2019 Fab 40: Elizabeth Benson Thayer


Age 39

City Orem

Elizabeth’s brushstrokes prove the cliche “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Her carefully crafted portraits for the organization she co-founded, “Their Story is Our Story,” inspire viewers to reflect on the lives of refugees around the world. TSOS aims to end discrimination of refugees through art, social media, web videos and presentations. Elizabeth studied Illustration at BYU and Syracuse University and painting at UNC Greensboro. Her art has won awards near and far, including the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Super Strength “I can do hard things and have the ability to focus — kind of like Superman’s laser vision. I also make good pumpkin muffins, which Superman can’t do.”

Kryptonite “A lack of confidence, and a fear of conflict. To face those, I try to push myself out of my comfort zone on a regular basis. I find I can then say things to myself like, ‘If I can drive a stick shift on the left side of the road in downtown London, then I can do whatever I am facing now.’ I also remind myself when I’m in an intimidating situation why I am doing what I am doing.”

Heroic “My mom has infinite patience, pioneer constancy and a wonderful sense of calm. My dad is always positive, has incredible faith, works so hard and has always believed in me. They don’t aspire to power or wealth, just go about their lives quietly doing wonderful things. I stand on the shoulders of generations of hard-working, self-sacrificing and faithful family members.”

Desired Super Power “Fluency in any language and culture.”

Sidekick “Definitely my husband. No experience is complete until he is part of it. He accentuates my strong characteristics and compensates for all my weak ones.”



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