Kirk R. Nelson, director of external affairs for US WEST Communications, has been elected chairman of the Utah Manufacturers Association, an organization that represents 70 percent of the people in Utah manufacturing.

Nelson succeeds Leland W. Ward, Thiokol Corp., who, as immediate past chairman, remains on the board of directors. The UMA board passed a resolution applauding Ward for his leadership and accomplishments in 1990.Other officers are L. Craig Taylor, vice president of corporate, government and user relations for Novell Inc., Provo, first vice chairman and chairman-elect; Gerard R. Koontz, president and chief executive officer of Natter Manufacturing, West Jordan, second vice chairman; and Lance Gyorfi, manager of the Salt Lake refinery for Chevron USA, secretary-treasurer.

The five officers comprise the UMA executive committee and also serve on the board on the 24-member board of directors.

Larry D. Bunkall will continue as UMA president, full-time lobbyist and office manager.

"UMA has had a strong voice in legislative and regulatory issues since 1905 because of the caliber of executives who serve on the board," said Bunkall.