Chief Executive Officer
Brandy Grace is the Chief Executive Officer of the Utah Association of Counties. Before joining UAC, Brandy worked for Millard County, hired as a Deputy Auditor at just 20 years old. During that time, Brandy had the opportunity to work not only in the auditor’s office, but also in the treasurer, assessor, and commission offices. This provided Brandy with a deeper understanding of the roles, responsibilities, and operations of various county elected offices. Brandy later served as the elected County Auditor for almost 15 years.
In 2014, Brandy was elected by her peers to serve as President of UAC. She joined the team full-time as Director of Operations in 2016 and was appointed CEO in 2019.
A tenacious champion for county success, Brandy has worked to build value for UAC members through collaboration, education, and outreach. Her commitment to providing the best value to members is evident through additional programs that have been created that provide Utah’s counties with additional resources, educational opportunities, cost-saving programs, and a strong legislative presence. She understands the value of relationships and has been diligent in establishing strong partnerships with the Governor’s Office, the legislature, congressional offices, and private-sector corporate partners. Brandy has held positions on the Governor’s Rural Partnership Board and the Utah Retirement Systems Membership Council and is currently a member of the Kem C. Gardner Institute’s Advisory Board.
Brandy grew up on a farm in Scipio. She is grateful for her rural upbringing that taught her so much and has helped her advocate for rural county issues. She now lives in Bountiful and enjoys “city life.” In her free time, Brandy loves hiking and enjoys being outdoors.
Chief Operating Officer
Sheri Dearden joined the Utah Association of Counties in May 2023. Sheri is an experienced finance professional with over 20 years of dedicated service in local government operations. Throughout her career, she has held key positions in the Millard County Assessor, Recorder, and Treasurer’s offices, where she has gained extensive expertise in the Utah taxation process and county government financial management. From 2015 to 2023, Sheri served as the Millard County Treasurer, successfully leading financial operations and
ensuring fiscal responsibility.
While Fillmore remains her home base, Sheri’s adventurous spirit often leads her and her husband, Ted to explore various destinations. They often seek the serenity of Lake Powell, immerse themselves in the wonders of National Parks, or embark on thrilling journeys along remote trails in their Polaris Ranger.
As a member of the UAC team, Sheri brings a wealth of experience and financial expertise. With her comprehensive understanding of local government operations and extensive knowledge of financial management, she serves as a valuable asset in shaping and implementing UAC’s strategic plans and policies. Sheri’s collaborative approach and commitment to excellence empower her to foster effective collaboration among UAC members, resulting in the delivery of exceptional member services, and helps ensure the UAC organization’s continuing success.
Director of Member Engagement
Laura Barlow joined the Utah Association of Counties in April of 2021. She started her career in Utah in 2007 as a Majority Assistant for the Utah State Senate after graduating from Utah State University in Logan. Although she grew up in California, Laura has spent the last 14 years sharpening her skills her in Utah as a political fundraiser and elite event planner. Her years of experience include the following: coordinating the 2011 National Governors Association Annual Conference in Salt Lake City; working on a US Senate campaign in Las Vegas in 2010 and the Mia Love Congressional Campaign in 2012; lobbying with Hunter & Company for many years; acting as the Executive Director at the Canyons School District Education Foundation for three years; and working as the primary fundraiser for the Utah State Senate Republicans and the Utah House of Representatives.
Laura most recently spent a few years as an event consultant for a national mobile bidding company, working with non-profit organizations from around the country to raise funds for their causes.
Director of Program Development
Bryan Rodgers joined the Utah Association of Counties in November of 2017. He was raised in South Jordan, UT, and graduated from the University of Utah in 2009 with a B.S. Degree in Political Science. Bryan served as an intern for a lobbyist during the 2008 Legislative Session and additionally in Washington D.C. through the Hinckley Institute of Politics. After graduation, Bryan was hired as the Southern Utah District Manager for the Associated General Contractors of Utah managing the St. George office. Bryan and his family enjoyed their time in beautiful Southern Utah for seven and a half years. He also served as a Board Director and Chairman of Leadership Dixie, a notable leadership group in Washington County.
Bryan was hired by UAC to work on the legislative team and did so for four Legislative Sessions while concurrently receiving a master’s degree in Public Administration from Southern Utah University. Bryan gained experience in event planning and communications while at the Association but now spends his time working with Corporate Partners and is the Director of Corporate Partnerships & Program Development.
Director of Legislative Affairs
Adam Kolowich joined the Utah Association of Counties in September 2023. Adam comes to this role with a diverse background that spans lobbying, military intelligence, and law.
