This year the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business gave its highest award to a successful business woman, recognizing her not only for her vocational success, but for her work as a mother.
Crystal Maggelet, co-founder of Crystal Inn, managing director for MacCall Management and new CEO and president of Flying J, was presented with the Distinguished Executive Alumnus Award by Dean Douglas D. Anderson at the school’s Annual Awards Banquet on Oct. 2, 2008. Crystal and her husband, Chuck Maggelet, are managing directors of the company that now operates 14 properties, 11 of which are Crystal Inns.
“All of us at one time or another, struggle to strike a healthy work-life balance,” Dean Anderson said. “Crystal is someone who has done an impressive job of juggling and balancing while excelling vocationally and raising some great kids.”
Crystal partnered with her father, Jay Call, the founder of Flying J, to open her first Crystal Inn in 1994 in Salt Lake City. She supervised the building, staffing and operation of the new hotel and it proved a success. Shortly thereafter, she and her husband founded MacCall Management, expanding the business.
In January 2009, Crystal, who had been chairwoman of the Flying J Board of Directors, became its CEO and president, adding yet another responsibility to her plate. Flying J Inc., one of the nation’s largest privately held companies, and its Big West refining and Longhorn Pipeline subsidiaries, had filed voluntary petitions to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in December 2008.
“Even though Flying J has been a successful company, it faced near-term liquidity pressure from an unprecedented combination of factors: the precipitous drop in the price of oil and the lack of available financing from its traditional sources due to disrupted credit markets,” the company said in a statement posted on its Web site. “With a sudden and unanticipated inability to meet its liquidity needs, the company had no other choice than a Chapter 11 filing to provide the time to work through a solution.”
If anyone can help a company “work through a solution,” it’s Crystal, according to Natalie Morgan, director of sales and marketing for MacCall Management.
“Crystal has an ability to be very focused and productive with the time she has,” Morgan said.
“She just gets to the heart of the matter and figures out what’s going to make it work and goes at it,” Morgan said. “She’s so organized and has such a great mind and such compassion for people. She has really good insight. She’s a phenomenal human being.”
At the Annual Awards Banquet, which was made up of scholarship recipients and Huntsman School of Business supporters, Crystal talked about some of the personal challenges she has faced, including the death of her father who was killed in an airplane crash in 2005.
“In an instant my life changed,” she said. “Not only had I lost a man I loved and respected, I was now the majority shareholder, along with my brother, of a large corporation with thousands of employees.”
Crystal talked of her supportive husband. She said Chuck, who works full-time leading MacCall Management, is patient, understanding, analytical and “over-the-top intelligent.”
“I’m very lucky that I found him and that I married him,” she said.
Crystal also made it clear how much she values her role as mother of her children.
“I’m a Girl Scout leader, a coach, a theater and ballet mom, an avid runner, a traveler but most of all, I’m a wife and a mother,” Crystal said at the event that drew more than 500 people. “I know that my horizon will change again soon, and I’ll have the opportunity to pursue other endeavors as my children pursue theirs.”
The Maggelets have four children: a son, Drew, who is 13-years-old, an 11-year-old daughter, Lexi, and two eight-year-olds, Hailey and Erica.
“If I can leave you with three ideas tonight they would be, believe in what you want and go for it,” she said at the banquet. “Leave all your options open, work hard and believe in yourself. And, most of all, remember that balance doesn’t happen day-to-day but over a lifetime.”
The Distinguished Executive Alumnus Award honors alumni who have shown integrity, set a good example, demonstrated powerful leadership and given valuable service to their community.