Board of Directors
Josh Kanter is the founder and current Board President of the Alliance for a Better Utah. In addition to his duties at Better UTAH, Josh serves as President of Chicago Investments, Inc., Vice-President of Windy City, Inc., Vice President and a Director of the Kanter Family Foundation, President and a Director of Art Enterprises, Ltd, and counsel to the Chicago law firm, Barack, Ferrazzano, Kirschbaum & Nagelberg. He currently serves as a trustee at the Roland Hall St. Mark’s School, and is a member of the Young Benefactors Council at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, the Temple Har Shalom Art Committee, and the University of Chicago Law School Campaign Planning Group. Prior to launch ABU, Josh was a trustee of the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, served on Governor Huntsman’s Utah Methamphetamine Joint Task Force Subcommittee on Public Awareness, and co-chaired the Corroon for Governor Finance Committee. In 2011, Josh received a Heart and Hands Award from the Utah Nonprofits Association, and was named to the Community Foundation of Utah’s E-5-0, an annual selection of 50 “enlightened entrepreneurs.”
Jonathan M. Ruga, M.B.A., C.P.A., J.D., is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sentry Financial Corporation. After graduating from the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law, he worked with the law firm of Parr, Brown, Gee & Loveless, where he specialized in the areas of financing and leasing, federal taxation, and real estate and business law.
Jonathan is currently a member of the board of trustees of St. Mark’s Hospital, the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law, the Utah Democratic Lawyers’ Council, and the Utah Clean Air Coalition. Jonathan recently completed a term on the Board of Trustees of High Road for Human Rights, a six year term as a member of the Board of Trustees of Rowland Hall St. Mark’s, a seven year term as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of Greater Salt Lake, and a term on the Board of Trustees of The Road Home.
Laurie Hofmann has worked in the Nonprofit arena for over 30 years. She has served as an Executive Director, Event Planner, Health Educator, Fundraiser, Board and Volunteer Development officer and Strategic Development strategist for Nonprofit organizations.
Laurie is a current board member of Law Related Education (LRE), Alliance for a Better Utah (ABU), Utah Presents at Kingsbury Hall, the Salt Lake Committee on Foreign Affairs and the State board of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She is the past President of the Salt Lake Branch of AAUW. Past Nonprofit Board involvement includes, The Road Home, Planned Parenthood of Utah (PPAU), The Junior League of Salt Lake City (JLSLC), Utah Cultural Alliance (UCA), The Salt Lake County Art Committee, Utah Issues, the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault (UCASA) and advisory boards at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. Laurie is a member of the League of Woman Voters, the Educational Resource Development Council (ERDC) at the University of Utah, the Salt Lake Council on Foreign Affairs and the Utah Women’s Forum. She holds a BS from the University of Utah in Health Promotion and Education, an MA from Westminster College, in Community Leadership (MACL) and graduate certification from the University of Utah in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.
Andrea Himoff is the former executive director of Action Utah, a nonpartisan community advocacy organization that she co-founded in 2016 to answer the call of Utahns from both sides of the aisle who, like her, wanted to get civically engaged to impact the issues they care about most. Action Utah came into the Better Utah fold in late 2020. Prior to that, Andrea was an award-winning independent film producer and screenwriter, shooting films in Los Angeles and Eastern Europe and coordinating multi-national crews. In 2002 she co-founded the animation production company Jellyman Productions. She was formerly Creative Director at Weintraub Kuhn Productions and an Associate at Bright Sun Consulting in New York City. She also wrote the blog Everyday Earthiness to help teach everyday people small ways to make a big environmental impact. In 2018, Andrea was named the Utah Nonprofits Association Emerging Nonprofit Leader of the Year in 2018. Andrea received a bachelor’s degree in classical studies from Dartmouth College, graduating summa cum laude. She lives in Park City with her family.
Rochelle Kaplan is a transplant from NYC who moved to Utah in 1998, following her husband, Art Lipson. She dedicated her career to teaching students with learning disabilities in high school in New York City and at Granite High School in Utah. Rochelle recently taught gardening and tomato growing courses with the Osher Institute through the University of Utah.
Rochelle is an avid skier, hiker, gardener, amateur genealogist, and political junkie. She loves to read, watch films, practice photography, listen to music, travel, and in her spare time conducts research into the early history of Jews in Utah. Rochelle serves as a member on the board of the Utah Film Center and the National Council of Jewish Women, Utah Section, and volunteers with Utah Votes.
Lisa Brown Miranda is the Associate Director of Admission for the Lincoln Campus for Rowland Hall School. She is a member of the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee and acts as an advisor to Upper School students. Lisa is a proud member of the Board of Directors of the YWCA of Utah and serves as the Secretary on the Executive Committee and as a member of the Development Committee. Lisa is a Williams College Parents Fund Committee member. She is a transplanted Yankee from Connecticut who adores living, gardening, and painting in Utah with her daughters and friends, but misses the Long Island Sound. She attended Tufts University and has lived in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and worked in the publishing industry in New York City.
Crystal Young-Otterstrom is a composer and coloratura soprano. She received her BA in Music Theory from BYU in 2002 (with minors in marketing, economics, and humanities), and her MA in Musicology/Composition from Queens College (City University of New York) in 2004. She is the founder of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera’s Vivace, and the co-founder and Marketing Director of The Salty Cricket Composers Collective. Crystal is the Utah chair of LDS Democrats, vice-chair of LDS Democrats of America, and serves on the boards or steering committees of UTOPIA Early Music, Planned Parenthood’s Political Action Committee, LDS Composers Network, Studio D, and the North American Association of Young Professionals. Past Board service includes: the Human Rights Campaign, Young Benefactors at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, the OPERA America Young Friends of Opera steering committee, the Messaging, Women’s, and Platform committees for the Utah Democratic Party, Cottonwood Forum, the Utah Democratic Progressive Caucus, Mormons for Equality and Social Justice (MESJ), Utah Cultural Alliance, and former Communications Director of Young Democrats of Utah.