Before joining UAC, Adam excelled as a contract lobbyist on Capitol Hill, where he represented a broad spectrum of clients. His adaptability and political insight were further honed during his partnership with Stokes Strategies, skills that will undoubtedly serve him well in the nuanced landscape of county-level policy and governance.
Adam's early career included significant military service. He served as an intelligence officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2004 to 2008. During this period, he was deployed to Baghdad from August 2006 to November 2007 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Additionally, in October 2005, Adam was part of the Utah National Guard's response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Louisiana, working closely with local Parrish officials on cleanup efforts. These experiences provided him with valuable leadership skills and a methodical approach to problem-solving. Later, Adam took on the role of commander for B Company, 141st Military Intelligence Battalion (Linguist) in Orem, Utah, before retiring from the Utah Army National Guard in November 2022.
On the academic front, Adam is a graduate of Brigham Young University and holds a law degree from the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. During his law studies, he cultivated strong relationships with faculty members who have since assumed key legislative and executive roles within the Utah state government. His education was further enriched with advanced coursework at the National Intelligence University, providing him with a well-rounded understanding of policy and governance.
Away from his professional commitments, Adam is an avid cyclist who enjoys exploring the scenic vistas of Utah, including favored routes such as Blacksmith Fork Canyon and Highway 12.
With his multifaceted skill set and wealth of experiences, Adam is eager to collaborate with UAC's elected county officials and policy steering committees. He is fully committed to utilizing his extensive background to advocate effectively for policies that will benefit Utah's counties and their communities.
Legislative Policy Analyst
Zeke Lee joined the Utah Association of Counties in September 2019. Prior to joining UAC, Zeke worked as a public affairs consultant for Bank of America. Additionally, he has worked on several successful local government campaigns and in 2016, he began working at the Olene S. Walker Institute at Weber State University where he coordinated congressional, state, and local government internships. He was also responsible for organizing institute events.
Zeke is a proud Weber State Wildcat and enjoys golfing, sport shooting, and traveling. He speaks Spanish, German, and sometimes English.
Legislative Advocacy and Coordination, UAC Legislative Committee Coordination, and Lobbying
Legislative Policy Analyst (Behavioral Health)
Katherine Rhodes joined the Utah Association of Counties in March of 2020 after six years of employment in the Utah Attorney General’s Office. While there, she focused on the Opioid Task Force, the Mental Health Crisis Line Commission, and the SafeUT App and Commission. She also ran the AGO internship program and youth program, developed the White Collar Crime Offender Registry, and managed special projects. Her work with the AGO has garnered over ten Best of State Awards. She is passionate about making behavioral health services available to all Utah residents.
Katherine was raised in Cottonwood Heights. She received her undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University in Political Science. Katherine lives in West Jordan.
Legislative Policy Analyst
Katie Miner joined the Utah Association of Counties in September 2023. A Utah State University graduate, Katie got her start in politics missing class to attend Utah State Legislative sessions and spending summers in Washington, DC with a political consulting firm.
Katie returned to Utah to serve as deputy campaign manager and finance specialist for Gov. Spencer J. Cox's campaign for governor and coordinated the first inauguration in rural Utah before joining the state as Public Information Officer in the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget.
Katie lives in Salt Lake City with a too-productive apricot tree. She loves a well-curated museum, great stories, and Diet Coke.
Melanie Stark joined the Utah Association of Counties in April of 2022. Prior to her time with UAC, she attended Utah Tech University (formerly Dixie State University) and graduated with a Bachelors in Elementary Education in 2020. Melanie worked with the Marketing and Communications department at DSU as an Executive Assistant. She considers herself a jack-of-all-trades; not an expert in anything (except quoting Harry Potter movies) but excited to help with a little bit of everything.
Melanie loves photography, design, fashion, and the Oxford comma. She loves to travel, watch movies, eat bread, and make everything pretty.
CJCC Administrative Assistant
Andi Faulkner joined the Utah Association of Counties in July of 2023. Andi graduated from Utah Valley University in 2017 with an undergraduate degree in Behavioral Science, accompanied by a minor in Criminal Justice. During her time as a student, she demonstrated her commitment to community engagement by serving as a council member for the Young Emerging Leaders Advisory Council within the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault (UCASA). This involvement allowed her to advocate for important issues and contribute to the betterment of her local community.
Prior to joining UAC, Andi gained invaluable experience at Precision Concrete Cutting. With over nine years of experience collaborating with local municipalities to increase safety within their jurisdictions, she developed a strong skill set in project management and office administration.
With her passion, experience, and dedication, Andi is ready for this new role and looks forward to working with the UAC membership in supporting and improving the lives of individuals within the community.