive: Becky Lockhart's Ways to Relax
Person 2 Person: Chad Lewis
Web Exclusive: Chad Lewis back at BYU
Web Exclusive: Chad Lewis on Fund Raising at BYU
Web Exclusive: Chad Lewis on paying it forward
Person 2 Person: Matthew Holland
Web Exclusive: Future Ambitions of Matthew Holland
Web Exclusive: Matthew Holland on being the Son of an LDS Apostle
Web Exclusive: Matthew Holland UVU Programs
Person 2 Person: Dylan Ferguson
Web Exclusive: Dylan Ferguson on Staying Motivated
Web Exclusive: Dylan Ferguson’s Family
Web Exclusive: Dylan Ferguson on Having Fun
Person 2 Person: Jon Huntsman Sr.
Web Exclusive: Advice for His Son, Jon Jr.
Web Exclusive: Growing Up Poor
Web Exclusive: "My Life Will be Different"
Person to Person: Anita Hill
Web Exclusive: The Backstory
Web Exclusive: Anita Hill's Aftermath
Web Exclusive: Future Plans
Person 2 Person: Dick Nourse
Person 2 Person: Bishop John Wester
Web Exclusive: Bishop John Wester on Growing Up
Web Exclusive: Bishop John Wester on Coming to Utah
Person 2 Person: Jeanette Herbert
Web Exclusive: Jeanette Herbert on Seeing the Good
Web Exclusive: Jeanette Herbert on Keeping it Simple
Web Exclusive: What Makes Jeanette Herbert Nervous
Person 2 Person: Olene Walker
Web Exclusive: Olene Walker and Making Change
Web Exclusive: Utah's Progress
Person 2 Person: Rocky Anderson
Person 2 Person: Ann Romney
Web Exclusive: Meals Creating Memories
Web Exclusive: Living with MS
Person 2 Person: Tyrone Corbin
Web Exclusive: Being on the Floor at Games
Web Exclusive: Tyrone Corbin's Childhood
Web Exclusive: Father in the NBA
Person 2 Person: Elizabeth Smart
Web Exclusive: Elizabeth Smart on Her Book
Web Exclusive: Mental Fortitude
Web Exclusive: Why Elizabeth Didn't Run
Person 2 Person: Jazz Bear
Person 2 Person: Working for the Jazz
Web Exclusive: Crazy Stunts and Surgeries
Web Exlcusive: Serving in Desert Storm
Person 2 Person: Linda Leckman
Web Exclusive: Linda Leckman as General Surgeon
Web Exclusive: Changes to Utah Healthcare
Web Exclusive: Affordable Health Care Act in Utah
Person 2 Person: Fred Lampropoulos
Web Exclusive: Fred Lampropoulos on Product Copying
Web Exclusive: Fred Lampropoulos on Right to Work State
Web Exclusive: Fred Lampropoulos on Success
Person 2 Person: Miss Utah Marissa Powell
Web Exclusive: Miss Utah's Platform: Adoption
Web Exclusive: Marissa Powell on Religion
Web Exclusive: The Evolution of Pagaents
Person 2 Person: Thierry Fischer
Web Exclusive: The Art of Conducting
Web Exclusive: Recruiting Amazing Musicians
Web Exclusive: Thierry Fischer's Family
Person 2 Person: Amy Rees Anderson
Web Exclusive: Amy on Children and Success
Web Exclusive: Amy on Inspiring a Younger Generation
Web Exclusive: Amy on Kids and Money
Person 2 Person: Robert Kirby
Web Exclusive: Robert Kirby's Career as a Cop
Web Exclusive: Robert Kirby's Military Childhood
Web Exclusive: Robert Kirby's Favorite Columns
Person 2 Person: Bronco Mendenhall
Web Exclusive: Mendenhall's Son's Unusual Names
Web Exclusive: What Makes Bronco Mendenhall Emotional
Web Exclusive: Bronco Mendenhall's Religious Life
Person 2 Person: Cafe Rio Founder Steve Stanley
Web Exclusive: Steve Stanley's Biggest Failure
Web Exclusive: Steve Stanley on Family
Person 2 Person: Rod Decker
Web Exclusive: Rod Decker's Social Life
Web Exclusive: Changes in the News Business
Web Exclusive: Rod Decker on Writing
Person 2 Person: Kyle Whittingham
Person 2 Person: Mike Weir
Web Exclusive: Mike Weir's Winery
Web Exclusive: Utah's Best Golf Courses
Web Exclusive: Mike Weir's Family Life
Web Exclusive: The Green Jacket
Person 2 Person: Bill Allred
Web Exclusive: Bill Allred's Successes and Failures
Web Exclusive: Journey to Nepal
Web Exclusive: Engaged and Motivated at Work
Person 2 Person: Steve Miller
Web Exclusive: Changes to Energy Solutions Arena
Web Exclusives: Behind the Scenes with the Miller's
Web Exclusive: Steve Miller's Family Life
Person 2 Person: Ken Jennings
Web Exclusive: Meeting Alex Trebec
Web Exclusive: Easiest Question Missed
Web Exclusive: Trying Out for Jeopardy
Person 2 Person: Kyle Beckerman
Web Exclusive: The Dreads
Web Exclusive: Nightlife in Salt Lake City
Web Exclusive: Getting Engaged
Person 2 Person: Adam Sklute
Web Exclusive: When He Started Dancing
Web Exclusive: Breaking Point Season 2 Premiere
Web Exclusive: A World of Women
Web Exclusive: Being a Newlywed
Person 2 Person: Pamela Atkinson
Web Exclusive: The Future
Web Exclusive: How to Approach a Homeless Person
Web Exclusive: How She Got Involved
Person 2 Person: Governor Herbert
Web Exclusive: What Makes Gov. Herbert Angry
Web Exclusive: Perceptions of Utah
Web Exclusive: Utah's Report Card
Person 2 Person: Paul Kruger
Web Exclusive: Paul Kruger's LDS Mission
Web Exclusive: Dating in the NFL
Web Exclusive: Super Bowl Ring
Person 2 Person: Richard Paul Evans
Web Exclusive: Political Future
Web Exclusive: Christmas Box House
Web Exclusive: Stories Into Movies
Web Exclusive: Favorite of All His Books
Person 2 Person: Nick Rimando
Web Exclusive: Being Part of the National Team
Web Exclusive: Rimando on Being a Goalie
Web Exclusive: The Face of RSL
Web Exclusive: Nick Rimando's Career Highlights
Web Exclusive: Nick Rimando's Beer
Person 2 Person: Dr. Vivian Lee
Person 2 Person Coming Sunday at 10p

 

Pay It Forward
Fresh Living
Family Matters
Road Trippin
Hooked On Utah

Advertise with us!