Raised on a Wyoming farm as the son of a school teacher, Kem became one of the Intermountain West’s most prominent real estate developers. During his 38 years of community building, Kem, along with his partners and associates, has developed over 33 million square feet of commercial real estate. Never satisfied with business success alone, Kem devotes a significant portion of his time and energy towards the betterment of Utah. He has done so based on advice he received early in his career from a prominent Utah business leader who told him, “You don’t give very much when you give of your money; give of your time.” Kem has done just that by fostering the success of the Utah Symphony, Salt Lake City International Airport, the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Intermountain Healthcare, and the United Way of Salt Lake.
Utahns recognize Kem as the person who can make great things happen in the community and are grateful for his generous spirit and great love for Utah. The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute builds upon Kem’s legacy by working at the intersection of business and civic life. The institute helps elected officials, community leaders, and the public make informed decisions that improve Utah’s economy and life quality. In addition to preparing valuable research and analysis, the institute serves as a prestigious gathering place for thought leadership. Housed on South Temple Street in the iconic Wall Mansion, the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute transforms Kem’s great love for Utah into a center for independent economic, demographic and public policy data, research and analysis that serves the people of Utah.