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Fresh Kicks

When Chris Burke was young, he had big dreams to one day work for Nike. Mission accomplished. Though he now works for Google, his closet is still full of Air Jordans from his time with the swoosh. “Just do it?” Chris did.

Growing up in a family with 10 kids, most of Chris Burke’s sneakers were hand-me-downs from his brothers. While he might not have had the cash for the latest and greatest Air Jordans, he always had an affinity for them. 

   “I remember going to a sleepover in second grade and obsessing over my friend’s pair of Nike Air Flight 89s,” Chris explains. 

   Not only was Chris obsessed with sneakers, he was enamored by the Nike brand as a whole. He grew up near the company’s headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, and spent many Saturdays hanging out on the campus. 

   “I always had a vision and a dream to work for Nike,” Chris says. 

   After graduating from BYU, Chris worked for a few NBA teams including the Utah Jazz before going back to school to get his MBA from Cornell University.  

   Eventually, a job opportunity at Nike emerged and he jumped on it. Chris worked his way up to lead the division managing shoe collaborations with designers and sports legends like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Durant  — to name a few. 

   “Kobe was my favorite to work with. He always pushed the innovation,” Chris says. “Sometimes his ideas seemed out there initially, but his footwear changed the game.”

   Chris still remembers the pinch-me moment of seeing a stranger walking down the street in a pair of shoes that he had helped bring to the market.

   Today, Chris lives in Highland with his wife, Katie, and their four children. His kids loved the cool factor of dad bringing home shoe samples and prototypes. 

   Three years ago, Chris took on a new role at Google, but he will forever be a die-hard Nike fan. In the Burkes’ new home, there is a 12-foot-by-60-foot room that houses the Nike collection Chris has amassed. They also have some of Chris’ favorite pairs on display at the entrance to their sport court. Second-grade Chris would be on cloud nine. 

   One thing that has been fun for Chris to observe both personally and professionally is the emergence of shoe culture. 

   “Decades ago, most people had a pair of sneakers, their daily shoes and then dress shoes,” Chris says. “There wasn’t much crossover. Today, anything goes. And as a society, we also pay more attention to what NBA stars and influencers are wearing these days; they have played a massive role in redefining high fashion and street wear trends.” 

   Gameday fits are a thing, and the sneakerhead era has never been stronger — and Chris is eternally grateful to have played a role in it!

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Dressed To Thrill

Charity Reid lives in a world of dance — literally. After auditioning for the World of Dance TV show when she was only 17, she gained a name for her talent and now has a closet full of custom costumes that tell her story.

Ballroom dance is known for its glitzy costumes, and Mapleton’s Charity Reid has been wearing them since she was only 5. The professional dancer was raised in Springville where her mom owns Charisma Dance Studio. Charity’s big break as a dancer was when she auditioned for the World of Dance television show at only 17. 

   After sending in a video audition with her ballroom partner Andrés Penate, she was invited by producers to come out to California for more auditions. Charity and Andrés made it to the final round of the show and ended up winning their division. They also earned the first ever perfect score in the show’s history.

   One of the most fun and novel parts of dancing on TV is the opportunity to wear incredible custom costumes. 

   “The seamstresses are so talented,” Charity says. “They come in with raw fabrics and are able to construct the most amazing things. And they do it incredibly fast.”

   Those costumes then go back into the show’s collection and are reworked and refashioned for the next production.

   Performing in front of a live audience, with millions more watching on TV, requires a huge amount of confidence. Years of intense training makes this possible, but having an incredible outfit helps in the moment. Throughout the years, Charity has learned what styles help her feel and dance her best.

   “I figured out that costumes with high necklines and long sleeves helped elongate me, so I always try to incorporate that if I can,” Charity says. “We also always add a thin belt to accentuate the waist.” 

   Charity’s signature style made its way into her wedding dress, too! Charity married her husband, Collin Reid, in 2020 and her gown followed the silhouette of all her favorite dance costumes. 

   “I think because I am so used to having dresses tailored to me, I approached buying a wedding dress the same way,” she explains. “I picked something that had a base style I liked and then added long sheer sleeves and a thin belt.” 

   Beyond looking the part, Charity’s costumes also have to allow for intense lifts, jumps and tricks. 

