Leading From Behind the Scenes
PROVO, Utah – Oct 28, 2019 – Behind every BYU Marriott MBA event over the last twenty years, Debbie Auxier worked tirelessly to make sure the event was a success and ran like a well-oiled machine. As MBA event coordinator, Auxier’s job is to make sure every detail of the event—food, transportation, travel, and everything in between—was taken care of so that MBA faculty and students could have fun, connect, and further their education.
Retiring from BYU Marriott June 2020 after two decades of service, Auxier will be remembered by faculty and students for her ability to stay calm under pressure and be kind to everyone she worked with. “Debbie is such a joy to work with and BYU Marriott will miss her greatly. She's able to make even the most stressful situations seem manageable,” says BYU MBA managing director Treavor Peterson. “She doesn’t panic when problems arise, but just moves forward to solve them. She has been a tremendous asset to the success of the BYU MBA program.”
Auxier recalls many times when someone dropped the ball—a food order didn’t arrive on time or a reserved event space that was suddenly unavailable—but she found a way to make everything work in the end. Her positivity during stressful times shone. “If you are kind and helpful to others, you get back more,” she says. “I find if I show my skills, be kind to others, listen, and take direction well, everything just comes back tenfold.”
After graduating from then Utah Valley State College (now Utah Valley University) in 1999 with an associate degree in business administration, Auxier received job offers from an accounting firm as well as BYU Marriott. Her decision to accept BYU’s offer was a no brainer. “I needed BYU in my life at that time,” she says. “BYU offered a spirit that I didn't think I could get from an accounting firm. I wanted to be here. Through it all, I've learned even more and I’ve grown from being here.”
Throughout her career, she worked with BYU Marriott’s MBA admission team, planned events for both the MBA and executive MBA programs, and served as a mentor to her front desk student workers. Despite working an often-stressful job, Auxier wouldn’t trade her twenty years at BYU Marriott for anything. “The job is hard work. But when everything's done and you know somebody’s got something out of the event, it’s all worth it.”
One of her favorite events to help plan is the executive MBA business trip, which takes a full year to plan. Her previous times on the business trip included visits to Asia and South America. This year, she gets to attend the Europe trip, fulfilling one of her lifelong dreams of visiting that part of the world. During the EMBA trips, she loves seeing the students evolve and know she helped facilitate that. “The students just grow and learn so much from those type of activities,” she says. “I always enjoy doing those trips because I get to see the end result.”
However, leaving BYU won’t stop her from traveling. Auxier’s plans for retirement are as open as the roads she and her husband hope to drive—in her husband’s hand-built teardrop camper. Her husband, Ben, will also be retiring from BYU this spring after working in maintenance as a painter for sixteen years.
Visiting the grandkids is at the top of her list, but for possibly the first time in twenty years, she is ready to not have to coordinate every detail. “Once the camper is finished, we can just pull it with our SUV, stop it at a campground, sleep the night, and move on,” Auxier says. “I’m excited to see what’s out there.”
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Natasha Ramirez