After Ruth Todd finished her broadcasting career at both KSL and ABC4, she began teaching at BYU. On the first day of class, she would tell her communications students, “I can’t promise that you will be a reporter for your favorite news outlet, but I can promise you that life will not unfold as you expect it.”
Her advice mirrors her 59 years of life, which has included unexpected experiences such as raising twins, a lengthy broadcast career, followed by working for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a media spokesperson.
Her latest chapter in “I didn’t see this coming,” involves being the senior vice president and chief reputation officer at Nu Skin on Center Street in Provo.
Ruth and her husband raised four daughters and a son, and now all five are married and creating families of their own. Ruth has seven grandsons and one lucky granddaughter. She leads her family in the only way she knows how — by prioritizing things that matter most. Namely faith, family, work and community.
“It’s important to be a community member — we can choose to be a joiner and to make a difference,” she says.
She encourages her daughters and other young women to join a hiking club, book club or service group.
“You’ll find like-minded people and together you’ll be builders and lifters,” she says. “It’s important to gain the confidence to connect with others and find ways to improve the world around you.”
Then and Now
Although Ruth’s role at Nu Skin is perhaps less visible to the Utah population at large than her former broadcasting roles, she’s well-known in the direct sales industry and in Nu Skin circles around the globe.
“I work more hours than I did back in the KSL days,” she says. “For many years, I only did the 10 o’clock news so I could be going and coming in the suburban with the kids.”
Being behind the anchor desk while also raising a family led to some “top story” moments.
“When I was pregnant with the twins, I kept having to push myself farther and farther away from the desk,” she laughs. “I started asking, ‘Am I still in focus way back here?’”
Ironically, Ruth says the older she gets and the less time she spends driving carpool, the more she realizes she still has to learn.
“At this point in my career, I see the beauty in realizing how little I know and how much I can learn,” she says. “I crave learning.”
One thing she has learned in her 50s is the Nu Skin culture, where she’s spent the past seven years.
“Our mission as a company is to be a force for good, and I get to see that in action,” Ruth says. “Being part of Nu Skin has been a highlight of my career.”
Throughout her highlight reel — and a few bloopers — she’s learned that no experience is wasted.
Her time at the LDS Church enhanced her media experience in new and challenging ways. She was a spokesperson for the church in the height of the “Mormon moment.” The missionary age was lowered. Two members were running for president, with many accompanying media requests.
“It was a busy time, but in aggregate I can say that every experience in my life — smooth and bumpy — brought me to who I am,” she says.
As Ruth is knocking on the door of the next decade (she’ll be 60 on her upcoming birthday), the past 10 years flash before her eyes. She became a grandmother in her 50s. All of her children “launched.” She took this job at Nu Skin and began a commute from her Salt Lake home to downtown Provo. She earned an MBA. Her 50s have not involved slowing down or watching daytime TV. And she’s right at home.
Best Decade Ever
Ruth’s role requires more hours than her broadcasting positions did, but she is spending less time on other things such as laundry, cooking and worrying.
“All of those are a function of my children launching out onto their own,” she says.
But her calendar is still full of children’s activities – this time as the grandmother instead of the team mom.
“I love going to their football games, basketball games and concerts,” she says.
Three of Ruth’s grandkids live in Texas, and she has a goal of getting to one of their games each season.
“I was on an airplane headed to Texas, and I told the person seated next to me that I was headed there for the football game,” she says. “And he named a prime-time matchup. I had to tell him, ‘No, not that game. I’m going to watch my grandson.’”
Stay strong, My friend
Although Ruth’s schedule has always been full, she knows the importance of taking care of herself.
“It’s important to be emotionally and spiritually centered,” she says. “Do whatever it takes to get there, whether that’s therapy or running or meditating. I love to walk the hills near my house. I love to see the rosy Utah sky give way to brilliant blue. It’s fills my soul and keeps me moving.”
Good Days Ahead
Ruth has always considered herself a lifelong learner with a curious and open mind.
“I had no idea life would unfold the way it has,” Ruth says. “I feel fortunate and blessed for all the ups, downs, stretching opportunities and growth.”
She also acknowledges the mentors in her life who taught her to “leave things better than you found them.”
And Ruth has done just that, leaving our state, the media industry, direct sales industry, and every woman she meets better than she found them.
Thanks for watching.
Best Part of 50s
Ruth Todd says the 50s have been her favorite decade. “It’s so fun to watch my kids grow to be adults and launch into the world,” she says. Ruth was a long-time anchor at KSL and ABC4, media spokesperson for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and now a vice president at Nu Skin. “In my 50s, I reached comfort and confidence in my skill set. I love learning from people — older and younger.”
Money & Time
“If there’s something I can afford that will save me time, I am all for that,” Ruth says. “In my 50s, I spend less money on things and more on experiences. I’m trying to get rid of things, but I’ll buy flights to see grandkids as often as possible.”
“Cut yourself slack and believe in yourself,” Ruth says to women in their 20s and 30s. “You’re the right mother for your children. You can make a difference. Find people to surround yourself with who are builders and lifters, and you can be a builder and lifter, too.”
Young and Younger
As a member of the Young Women General Advisory Council for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ruth sits on a board of 10 women and serves on the technology committee and messaging committee. “Covid taught us how to teach and train throughout the world without a boarding pass,” she says.
“If you’re missing your kids and grandkids because they live far away, go help at-risk kids learn how to read. Communities need women in their 50s, 60s, 70s and older to keep contributing. Be a lifter wherever you are and no matter how old you are,” Ruth advises.