   “One of the most common ballroom dance mishaps is getting your heel caught on longer dresses,” Charity says. “I once wore this beautiful long golden dress that looked so cool, but I was fighting with the hem the entire time!” 

   Another tricky fashion element — buttons. 

   “Whenever I am dancing with a partner, my hair is always getting stuck on their shirt buttons or their cuff links,” Charity laughs. “There was one time we had to hop off stage because I was tangled up in Andrés’ shirt button! So now, we try to remove my partner’s buttons whenever possible.” 

   Who knew a little button could wreak so much havoc? 

   When it comes to her personal style off the dance floor, Charity is a shoe girl. 

   “I am always either in my Nike Air Force 1s or heels,” Charity says. “I’m short and need the height!” 

   Charity met Derek Hough on World of Dance, and he invited her to join him on his first 32-city solo tour. She went on to do many more gigs with Derek and is currently on a break from his latest “Symphony of Dance” tour. 

   When Charity isn’t traveling, the 23-year-old loves choreographing and teaching at her mom’s studio. 

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Not Her First Rodeo

When Stephanie Feild kicks it at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo to support her world champion bareback rider husband, Kaycee, she does it in her Steve Madden or Ariat cowgirl boots — and sometimes a pink silk dress.

Stephanie Feild might spend most of her days running kids around town in sneakers, but inside her closet is a Carrie Underwood-worthy cowgirl boot collection. 

   Stephanie grew up in Montana, and met her husband, Kaycee Feild, at a rodeo in Wyoming. Kaycee is a world-champion bareback rider from Payson and today they live on a beautiful property in Genola with their three children. 

   “Kaycee has been sponsored by Ariat for years and they always send me amazing shoes,” Stephanie says. “They know I love a heel, so whenever they have a boot with some height, I’m all about it.” 

   Kaycee has been on the rodeo circuit for 16 years, and Stephanie has been beside him through it all. When they started attending the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo every year, Stephanie realized what a fun opportunity it was to dress up. The event is like the Super Bowl of the rodeo world, and there are galas and dinners to attend throughout the 10-day event. 

   “It’s always held in Vegas, and because it’s Vegas there is an ‘anything goes’ approach,” Stephanie says. “You see anything and everything!” 

   When Stephanie packs for NFR, she starts by ordering a big haul of options online. Then she invites over her mother-in-law, sister-in-law and one of her close friends to help her choose the winning styles. Stephanie’s daughters, Chaimberlyn and Remingtyn, sometimes offer up their unsolicited opinions.

   “I had this cute feathery pink top I wore one year that they did not like,” Stephanie laughs. “Remi didn’t tell me, but her cousin let it slip.” 

   Her all-time favorite look? The pink satin dress she wore to the opening night of the NFR in 2021. 

   “It was a little more daring than I was used to, but I took a risk and I ended up getting so many compliments,” Stephanie says. “It was a really pretty light pink silk dress with a corset top.” 

   The biggest lesson Stephanie has learned when it comes to fashion is honing in on what makes you feel confident. 

   “I didn’t really know myself and what I liked until I was 25,” she says. “Knowing what you like and feel confident in is key. Don’t overthink it or wear something just because it’s trendy.” 

   While Kaycee just recently retired from professional rodeo this past year, Stephanie will keep looking for opportunities to strut her boot collection.

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Mike Mendenhall

As the 47th mayor of Spanish Fork, Mike Mendenhall is known as a leader who cares about his community and can listen without offense, compromise without destruction and is trying to leave his city better than he found it. Before his mayoral efforts, he was already community-minded, serving on the city council for eight years, being president of the Spanish Fork-Salem Chamber of Commerce and president of the Spanish Fork Rotary Club. He’s also been the president of the Utah League of Cities and Towns. When not working to improve his hometown, he’s offering the same care and consideration in his own financial advising business or spending time with his wife, Amber, and three kids.

Fully Booked Up for a 5:30 a.m. workout (only because my son is up at 4:30 for the gym, so I’m trying to keep up). At the office by 7:30 a.m. for the market open (9:30 a.m. on the East Coast). Appointments until noon, lunch, afternoon appointments, city emails and city committee meetings at 3 p.m. Try to be home with the wife and kids by 7 p.m. Do it all over again the next day.

