Samantha Mary Thermos Named New ZAP Director for Salt Lake County

Salt Lake County Arts & Culture

Samantha Mary Thermos has accepted the Salt Lake County ZAP Director position and will start on January 3, 2022. Most recently, Samantha served as the Salt Lake County COVID-19 Economic Recovery Programs Manager. 

As the Economic Recovery Programs Manager, she created, executed, and promoted strategies and programs to stabilize businesses and the overall economic health of the County during COVID. She oversaw the Economic Inclusion Community Assistance Program and facilitated the countywide Economic Impact Working Group. These programs connect businesses to government and non-profit resources that are designed to help them prosper in the long term.

“Samantha is a proven leader and is adept at connecting organizations with government resources, as demonstrated in her recent work as the Economic Recovery Programs Manager,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. “We are pleased that Samantha will both continue ZAP’s mission of supporting the arts, culture, and recreation in Salt Lake County as well as lead the organization into the future.”

In addition to her work with Salt Lake County, Samantha has more than a decade of experience in senior leadership positions in Utah and Oregon. She has worked at the Downtown Alliance, Oregon’s Business Development Department, and in the Utah Governor’s Offices of Energy Development and Economic Development. At the Downtown Alliance, Samantha managed the Downtown SLC Presents signature projects including the Last Hurrah NYE celebration, holiday lighting, and the banner program that promotes nonprofits and their events.

“Samantha’s experience in strategic planning, budgeting, change management, and grant and contract administration will greatly benefit the ZAP program,” said Matt Castillo, Arts & Culture Division Director.  “We are fortunate to have Samantha join us and look forward to her contributions to Salt Lake County and ZAP.”

Samantha holds a B.S. from University of Utah and an MBA from Westminster College. She enjoys traveling, reading, and taking advantage of Utah’s quality of life including cultural activities, trying new restaurants, and exploring the outdoors with her two children and dog.

Stuart is the founder, writer and wrangler at several sites including Gastronomic SLC, Utah Now and, The Utah Review; Stuart is a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune and has worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake.