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The 100 coolest Mormon women alive today

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If Mormons were to pick 100 women to represent the religion’s “cool” factor to a world-wide audience, who would be on the list?

Here is a modest proposal in alphabetical order. Who are we missing when it comes to cool Mormon women?

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122 Responses to "The 100 coolest Mormon women alive today"

  1. Steve says:

    Sahar Qumsiyeh. Palestinian LDS woman.

  2. Chelsea says:

    What a great list! I love Sydney from thedaybookblog.com. She was my first fashion blog that I read, and she is super funny!

  3. Nicole says:

    Jen Marco, co author of Healing Through Christ, professional singer with over 200 projects recorded, including Donny and Marie Osmond, Biggest Loser Fitness albums, EFY, and Manheim Steamroller.

  4. Darian says:

    The SheDaisy sisters

  5. Janna says:

    Joanna Brooks!! She is the coolest of the cool. And Barbara Young.

  6. Meredith says:

    Peggy Fletcher Stack. Religion editor and author for the salt lake tribune.

  7. Joe says:

    Ashleigh Di Lello. Finalist on so you think you can dance

  8. Julie says:

    Naomi Davis rock star diaries blog. She has a crazy number of followers.

  9. Linda Tognoni says:

    Jessie Clark Funk, Singer, Motivational Speaker for teens, Creator of non-profit, “Ivy Girls Academy” which helps teen girls build self-confidence, healthy boundaries, goal setting, etc.

  10. Noelle Pikus-Pace will be in the Olympics in two weeks! Follow her here: https://www.facebook.com/noellepikuspace

    • Christine says:

      How could we forget her!? She is an incredible woman!

    • KelliSue says:

      I desperately searched for Noelle — she’s current, not like Shawn King, who is rather publicly embarassing, I’d swap her out… and reorder them, were this my list.

      May I also suggest adding: Courtney Jane Kendrick – Deseret News columnist at one point, Mommy blogger and mother and a host of downtown Provo music scene.

      Stephanie Nielson, Mommy blogger, plane crash survivor, mother.

      These three are cooler than some soap opera actresses — especially when you consider what they represent in totality.

  11. GB says:

    Joanna Brooks should definitely be on this list!!! She was on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart talking about MORMONS and her Mormon faith, and she published a memoir about the topic.

    Also Fiona Givens and Terry Tempest Williams, both are amazing Mormon women and published authors.

  12. Kim says:

    Where is Bonnie Oscarson? Have you not seen her Pinterest page??

  13. Tom Sparks says:

    Jaime Heiner. A 17 year old victim of rape by her teacher who is standing up and being heard. She is a talented, intelligent young woman, public speaker, musician and all around cool teen.

  14. Karen says:

    Two amazing women leaders – UVU Vice Presidents Linda Makin and Michelle Taylor.

  15. Elizabeth says:

    What about Naomi Davis of lovetaza.com?

  16. Mike says:

    Your list is too Utah centric – lots of mormon women doing great things outside of the US.

  17. cate says:

    Ruth Todd is now the VP of public affairs for NuSkin…she’s easily one of the coolest LDS women alive–and teaches us you can have and do it all!

  18. Christopher says:

    Alive today? Paula Hawkins died in 2009.

  19. Laura says:

    Fun list. It does bother me that they are the “coolest” because of their accomplishments outside the home. It sends a message that women of LDS faith should accomplish something in the world, to be recognized, rather than having their accomplishments in the home be the first thing they are recognized for. Perhaps each persons accomplishment blurb should have started with “mother”, or “wife” or “primary teacher” or “housekeeper, nanny, taxi driver, financial director” anyway, you get the idea.

    • KelliSue says:

      Biology isn’t the only accomplishment available, says the woman with infertility who were it not for medical science, would be unable to have anybody to keep house for, nanny, or taxi drive anywhere.

      You might note that we have been asked to extend our realm of influence not only within our homes, but also outside of them, to be involved in our communities. These women represent that, too.

    • Linda right says:

      I agree with you, Laura. I am disturbed that not one of the women were listed as a Mother and Homemaker for her accomplishments.

      • Vanessa says:

        Actually #61 (was #62 looks like they’ve redone the graphic several times to fix mistakes and add people which makes me wonder who got dropped!) was California Mother of the Year a recognition from American Mothers. That’s all they do is recognize mothers!

        Too bad they didn’t see fit to add all the other LDS Young Mothers of the Year and Mothers of the Year to this list too though – there are 13 other women who were recognized this year and they are just as “cool.”