Hero’s Journey My mom passed away in 2022 from cancer. She was too young. It was the biggest challenge of my life so far. I learned a different level of grit, love and selflessness from her. I’m still learning from it.

New Chapter After 15 years of banking entrepreneurs, I decided to become one in 2019. It was a risk to leave a comfortable job and take tests to become a financial advisor, which were harder than anything I did in college. It was a calculated risk that has changed me for the better.

Vital Title “Love Your Enemies” by Arthur Brooks. Everyone should read before they attempt to debate differences in the modern political age.

Tired Tropes Loud opinions aimed to make someone feel less than others.

Character Backstory I’ve ridden my Harley in the Sturgis motorcycle rally.

Life Genre Non-fiction. I spend little time day dreaming. If it can be accomplished and is worthy of being, let’s get it done.

The Sequel No longer the mayor of Spanish Fork. But helping my clients, colleagues, and community in other impactful ways.

Author’s Note I try to live by a saying in business and politics — SW-SW-SW. “Some will, some won’t, so what.”

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Danny Kenny

Danny Kenny blew up on social media for a song he wrote and performed at his high school graduation from Lone Peak in May 2023. The video of his “tribute to parents” song is currently sitting at 17.9 million views and 2.5 million likes. What a jumpstart into adulthood! This viral video spurred Danny’s growth as an artist. Danny regularly puts out new songs, while also using his musical gifts to help others around him. In 2022, he organized a benefit concert with other local artists (Paige Fish and Reese Olivera – a past Fab 40 in 2018) for suicide prevention. Danny’s musical exploits know no limits. Catch him as Lucas in The Addams Family at Hale Centre Theatre Sandy this fall, where his real life mother, Claire Kenny, will play his mother on stage.

Plot Twist One of the best surprises in my life was when I was contacted by American Idol to audition for the show. It was a super fun experience getting to know the other people that were there, and I’ve definitely made some bonds that will stay with me my whole life.

Hero’s Journey On Oct. 24, 2021, my friend, Caleb Banta, took his own life. I still struggle with trying to come to terms with the fact that he’s gone, even after almost two and a half years. This motivated me to do a benefit concert for suicide prevention, and we raised over $1,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. I was able to make a personal connection with the audience that night, and talked about my experience with the loss, and played a couple songs that I wrote about him. After the concert, I talked with his family and realized the impact that music can have on people. This was the moment I knew I needed to do music for a living. (Before this, I really thought I was going to go into orthodontics.)

Tired Trope I really dislike it when people talk bad about other people.

Daily Underscore Ben Folds and Clinton Kane.

Vital Title I’m a bit of a nerd so when I read, I usually read manga which is basically just Japanese comics. My favorite manga though is “Berserk” by Kentaro Miura.

The Sequel Realistically, I see myself graduating college with a degree in commercial music and then going on to produce other peoples’ music as well as doing my own music and performing on the side. Ideally, I’d be doing my own music full-time and performing while producing other peoples’ music on the side.

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Gavin McMahan

Gavin McMahan has grown up with his music throughout his whole life. The McMahan family is full of professional musicians, so Gavin is a composite of compositions. Classical and jazz trained, Gavin uses his mastery to compose and produce music for clients such as TravisMatthew Apparel, BYU, Warner Chappell and Amphibious Zoo. He’s arranged for Take 6, Jordin Sparks, Jordan Smith and more. After receiving his bachelor’s in film scoring and audio from BYU — where he also worked composing the music for BYU Sports Nation — he decided that it wasn’t enough formal training for him. So, for the past year and a half, he’s been pursuing higher education in a composition program that aims to bridge the gap between a master’s in composition (more classical) and a master’s in film scoring (more Hollywood). 

Hero’s Journey The biggest challenge for me in the music industry has been a lack of community. I’ve learned to rely on the music itself for support. Music has become the friend I can always count on. It’s always there, eager to help.

New Chapter A turning point for me was taking film scoring and orchestration classes in college and switching from an aspiring artist to a composer.

Daily Underscore Earth, Wind & Fire — without a doubt. I grew up on EWF and have listened to them consistently throughout my adulthood.

