About Jan Garbett
Sixth-generation Utahn, daughter of an immigrant, mother of eight, grandmother of seven, business owner, nonprofit founder, believer in the American Dream, and a believer that everyone has a seat at the table.
Jan graduated from Granite High School in South Salt Lake, attended Brigham Young University and graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in English. Jan is a sixth generation Utahn, and her ancestors helped settle New Harmony and St. George.
A Daughter, Wife, Mother, Grandmother
Jan is the daughter of an immigrant. Her grandfather Thomas VanDenBerghe arrived in Utah during the Great Depression with a few coins in his pocket. He worked at LDS Hospital as a cleaner, and today, his grandchildren are doctors, writers, artists, and inventors. Jan and her husband Bryson have eight children and seven grandchildren.
Jan and Bryson were bootstrapped as young marrieds living in West Valley City. When they started their family business, Garbett Homes, Jan kept the construction books and took care of their children as the business grew. After their seventh child was born, Jan decided it was finally time to hire someone to take her place.
Jan has been a supporter of the Salt Lake Choral Artists for many years, sponsoring concerts such as the Utah premier of “Enemy Slayer”, an oratorio written by a Native American, that explores Navajo culture and the US-Iraq War. Jan also helped the group secure a home in the Marmalade District of Salt Lake City.
Jan’s interest in the importance of our nation’s core principles led to her support of “First Freedom”, a musical theatre depiction of the story of the First Amendment guaranteeing religious freedom and expression. Productions ranged from Rock Springs, Wyoming to Washington, Utah.
Jan is the founder of EPIK Deliberate Digital, a nonprofit that brings together a variety of participants for the welfare of youth by promoting digital citizenship. In 2017 she hosted the national Digital Citizenship Summit in Utah.
Jan currently serves on the Family Life Commission of the State PTA, The Salt Lake County Commission on Youth, and the BYU Civic Engagement Board.
Jan assisted Iraqi women, traveling to Kurdistan as a member of F.U.T.U.R.E., Families United Toward Universal Respect, by promoting cottage industry and service after the war.
Jan is a founder of Foundation Escalera which has helped over 100,000 young people throughout Mexico get out of poverty through education and has built 177 schools in Chiapas.