Heritage Conference Speakers


2018 Speakers 

10 a.m Speaker: Neil Cox— “Ephraim’s Almost Forgotten Newspapers”

After an absence of over twenty years, Neal Cox and his wife, Carol, returned in late 2015 to Ephraim where he once worked at Snow College and where he attended school himself.  Having retired in 2014 from Brigham Young University where he served as the Director of Student Leadership and Associate Dean of Students, Neal is no stranger to colleges in Utah.  He labored for nearly ten years at Southern Utah University after his twelve years at Snow College and before his service in Provo.
Neal also has had teaching experience in Idaho (Bear Lake), Wyoming (Cokeville) and at Woods Cross and Murray High Schools.  In 1978, Neal and Carol took four very young children with them after Neal accepted a teaching position at the LDS Church College of Western Samoa.  He retains a great love for Polynesia and her people.  His work as an educator was punctuated with service as an LDS Mission President (Illinois Chicago Mission) from 1995  to 1998.

Neal is a graduate of Snow College and Utah State University with graduate degrees earned at Brigham Young University.  He enjoys spending time with his family as well as golf, tennis and barbershop singing.  He has a special interest in student leadership and has been a club and/or student government advisor at every school at which he has worked.  His life has included significant involvement with community and church affairs.

11 a.m. Speaker:  David Mackey– “It Happened at Fort Ephraim: Stories From an Old Mormon Town”

David Mackey has a deep and abiding love for his native Sanpete County and is grateful for the diverse and colorful heritage with which he has been blessed.  Author of Rattlesnakes and Axe-heads and Temple Light and Train Tracks—two volumes in The Almost Forgotten History and Lore of Sanpete series, the writer was born at Mt Pleasant and received his early education in the South Sanpete School system.  A graduate of Snow College and Brigham Young University, he also completed two years of graduate work in the Public History program at Arizona State University.
During a break in his studies at ASU, David completed a summer internship at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California where he assisted in processing the Reagan-Bush 1983 re-election campaign papers for the archives.  He also participated in work on an exhibit commemorating the 1988 LA Summer Olympics.  Upon his return to Arizona, Mackey worked for several years at a number of museums in the Phoenix area and served one term as chair for the Museum Educators Council of Arizona.

Active in educational endeavors, David has served in roles as a classroom teacher, mentor, and school administrator, and helped pioneer concurrent enrollment at an innovative school in Arizona in the mid-1990s.  He believes in tailoring education to the needs of individual students, and remains an advocate for people of all ages with physical and mental disabilities.  In 2008, David was successful in co-founding a vocational medical and nursing school in Ventura, California that flourishes and blesses the lives of many students today.
In addition to his work as an independent historian, David enjoys teaching—a calling he continues with in the high school setting as a Language Arts, Social Studies, and History instructor.  He and his wife DeAnn are the parents of five children.