Vital Title I’m a big reader, but in the end, I come back to Middle Earth enough to recognize its grip on me. I have an affinity for folklore and mythology in general, but my favorite book is probably “The Fellowship of the Ring.” I love its vast sense of adventure and wonder.

Tired Trope When I have to compromise the artistic integrity of something I made to please a client’s wishes. That’s so hard for me. Music is much more than a paycheck for me.

Just My Type Hruska’s Kolaches is a favorite food spot! 

The Sequel My wife and I hope to start a family soon, spend as much time outdoors as possible, and travel more. Career-wise, I hope to be working exclusively on projects where I can really “do my thing” at the highest level. Whether that’s producing songs for artists, scoring to picture, or orchestrating someone else’s music, I just want to be in a place where I’m only hired for “me” — when someone wants to see what I can do with nothing in my way. I don’t want to feel like any of my work is being compromised in any way.

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M Kim Nelson

Hey, batter, batter! M Kim Nelson is a 10-time winner of the Baseball Coach of the Year, and the 2023 winner of the National Federation of State High School Associations National Baseball Coach of the Year. Kim has been the head baseball coach for the Timpanogos Timberwolves since the school opened in 1996. Before catching the job of coach, he had his own career filled with home runs and grand slams. While playing baseball at BYU, Kim became a 2-time All American in the four years he played (1974-1978). After that, he was the 3rd baseman for the USA All Star Team at the international cup in Nicaragua in 1977, competing in the gold medal round — taking silver against South Korea. He spent two years at the Minnesota Twins Organization, and was the TOPPS Minor League Player of the month in July 1978. His biggest accomplishment? His sweetheart, Leslie, his eight children and 20 grandchildren.

Fully Booked A day in the life begins with a 4:15 a.m. wake-up call, 5 a.m. gym workout. At 7 a.m., classroom life begins teaching anatomy/physiology and sports medicine. At 2 p.m., baseball begins with either practice or games until the sun goes down. Kiss my wife goodnight. Repeat.

Plot Twist That my wife, an artist and musician, said yes to a lifetime on the bleachers. 

Hero’s Journey Life is full of challenges. They come frequently and with full force. We’ve faced life threatening situations with several of our children, losing one to SIDS when he was almost 5 months old. I am sure of the things that matter most. My faith has deepened and been refined with each trial. I know where peace is found. 

New Chapter I played under the tutelage of Coach Glen Tuckett at BYU. He was my mentor and friend. He instilled in me a deep love and respect for the game of baseball and my teammates who played it. As a coach, I find myself constantly saying and doing the things he said and did. His influence helped mark my way personally and professionally. 

Life Genre “Cheaper by the Dozen”!

Vital Title A recent favorite would be “Boys in the Boat.” I love history, sports and cheering for the underdogs.

Character Backstory Most people wouldn’t know, but I’m really just a big teddy bear.

The Sequel In 5-10 years, I see myself riding off into the sunset in a golf cart.

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Sarah Sun

Miss Utah, reporting for duty! Sarah Sun was crowned Miss Utah in June 2023 and is finishing out her last months serving the beehive state. Sarah was the first Miss Utah in history to also win Miss Congeniality, the first Asian American Miss Utah and the winner of the Overall Evening Gown, Overall Instrumentalist, Preliminary Talent and Preliminary Evening Gown awards at Miss Utah. Beyond the gowns and crowns, Sarah is incredibly passionate about reducing recidivism through art education, and works to make arts education available to inmates at the Utah State Prison. Sarah has given keynotes and firesides to share messages of faith with tens of thousands of youth, and will be speaking at the BYU Women’s Conference this May. While still a student at BYU, Sarah has been involved as a singer and dancer with the Young Ambassadors, Director of Inclusion for the BYU Student Association, and is an active member of the Finance Society and Investment Banking Association.

Fully Booked I often feel like Miley in “Hannah Montana,” living a double life. When I’m not wearing the Miss Utah crown, you’ll find me on BYU campus, looking like a gremlin, studying at the library or the Tanner Building. My traveling companions Dawn Meeves and Julie Edwards drive me to my Miss Utah engagements, so I’ve become an expert at putting on fake eyelashes in a moving vehicle. I’m also involved with a time-intensive project through the BYU Student Association and spend many hours collaborating with my teammates to plan events, organize volunteers and create social media content. Before going to bed, (usually around 3 a.m.), I’ll always spend a few hours studying for my finance class and catching up with friends and family.