    • Melissa says:

      I personal don’t feel like being a mom is something that should be labeled “cool”. Rewarding, valuable, enriching, essential – yes. Definitely. But if you’re out to make your job as a mom “cool” then you are missing the point of what being a mother really is.

      Parents aren’t meant to be cool. They are meant to teach their children how to work hard, be responsible, be disciplined, educated, etc. Can you have fun along the way? Of course! But lets not turn into the mothers who are out to win the approval of their children and their children’s friends. Let’s keep the more important things in mind, and not try to make our job as mothers “cool”.

      What these women have done isn’t just cool, it’s awesome. Don’t take away from their accomplishments just because it doesn’t mention their work in their homes. I know these women are wonderful mothers, in addition to their stellar careers. Aren’t we proud of our LDS sisters who show the world we are competent and capable not just by the churches standards, but the worlds as well? I saw bravo to these fab women! And bravo to those at home as well! We need to stick together, not tear each other down.

  20. Mary Lynn Evans says:

    The two ladies from http://www.ourbestbites.com.

  21. Mary Ann says:

    Al Fox – I love how she’s sharing the gospel.

  22. Heather says:

    While I agree that these women are pretty “cool,” and all of the women are are admirable and great role models, the title of the list made me feel uncomfortable. Rather than naming them the “The Coolest Alive” I would have felt better if they were listed as “Some Very Cool Women.” There are LDS women all over the world doing remarkable things, some in quiet yet equally amazing ways. Shortly after reading this list I read this blog post, and I thought it was a very nice counterbalance: http://lemmonythings.com/2014/01/22/giving-up-on-the-quest-to-be-extraordinary-and-how-it-will-change-your-life/

    • UtahEditor says:

      Also, I know from experience that some of those women actually aren’t all that cool. Just because they’re well known doesn’t mean they’re great.

    • maren says:

      This list has some great well known women that do extraordinary things. The way they titled it shouldn’t make anyone feel bad for not making the list. Mormon women are awesome!!! We do amazing things but there are millions of us! They can’t name everyone. I guess instead of being uncomfortable, I would say be happy for those women to get some spotlight, and be happy to have somethings in common with them. I personally know I’m the coolest Mormon woman in this house!! :) but there is a lot of competition outside these walls! Go us!!!!

  23. Elaine Pence says:

    I live in Buena Vista and 3 of my children have attended SVU. As far as I know, Dr. Kellog is not LDS. You should have included Rose Datoc Dall.

  24. Teresa says:

    You’re missing many great women like Kristen Oaks author of A Single Voice and wife of Elder Oaks, Anita Stansfield who has written tons of books, Traci Hunter Abramson who worked for the CIA and author and Whitney Award winner, Josi Kilpack author and Whitney award winner, Rachel Ann Nunes author/ Whitney Award winner, and Stephanie Black author/ Whitney Award winner to name a few. Also, please list more credentials for Julie Hanks: author singer daughterof Lex de Azevedo, and Elizabeth Smart: author and missing children advocate. I was disappointed in some of your choices. I don’t believe Mormon women who align themselves with inappropriate TV shows or movies should make the list. Mormon women featured should be examples for good.

  25. Blue Skies says:

    I agree with the commenters who have expressed that the title of this article is bothersome. It strikes me as pandering to the “in crowd” as it were. There seems to be a persistent need for Mormons (I am one) to prove that we do indeed have celebrities and people lauded by the world among our number. Goodness knows, there are millions of LDS women who are pretty stellar and “cool” who don’t make lists like these. I agree that many on this list are to be held in very high esteem for their accomplishments; there are hundreds and hundreds of others who likewise deserve to be on this list but are not simply because they are not in the public eye. My solace is that Heavenly Father knows their deeds and will reward them beyond measure.

  26. Ashby says:

    Lindsey Redfern (from The R House)
    Shawni Eyre Pothier (from http://www.71toes.com)

    • Amanda says:

      Are you sure Stephanie McKnight is the National Young Mother? I think she is California’s Young Mother. At least that’s how it appears on the American Mother’s website. Tara Trobaugh from Georgia (not a mormon) was the 2013 National Young Mother. Although, I’m sure Stephanie McKnight is very cool. Fun list!

  27. Roberta says:

    You totally missed Al Fox! The “Tattooed Mormon!” Oh my gosh! She’s on fire! http://alfoxshead.blogspot.com

    • Elizabeth says:

      You go Girl! Al has touched the lives of so many in a way a lot of us can’t comprehend. I love her.

      You are missing a ton of other women. This list is centered too much on Utah women.

