Yesterday I, along with many other business, education, and civic leaders, attended the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce Executive Summit held at Sundance.
One of the featured speakers was the new president of Utah Valley University, President Dr. Astrid Tuminez. She is short of stature but tall in accomplishments and achievements.
She earned a bachelor's degree from BYU, a master's degree from Harvard, and a doctorate from MIT. She had most recently served as the Regional Director at Microsoft in Singapore for Corporate, External, and Legal Affairs over all of Southeast Asia.
She has a bright and promising future as the new president of UVU. But she did not start out in life that way. She was born to a family in poverty in a farming village in the Philippine province of lloilo. Dr. Tuminez moved with her parents and six siblings to the slums of lloilo City when she was two years old.
Eventually she met up with the local Catholic nuns who had a small school set up to help educate the children in the slums. When she started into school her eyes began to see a different world. She began to dream as she puts it. She began to dream of possibilities, of a bigger world than she knew, and of a future that could be different than hers was at that time.
She used education as a a means to lift herself out of poverty and to move forward. As she stated yesterday at the Summit, she entered the "School of Grit." She took ownership of her own future. She became "A Dreamer." A dreamer of better things to come. A dreamer of things she could accomplish. A dreamer of a different type of life. A dreamer of ways to lift and help others.  
She has worked hard to get where she is now. As the new President of UVU, she expects the UVU students to achieve excellent results. She desires for them to "Learn," to "Connect," and to "Serve." Her goal is for the graduates of UVU to impact the lives of those around them now and into the future.
Dr. Tuminez is a great example of someone who sees a problem and then conceives of a plan and a way to solve the problem. She is a great example for us all of someone who can lift themselves up by the bootstraps and get to where they want to go.
I look forward to her leadership at UVU. She brings diversity, vision, growth, change, and a forward progress plan to a great university in our city and valley.
Thank you President Tuminez for accepting the challenge of heading up UVU. I look forward to the great things you will accomplish and that will help our children and students to accomplish in the coming years.  
And thank you for being "A Dreamer." 
Mayor Brunst