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The Salt Lake Chamber has selected LDS Church Presiding Bishop H. David Burton as its 2011 Giant in Our City.

He is the executive responsible for overseeing development of the $1.5 billion City Creek Center under construction in downtown Salt Lake City. The retail, office and residential complex is set to open in early 2012.

Burton becomes the 32nd pick for the honor, which represents the chamber's highest business award, since it was established in 1970. In three different years — 1977, 2003 and 2009 — more than one individual was selected to share the distinction, and in some years since 1970 it has not been awarded. The 2010 recipient was Episcopal Bishop Carolyn Tanner Irish.

Burton will get his award March 16 during a ceremony at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City.

His role in getting the church involved in the downtown mall project was a significant factor in the selection, according to Lane Beattie, chamber president and CEO.

"As presiding bishop his impact on what goes on in [the church's] investment portfolio is very important," Beattie said. "Because it has a lot of investments in the Salt Lake area and is the state's largest employer, it does have a big impact. "

Beattie said downtown Salt Lake City has faced many challenges in recent years, from businesses that have closed their doors to the Great Recession. The church's decision to create the massive two-block City Creek Center where the ZCMI and Crossroad malls once stood was driven in part by Burton, he said.

"As a young business person [and before his church calling] he worked at Kennecott [Utah Copper] headquarters downtown in their finance department," Beattie said, adding to Burton's perspectives about what investments the church should make. —

Giants in Our City*

1970 • Eric C. Aaberg

1972 • Clarence Bamberger

1974 • E.M. Naughton

1977 • John M. and Glenn Wallace

1978 • N. Eldon Tanner

1981 • John W. Gallivan

1982 • George S. Eccles

1984 • Richard A. Van Winkle

1985 • Wendell J. Ashton

1986 • Arch L. Madsen

1987 • B.Z. Kastler

1990 • S. Chris Johnson

1992 • Gov. Calvin R. Rampton

1994 • G. Frank Joklik

1995 • Fred S. Ball

1998 • Kenneth Y. Knight

1999 • Scott S. Parker

2000 • Verl Topham

2001 • Spencer Eccles

2002 • W. Mitt Romney

2003 • Don Cash-Nick Rose and Gordon B. Hinckley

2005 • Jon M. Huntsman Sr.

2006 • James LeVoy Sorenson

2007 • Larry H. Miller

2008 • William H. (Bill) Nelson

2009 • Roger Boyer, Ellis Ivory

2010 • Bishop Carolyn Tanner Irish

*Awards were not given in some years.

Salt Lake Chamber