Nancy Workman

Nancy Workman has remained relatively quiet since her acquittal last year on felony charges that she misused public funds, but now the former Salt Lake County mayor is back in the public eye as Sandy's new Chamber of Commerce president.

"I'm so excited, I can't stand it," Workman said Thursday. "I'm just very fortunate to be chamber president during this era. It's going to be very fun."

Workman will be officially announced today as head of one of the largest chambers in the valley during the chamber's career day.

In 2004, scandal swirled around Workman as she was accused of funneling county money to a local chapter of the Boys and Girls Club of America where her daughter was chief financial officer. Workman originally vowed not to drop out of the mayoral race that year but later did, citing health issues. Democrat Peter Corroon ended up winning the position.

But Workman said she hopes people will focus on the businesses and chamber, rather than her acquittal and former position as mayor.

"That's what I don't want to get into. I hope I can turn the attention to the business owners," she said. "The focus is on them."

Before her position as mayor, Workman was a powerful business leader in the state. She was CEO and the major stockholder of Workman Construction Co. and became Utah's first female licensed general engineering contractor. She was also founder and CEO of Investment Marketing, a marketing and public relations firm.

Annemarie Christopulos, chairman of the chamber's board of trustees, said the decision to choose Workman was unanimous.

"Her strong personality and character brings out excitement in everybody," Christopulos said. "She's done so many good things with communities across the Salt Lake Valley with her time as mayor."

Although her contacts with the county and Legislature will help facilitate connections, it's her business background that Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan is most excited about.

"She has a great deal of business acumen," said Dolan, a longtime friend of Workman. "There are currently 42 projects that we're (Sandy) involved in. We know there's more coming. Now that the recession is over officially, things are really moving again."

The Real Salt Lake soccer team plans to break ground on a state-of-the-art soccer-specific stadium on the northwest corner of 9400 South and State Street.

"I don't know if people really understand all the ramifications," Workman said. "The TV exposure they're bringing in, the traffic of the people coming into Sandy to eat at the restaurants, stay at the hotels, shop. It's just going to be a huge impact."

New businesses, she said, are "already pounding on the doors" to get a prime real estate spot close to the stadium. Workman says she's missed the business and public interaction that she had as mayor.

Currently, the Sandy Chamber has about 316 members, but according to chamber Executive Director Tara Burke, the chamber has outlined ambitious goals for the new president, including increasing membership, increasing revenue and hosting bigger events.

Former chamber president Glenn Cobb resigned in January after nine years of service. More than 50 people applied for the spot.


E-mail: astowell@desnews.com