A Career of Inspiring Connections
PROVO, Utah – Feb 14, 2019 – From her college years on, Rose Palmer has connected people, organizations, and communities together—leaving them stronger than they were before. When she was a student at BYU, she helped grow BYU Women’s Conference participation seven-fold. Palmer is now back as a staff member, connecting students to the Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance at the BYU Marriott School of Business through her position as event coordinator.
Palmer first saw the impact she could have as a student studying communications. She got involved with ASBYU, now known as Brigham Young University Student Service Association (BYUSA), where she had the opportunity to chair the seventh annual Women’s Conference in 1981.
At the time, Women’s Conference was a slow-growing, student-run event. With her innovative and optimistic perspective, Palmer shook things up by taking a nontraditional approach to advertising for the conference. Taking advantage of the access she had to the thirty thousand mail addresses of people who attended BYU's Education Week during the summer, she sent each of them an invitation to the conference.
The previous year’s one thousand attendees multiplied to seven thousand attendees. “It’s amazing what happens when you simply invite people,” she says “They come.”
After she graduated in 1984 in communications with an emphasis in public relations, she took an internship in New York City where she fell in love with its fast pace. That wasn’t the only thing she fell in love with—she met and married her husband Brian there. With her life blossoming in the Big Apple, she felt no need to return to Utah.
Palmer eventually took a job as a recruitment manager with American Express and traveled across the country. “Going to work was exciting, doing something I loved to do, and interacting with so many interesting people,” Palmer says. Her plan was to continue working full-time and hire a nanny when she and her husband decided to have children.
Plans changed when she was expecting her first child. During that time, Ezra Taft Benson, Prophet and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, gave a speech about the influence mothers have on their children. When Palmer heard President Benson's words, she realized her current plan didn’t line up with her values and decided to make a career change.
“I knew that the pull of work would always be stronger than the pull of being home with my family,” Palmer says, recognizing that, for her, balancing the two was impossible. She made the choice and became a stay-at-home mom for the next twenty-five years.
When Palmer’s third child was born with autism she realized how important it was that she sacrificed her work in order to be a full-time mom. “I never could have helped him recover from autism had I been working,” she says.
In 1989, Brian had a job change that moved their family across the country to Redland, California. Not long after moving in, Palmer was called to be the director of Public Affairs for the Church’s Redland’s Stake. She used her gift of connecting to bring more than 145 entities in the community together for various projects. Her contribution was fruitful and long-lasting, and the city named her Redland’s 2013 Woman of the Year.
Palmer now works for the Ballard Center as the event coordinator, creating events with the intent to inspire. She’s working with a team to get ready for this year’s TEDxBYU event. Since her experience with Women’s Conference, she has recognized the simple genius of invitation and collaboration. Palmer has helped coordinate this year’s TEDxBYU to be a power-packed conference.
TEDxBYU takes place on 21 March, 2019, at the Covey Center in Provo, Utah. Learn more by visiting https://www.tedxbyu.com.
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Maren Cline