  28. W. Smith says:

    I’d say Kristine Haglund, editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, blogger at ByCommonConsent.com, go to media interviewee and all around great person belongs on the list. One of the coolest people I know.

  29. Melanie Segalla says:

    I just love Jane Clayson Johnson so much! She is beautiful inside and out! I am so grateful for her message about the importance of motherhood. I saw her speak at EFY and I stood in line to meet her. When she shook my hand and asked about me, she smiled at me and made me feel like she was truly glad I was there, I don’t think just anyone has that quality. Keep Shining bright Jane, I love ya!

  30. Colleen Ryan says:

    Obviously there are many more mormon women who could have been on the list but it was limited to 100 . Just be thankful that there are literally thousands of mormon women around the world living the gospel, sending their missionary children out to preach the gospel to others, accompanying their husbands on missions, setting a great moral example to others, and representing a force for good in the world. Do t get picky about who is on the list, Heavenly Father holds the master list and so many of you will be on it. God bless.

  31. Vanessa says:

    Looks like someone didn’t do their research properly. #62 is California’s Young Mother of the Year not the National YMOY. That would be Tara Trobaugh from Georgia who is not a member. There were actually 7 LDS women named as state YMOY and 7 LDS women named as Mothers of the year, including Judy Cook who was named national Mother of the Year. http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/63543/Organization-honors-mothers.html

  32. Melissa says:

    You neglected to include Kathleen Flake, a nationally respected scholar of early Mormon history, and the first occupant of the Richard L. Bushman Chair of Mormon Studies in the University of Virginia’s Department of Religious Studies.

  33. aTroll says:

    Where are the people last week that were complaining about women not being represented on the top 50 men list? This list has 100, last weeks was 50. Doesn’t seem like it’s fair representation.

    • Caroline says:

      If you read the comment section on that article you’d find a post from the author saying that due to the high number of suggestions on the “Top 50″ list for men, they’d attempt to increase the list for women to 100. There were enough men listed in the comments to have supported a “Top 100″ list.

  34. Erin says:

    Definitely a little too Utah-centric. Some of those women aren’t known outside of Utah at all.
    Also, where were the single women?

  35. lindberg says:

    Nice call on Saito Yuki. Good to see an amazing non-US woman on the list!

  36. Julie says:

    Emily Freeman should be added to this list too. She is an amazing author & speaker!

  37. Heather says:

    You are missing Sandy Freckleton Gagon- Artist- mother of two children with cancer- speaker- http://sandyfreckletongagon.com/religious.htm check her out.

  38. Ron says:

    Here is part of the Famous Mormons Website this section Famous Mormon Women

  39. Ron says:

    Check out the original Famous Mormons site famousmormons.net looks like I need to add a few more but many of these are on the site see famous mormons Wowmen here http://famousmormons.net/women.htm check it out and email me with any missing names !

  40. An SVU Student says:

    #52 E. Susan Kellogg is a really nice lady, but she’s NOT LDS.

  41. Lee says:

    Mary Ellen Edmunds should have made this list.

  42. Kathy says:

    I can’t believe you left off Heidi Swinton. She has written numerous books, including the prophets biography and is a fabulous speaker!

  43. angee says:

    Al Fox!! She’s so inspiring and “cool!!”

  44. Kent says:

    Bay Buchannan

  45. MJ says:

    Jenna Kim Jones, stand-up comedian based in LA. Funny, clean, cute, used to work on the Daily Show, has done some very cool stuff. JennaKimJones.com

  46. How about Whitney Johnson, top 40 twitter accounts to follow, dare to dream fame; as well as Bakerella!

  47. Amy says:

    I think it’s cool that you had to open the list up to 100, instead of just 50 for the men’s list. I also like how more international this list is and how much more diversified. (It isn’t mostly athletes.). I know people talked about these women as wives and mothers. But I think they are cool because they have done things that I haven’t done. :)

  48. Barbara Keddington says:

    What about Moms who raise extraordinary children? ALL children are extraordinary. That is the highest work of Heavenly Father. ALL else is secondary.

    • Heather says:

      So, for those of us who can’t have children or who have callings in other areas of life, our lives purposes are meaningless?!?!? Don’t you think that many of these women help other people’s children (or other people’s parents) through their influence? As long as Heavenly Father is pleased with our choices, it’s not your concern how we use our time and talents. But, thanks for once again for slamming my life circumstances.

    • JJ says:

      Barbara, This is a list of women who are reaching a “world-wide” audience. I happen know a handful of these women & they are extraordinary moms, too. Should we not recognize women’s contributions beyond their homes? And in recognizing their professional efforts, how does it take away or diminish the value of mother’s?

