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A number of names familiar to Salt Lake Tribune readers are among those participating in Saturday's Real Women Run event, which aims to train Utah women in leadership and encourage them to seek public office at all levels.

Former Tribune editor Nancy Conway, who retired in September, is the event's keynote speaker, and will talk about women in Utah politics.

Tribune reporter Jennifer Napier-Pearce, moderator of "Trib Talk," and "Behind the Headlines," will join former reporter and columnist Peg McEntee and KSL Radio's Amanda Dixon for a panel discussion about how women pursuing leadership opportunities can use both new and traditional forms of media to accomplish their goals.

Their participation will lend much to this important nonpartisan event, which also will involve presentations by former Gov. Olene Walker; Springboard Utah founders Ann Mackin and Ashlee Burt; Maura Carabello of The Exoro Group; Bountiful City Councilwoman Kendalyn Harris; Salt Lake County Deputy Mayor Nichole Dunn; and conservative political activist and former Utah lawmaker Holly Richardson, according to a news release.

Former state Sen. Carlene Walker, former Salt Lake City Mayor Deedee Corradini, Cedar City Mayor Maile Wilson and former political candidate Josie Valdez will also participate in a panel discussion during the training session, which will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Salt Lake Community College, Miller Campus, 9750 S. 300 East, Sandy.

Real Women Run is the result of a collaboration between a number of groups and individuals who are concerned so few women are represented in state leadership roles.

According to the release, Utah ranks 46th in the nation for the percentage of women in its Legislature — just 16.3 percent. Utah's congressional delegation is made up of all men and no women hold statewide elected office.

"Utah women are remarkably capable, and they bring many valuable skills and important perspectives to political office at all levels of government. All they need is opportunity, encouragement, training and support," former Utah lawmaker and Real Women Run founder member Sheryl Allen said in the release. "We look forward to giving Utah women of all political parties who are interested in running for office the tools they need to run hard and run well. If women want to serve on a public board or commission first, or help with a campaign, we'll prepare them for those opportunities, too."

In addition to Allen and other women politicians, the coalition that formed Real Women Run in 2011 includes the YWCA Utah, The Hinckley Institute at the University of Utah, Salt Lake Community College, Vision 2020, AAUW, League of Women Voters of Utah and Springboard Utah.

More information about Saturday's event, for which registration is required, is available at or

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