Utah Mothers Advisory Board

We appreciate the support and interest from many outstanding citizens and leaders of Utah.  We especially want to acknowledge the remarkable leaders who have agreed to serve as a member of the Advisory Board.

Nikki Lovell

Nikki Lovell

Nikki has received a Certificate in Grant-writing and has used her skills to write grants for several organizations, including  George and Dore Eccles Foundation, Ogden Arts Grant, Utah Arts Grant, and Thanksgiving Point.

Ms. Lovell was selected to train communities in the Netherlands Antilles to eliminate their serious problems related to criminal behavior and drug abuse. During this time she trained community leaders the process of social change. The program continues today and continues to have positive outcomes.  This is an example of how she has developed programs that improve people’s lives and their communities.

She has been involved with education and non-profits in several capacities. Among her many positions, she served as president of the Utah Federation for Youth and obtained funding and hired staff to continue its programs. She was a board member and past president of the Utah Association Adult, Community, and Continuing Education. She chaired the Professional Development Committee and implemented the grants program for the association.  She has also conducted several workshops and trainings on grant-writing to help others learn the skill.

Nikki has been a life-long resident of Weber County. She is married to Richard Lovell, retired president of Producers Livestock Marketing Association. They have two children, both living in Ogden, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


Sharon Larsen

Sharon Larsen

Sharon was born and raised in a tiny town in Southern Alberta, Canada. She graduated in the top 10 of her high school. (There were 10 people in her graduating class!) After attending university in Alberta and BYU she graduated in education and taught school in the classroom and on television.

Sharon worked for UNIT (Utah Network for Instructional Television). She wrote, produced and starred in a weekly television show for 3 rd and 4 th graders in Utah.  She has served as PTA President and created and supervised international tours for “Time Out Tours” sponsored by Deseret Book Company. She is the author of two books.

She married Ralph Larsen in the Cardston, Alberta LDS Temple and they are the parents of 2 children and 4 amazing grandsons!  Sharon taught early morning seminary and institute at 2 universities. She has served in all the auxiliaries of the Church and the general board of Young Women and in the General Presidency of Young Women. She and her husband served as Public Affairs missionaries in Manhattan, New York helping with the LDS Manhattan Temple open house, working in the United Nations and Harlem. For five years Sharon and Ralph helped countries outside of the United States develop the Especially for Youth Program. She and her husband are now serving as Stake Family History consultants.

Sharon loves to read, cook, give parties and be with her family.


Barbara A. Smith

Barbara Smith

Barbara Smith has been the Director of the Utah Family Partnership Network since 2002 and guides the organization in strengthening families to support student learning. She earned a B.S. in Communication from San Diego State University and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

Ms. Smith is a popular presenter locally and nationally on such topics as: Non-profit Public Relations, Communication, Leadership, Community Partnerships, Gifted Education, Safety, Substance Abuse, Parent Engagement in Education, and Parenting Skills and Literacy.

She is committed to the education community and has served on numerous boards, including:
– Davis School Board: First elected in 1993 and served for 5 terms. She was Board president from 1996-2003.
– Davis Applied Technology College Board of Directors: member of the board since 1994. She served as President for 10 years. Her efforts took the institution from a public education entity to a member of the Utah University System.
– Davis Applied Technology College Foundation Board.

Ms. Smith serves on several boards that impact Utah families, including Utah School Boards Association Board of Directors, the First Lady’s Uplift Families! Foundation Board, Trust Lands Advisory Committee (TAC) Represents beneficiaries, Davis County United Way Leadership Council, Bountiful Communities that Care Board of Directors, and President of ASTL (Advocates for School Trustlands).


Shirlee Silversmith

Shirlee Silversmith

Governor Gary R. Herbert named Shirlee Silversmith as the new director of the Division of Indian Affairs within the Utah Department of Community and Culture. Silversmith’s appointment was the outcome of a thorough process of reviewing candidates with the Lieutenant Governor and several tribal representatives.  ”

Her unique career working with Utah’s Native Americans, her solid background in education, and her ability to forge partnerships, all exceptionally equip Shirlee Silversmith to serve as the Governor’s liaison to Utah’s tribes,” said the Governor.  “The State of Utah values its relationships with Utah’s sovereign tribes. There are many opportunities for mutual understanding and finding solutions to challenges like education, healthcare and economic stability. Shirlee is committed to helping us work together to find those solutions, and I am delighted to have her join our administration.”

“I am honored and humbled by the appointment,” Silversmith said. “It is with great respect for Governor Herbert and the Tribal Nations of Utah that I accept this opportunity and look forward to working with the notable Tribal Leaders of our state.  I would like to pay tribute to past directors of Utah Division of Indian Affairs who laid a sound foundation for this work to continue.”

Governor Herbert included tribal representatives from across the state to assist in the screening and interview process for a new director. One of those representatives was Kenneth Maryboy, chair of the Utah Tribal Leaders Association and a Navajo. Following Silversmith’s appointment, Maryboy said, “We appreciate how Governor Herbert has involved the tribal leaders in the selection process.  With this same spirit of cooperation, we expect to develop a stronger relationship between the tribes and the Governor and the State of Utah. I’m confident Ms. Silversmith will be helpful in fostering improved relations.”

Born and raised on the White Mountain Apache Reservation in Central Eastern Arizona, Silversmith is an enrolled member of the Navajo (Dine’) Nation. She received a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Brigham Young University and a Master in Education from Arizona State University.

For the past four years, Silversmith has worked as the Learning for Life Director, an affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America, at the Utah National Parks Council. Previously, she worked with the Utah State Office of Education as the Indian Education Specialist for nearly 20 years.