  49. Sue says:

    How about Gladys Knight? :-)

  50. Linda Gardiner says:

    I would like to submit the name of Wendy Anne Gardiner Hoop. My daughter, my hero!! Wendy is the most loving Mom of 6 (with a poignant story to tell), writer extraordinaire, actor, blogger (her blogs make you laugh one minute and cry the next) and Public Speaker. She has my vote many times over as one the coolest Mormon Women Alive Today!!!

  51. brent hall says:

    This list is ridiculous. Makes Mormons look like a cult.

  52. Natalie says:

    The qualities of women in general that I find admirable are no where on this list. As a Mormon woman, I’m much more interested in lives of dedication to family and God-not the visible and outward recognitions and positions. It’s simply not what matters long term.

  53. annie says:

    Rachel Parcell???? Seriously she doesn’t represent the Mormon women at all. She is very immodest. What a joke! She is nothing but a spoiled little silver spoon-er. Not an ounce of charity in her.

  54. SVUAlumni says:

    Dr E. Susan Kellogg is a fantastic professor, amazing woman who I learned a lot from but she is not LDS. If that is the criteria for this list, someone did not do their fact checking.

  55. Glenn says:

    Dayna Karlinsey needs to be on the list: the most charitable, selfless woman I know. She quietly dedicates her life to lifting others in need — emotional, temporal, or spiritual. Scores, if not hundreds, of people have had their lives lifted to a higher plane because Dayna was a part of their circle. During the past three decades she has made her life a prolonged “service mission” in a dozen cities across three continents, sacrificing her pride and comfort to learn languages, adapt to cultures, and face hardship so that she could support her husband in his career, and simultaneously assure that none of these barriers got in the way of magnifying her callings at Church with all of her heart and strength. Mostly, she has consistently, and daily, dedicated her time, talents, and resources to teaching, strengthening, and guiding her children — making it her life’s work to assure that they will make the world a better place.

  56. Marie says:

    Naomi Davis.

  57. Mike says:

    You left out my wonderful wife of Gloria 46 years–greatest Relief Society President ever; mother of four–all returned missionaries, all college graduates of which two are doctors and two full time mothers and all four married in the temple. Grandmother of 17 soon to be 18 and still slim and trim. Who could ask for anything more.

  58. Mommyof4 says:

    Why do we need this list? Didn’t all the “cool” women get enough of that attention in High School? Sorry but it just reinforces the “click” problem in the church!

    • MustangSal says:

      If you are so bothered with this list just make your own list. To each her own :)

    • Sandi A. says:

      That would be a clique, not click, Mommyof4.

      We do this to tell ourselves we are not all overweight slugs, making and eating funeral potatoes even when nobody died.

      My LDS friend Amanda Van Orden sang in this original musical that was conceived by LDS actress, opera singer and producer Rachel Payne, who also hired everyone and sang in it. (She’s the blonde; Amanda is brunette.) It was directed by Kym Mellon, another awesome LDS woman here in Utah County.

      Let’s celebrate a few of these women, too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smfHHjpHZFI What really helps is if people watch the Youtubes all the way to the end, click “Like” and then share them on social media sites.

      Musical song cycles are a bit intense for the Disney music crowd, but if we want other LDS women to succeed in their chosen fields, we need to stop bickering and start supporting. Most of these women were gifted from a very young age, but the only attention they got in high school was from bullies.

  59. Doncaster says:

    Maybe someone should do there research because Professor Kellogg is not a member. Unless she was baptized in the seventies and she doesn’t remember.

    • Shelly Weaver says:

      Exactly! Not only is she not a member, she is very vocal about her negative views of the church. How strange.

      • SVU Student says:

        YOU obviously don’t know Dr. Kellogg very well. She has never vocally expressed her views about the Church. She’s received several blessings from priesthood holders and told us on numerous occasions she wants her work done when she’s gone. So, nice try. She may not be LDS, but she is by far one of the most incredible women I’ve ever met.

  60. Karen Smith says:

    Carol Mikita of KSL

  61. Linda Wright says:

    I disagree that Marie Osmond is on the list. Maybe she used to be a cool representative of a true Mormon Woman, but she in recent years has become much too immodest in her dress.

  62. Stephanie Zundel says:

    This list makes me want to die – what is the requirement for being on this list? Just what Mormon women need – some scale to live up to that is ridiculous.