Life Genre Historical fiction. I often think about the legacy I will leave behind for my posterity and the themes they can pull from my story and narrative.

The Sequel I hope to work in either high finance or consulting for a few years before obtaining a JD/MBA. I would love to start my career in NYC, but I believe in blooming wherever I am planted. I love serving in my church and in my community, and no matter where I end up geographically, that tenet of my life will stay constant. 

Vital Title “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi because of its beautiful writing and the way it elucidates what really matters in life.

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Randy Garn

When Randy Garn was running for student body president at Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho), his slogan was “The Little Man with a Big Plan.” He won the election and continues to be a giant in the world of people-building and networking. After starting a successful business with his best friend and writing a New York Times best seller, he continues to be a people person, working to help people find success in their dreams. For the next three years, he will spend his time supervising missionaries in the Houston, Texas area. While he’s a little surprised by the call, he thinks it’s a pretty good plan!

Fully Booked I work farmers’ hours. I’m up by 5:15 a.m., and the first 45 minutes are devoted to personal prayer and scripture study. Then, I work out and spend some time with my family before the kids head for school. Next, I address my calendar, which I’ve packed with fun meetings, relationships to nurture, and growth opportunities. My most successful habit is to spend time each night to journal and reflect on the day. I plan and prepare for the next day so I can hit the ground running.  I try to do everything I can to go to bed at the same time every night — no later than 10:30 p.m. 

Plot Twist A plot twist was when we were told by the doctor that we were going to have our second set of twins — my first boys after four girls.

Hero’s Journey I was hit by a car while preparing for the Kona Half-Iron Man. I should have been seriously injured, but I was completely protected. I recovered and participated in the race. This challenge was an opportunity for growth. I learned that we can see the miracles in our lives and witness God’s hand if we keep our minds in the right perspective. I like this quote from Albert Einstein: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” I believe in miracles.

New Chapter My turning points have been key relationships I’ve made. Relationships are everything since people are more important than things. I’ve learned to treat the Uber driver and the CEO the same.

Storybook World I most resemble Samwise Gamgee because I’m loyal and do everything I can to cheer my friends and colleagues on to success!

Audiobooks or Physical I do both simultaneously. I listen as I read and annotate. It helps with cognition and memory. This is how I engage, and books come alive. 

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Eugene Tapahe

Ten years ago, Eugene Tapahe left his secure job — with  its predictable pay and beneficial benefits — and set out to tell a story through photography. He bought his first digital camera and set out for the perfect shot. But, after numerous frustrations, he took the advice of his wife, Sharon, to stop trying to take photos of what he thinks others would like, and to instead listen to his own heart and tell his story. That is when the Tapahe story began to unfold. His work has been juried into notable art markets, museums and galleries such as the Santa Fe Indian Market, Cherokee Indian Market, Heard Museum, Eiteljorg Museum, and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Now, Eugene listens to his heART.

Plot Twist Recently, I began a photography series “Art Heals: The Jingle Dress Project,” to promote healing and hope during Covid. The project gained global attention and has also been featured in Vogue fashion magazine. 

Hero’s Journey Living in two worlds is not a new concept for Native American people. Despite the contradictory nature of these two realms, both traditional teachings and modern existence are essential to us. It’s a constant struggle for Native Americans to maintain their identity.

Character Backstory I have been dealing with hearing loss in my left ear for the past four years. It has completely changed my life. I have learned to adapt to my new world of distortion by being patient and trusting that people will be patient with me, too.

The Sequel After completing my graduation (Master of Fine Arts from BYU), I aspire to pursue my career in galleries and museums and expand my work to various communities worldwide. My aim is to create awareness about Native American culture and emphasize the significance of our relationship with the land. I believe that when individuals are exposed to diverse perspectives and backgrounds, it enables them to better empathize and understand one another.

Author’s Note As a member of the Diné community, I learned to respect, preserve and protect the sacred elements of nature at a young age. These elements include the land, trees, plants, water, sky and animals. My grandma taught me the importance of nurturing this connection and relationship with the land. This philosophy has had a profound impact on both my life and my art. It has kept me grounded, humble and grateful for all that I have.