Q: What do you enjoy the most about your work?
Chris: Change is a constant in communities, and it can mean something very negative, but what I really appreciate about working with my team is finding ways where that movement of a city gets to happen to the benefit of everybody. Every day I get to go into an office where people are talking about helping someone who is not them and are asking the questions of they can improve the lives of people they have never met.
Above all, it is the people. I adore the mission we have. How that mission is magnetized for a group of people I get to see every day has a deep enrichment to my life.
Q: What are some exciting projects Giv Group is working on (besides The Exchange, of course)?
Chris: I think the thing we will remember from 2020 beyond COVID is a deep conversation that we had time to talk about: how is America different for different populations? The biggest indictor of the side of the aisle you were on is if your grandparents owned a home. 10 years ago in Utah, you could graduate High School and have a starter home, but that is not the case today. We want to help people without a lucky background and make homes available that people can get into regardless of who they are.
We are about to launch program that if your parents or grandparents did not own a home, you can buy one from a collective. We are looking to start a combination Co-Op where residents co-own the building with us from Day 1. Now we can start addressing deep seated issues rooted in poor response to poverty.
Some of our most exciting projects cannot be announced yet, so stay tuned for that.
Q: Has The Shop impacted the way you work?
Chris: People who need to take a meeting or get deep work done end up coming here. They get all the amenities of a 15-million-dollar building for far less money. If we have a big idea to walk off, they you have great facilities we can utilize; it is a work retreat within the week.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit more about Pragmatists For Clean Air and the work you do with them?
Chris: It started a few years ago with the basic realization that with Utah’s growing economic growth, health, and self-image, our air quality is one of most important topics for discussion in the next 40 years.
Our first project is Project Open, which sought to solve issues and create carbon neutral buildings at a cheaper price to build.
Buildings account for 40% of emissions, so we continually research the best way to have emission free buildings. We have teams of people that shows others how to do next project because we wanted to make something other developers could easily copy. Our mission is to try to set a blueprint for how Utah can grow without increases in emissions, and then providing that blueprint for free.
Q: How long have you lived in Salt Lake? What do you think Salt Lake City’s best kept secret is?
Chris: I have lived in Utah since high school, born in Denver, but I have been here long enough to be Utahan. I feel like we are not keeping our secrets very well, people are figuring us out. But I would say we have the best base camp in the Rocky’s. You are in this metropolitan city, in 12 minutes you can be to the airport, and 20 minutes you can be in the mountains. You cannot find that kind of accessibility anywhere else.
Q: What is the next SLC activity or event you are most looking forward to?
Chris: Concerts, I am excited for a large gathering where 1000 people come into a room and they feel like 1.
Chris is an incredibly talented individual and is doing amazing things for Salt Lake City. If you get the change to sit down with him for 30 minutes to chat about anything from Giv Group to concerts, take it!