  63. Shelly Weaver says:

    You do realize that #52 E. Susan Kellogg is not only NOT a member, but is antagonistic towards members?

  64. Shelly Weaver says:

    Paula Hawkins (#43) passed away in 2009.

  65. JMH says:

    There are so many women worthy of emulation. Though I don’t agree with many on the list, it’s not my list. I would definitely add Camille Fronk Olsen, M. Katherine Thomas, April Perry and Saren Loosli-founders of Power of Moms, and for sure Al Fox!

  66. MWAWTV says:

    I’m sure all great Women, Educated, Fashionable, Cool but like the scripture below

    John 12:42-43 “For they loved the praise of men more that the praise of God”

    Who would be the one presenting the plan of the Worldwide United Foundation show me that one and she’ll have my vote.

  67. Stephanie says:

    Tamu Thomas Smith
    Sistaz in Zion coolest ever .

  68. Rachel says:

    I would add
    Kristine Haglund, editor of Dialogue
    Claudia Bushman, author, editor, historian
    Mara Kofoed, Blog About Love
    Elle Rowley, owner of Solly Baby Wraps
    Eva Jorgenson, owner of Sycamore Street Press
    Hediyeh Baradaran Coombs, doctor, and sister of the law professors listed
    Rebecca Thomas, director of Electrick Children
    Ash Mae Hoiland, watercolor painter, children book author

  69. Ann says:

    Heidi Thompson, President and CoOwner of Scentsy, the fastest growing consumer products and services company in the country. What and elegant and refined lady! Dedicated to family and the gospel while managing a successful business. This woman is true to herself and radiates what it means to be a Mormon.

  70. Sue says:

    Yes, yes, yes.

  71. Olivia says:

    Fairly unprofessional article here. The set up is odd, the choices are unbalanced, a few important typos, some lack of research, inconsistent bios and photos. Hopefully UtahValley360 can up their game to the level of many of the women listed.

  72. Beth says:

    Cherie Call – amazing singer-songwriter.

  73. LOL says:

    Eww! Natalie Hill?? She’s the antithesis of cool to me.

    I think that if they were going to include a Mormon blogger, it should have been Naomi Davis of Rockstar Diaries instead. I guess that they chose Natalie Hill, because she’s single and didn’t want to emphasize the Mormon Mommy blogger archetype for their “cool” list.

  74. sarah says:

    Some of these choices are just baffling…Carmen Rasmussen? She was on a few episodes of American Idol many years ago…what else is she known for? So many more Mormon women who have done great things. Maybe she is related to someone who made this list?

  75. Beverley says:

    Your list is out of date. Cindy Ady, number 3, is no longer an elected politician. She is now director of Tourism Alberta. Sylvia Allred is no longer a member of theGeneral RS Presidency. I expect there are others that are out of date also.

  76. Brian Smith says:

    #101 – Wendi Harrison-Smith,

    Musician, Mother of 3 Eagle Scouts, 3 Missionaries, Granddaughter of BYU Professors of Botany Bertrand and Lorna Harrison, Niece of BYU Professor of Physics Kent Harrison, Quilter extraordinaire, Wife of Utah Youth Soccer Vice President Brian Smith.

  77. Jennifer Thomas Fan says:

    Jennifer Thomas – Renowned Pianist & Composer. JenniferThomasMusic.com

  78. Christine says:

    What about Kass Martin? Zumba instructor extraordinaire!

  79. Susan says:

    And you all wonder why your kids are rating others on social media sites. They follow your example. This ranked list is everything that’s wrong with LDS culture. Insane.

  80. Shelle Soelberg — Creator of the Let’s Play Music Company

  81. Liahona says:

    Amy Antonelli, an RM,a BYU grad, and Harvard grad who left Apple to spend 5 years working in the leprosy colonies of India to establish a modern high-tech school for the children of leprosy effected parents, and helped facilitate micro-lending for victims to become self sustaining in small businesses. Her only desire was to become a wife and mom, but has not yet married.

  82. Valerie Apo says:

    Amy Harmon – New York Times Best Selling author, to date she has five books published.
    She has been a motivational speaker, a grade school teacher, a junior high teacher, a home school mom, and a member of the Grammy Award winning Saints Unified Voices Choir, directed by Gladys Knight. She released a Christian Blues CD in 2007 called “What I Know”

  83. Jessica says:

    Some of these comments unfortunately remind me of why I do not like to walk into church. Is it so hard to be respectful in the way we speak to each other even behind the anonymity of the internet?

  84. Matt says:

    Enough with the celebrity Mormons. My wife is the coolest woman I know.

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