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Marianne Holman, Deseret News
Mark Hale, right, presents the Pioneer in Leadership Award to Stephen R. Covey during the BYU Management Society Utah Valley Chapter Pioneer gala.

LEHI — During the third annual Pioneer in Leadership gala held in the Thanksgiving Point Barn Friday night, Stephen R. Covey received the Pioneer in Leadership Award given by the BYU Management Society Utah Valley Chapter.

"Our purpose is to hopefully teach our children in our homes moral and ethical beliefs and change the lives of people around us," Mark Hale, president of the Utah Valley Chapter, said. "At times we receive and at times we give, we hope others will further catch the vision of tonight and give back, supporting our leaders of tomorrow."

Among those in attendance were Gov. Gary R. Herbert and Utah Valley University President Matthew Holland. Herbert said Covey's focus on leadership and integrity sets him apart.

"As I get around the country as a governor, working with other governors, it is a difficult time … these are times of uncertainty and as we have these difficult and challenging times it is nice to have leaders who step forward and offer us opportunities for hope. Hope in ourselves, in the people we deal with, in our future.… Dr. Covey has been a leader in that aspect of helping us to have more ethical leadership."

Covey was given the award because he "exemplifies the kind of leadership that we need in these trying times because of his unwavering dedication to excellence and commitment to the highest principles," according to chapter materials.

Covey's daughter, Colleen Covey Brown, introduced her father saying that with all of the awards and successes he has had over the years, his most impressive success was that of a great leader in his own family.

"He was always a master at teaching correct principles," Brown said. "Even with all of his accomplishments, his most prized accomplishment is his family. In his relationships, it is the little things that are the big things. He genuinely cares about the one."

After Covey accepted the award, he thanked guests and shared some principles of leadership with those in attendance.

"Please receive my deepest thanks and heartfelt expression," Covey said. "Our family mission statement is that we serve God by serving others. We build families based on values and principles that govern consequences of behavior."

The Pioneer in Leadership Award was created by the Utah Valley Chapter to recognize individuals who exemplify the pioneer spirit of courage in adversity and integrity in leadership.

Other award recipients include President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2009; and Glenn Beck, 2008.

Mark Hale, the Utah Valley chapter president, presented Covey with the award, which was an original sculpture of a man and woman and wagon wheel.

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The BYU Management Society is an international organization that seeks to grow moral and ethical leaders around the world. The gala is held each year to honor contemporary pioneers and raise scholarship funds for BYU and Utah Valley University business management students. Kimberly Olsen is the Utah Valley Management Society scholarship recipient this year. The Utah Valley Chapter has been awarded more than $60,000 in scholarships for more than 10 years.

Emceeing for the evening was KSL TV's Scott Haws, and Daniel Beck performed the musical entertainment.

e-mail: mholman@desnews.com