J. Ralph Atkin
J. Ralph Atkin
is a fourth-generation resident of St. George. He is a graduate of Dixie High, Dixie State College (AS), Brigham Young University (BS), and Golden Gate University (MBA), and holds a law degree from the University of Utah. Ralph was elected Washington County Attorney, and has conducted a private law practice in St. George for over 40 years. He served as the Director of Economic Development for the State of Utah from 1990-92, and prior to that he served as chairman of the Utah Travel Council for nine years. He also served as a member of the Utah National Guard for 12 years and obtained the rank of first lieutenant. Ralph is the founder and retired chairman of SkyWest Inc., a public company which is the holding company of SkyWest Airlines (St. George, Utah) and Express Jet Airlines (Atlanta, Ga.). His influence has been far-reaching; he has created airlines in Europe (Austria 1995) and West Africa (Ghana 2005). He was a founding member of Café Rio, Inc’s board of directors and currently serves on the boards of SkyWest, Inc. and TruHearing, Inc.
Ralph served on the National Advisory Council (NAC) for the BYU Marriott School of Business 2004-11, and is a current member of the Dixie State College NAC. He is also a long-time member of the Dixie State Athletic Alliance (formerly the Colonels Club). He is the recipient of the 2010 Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award. He and his wife Cheri have tirelessly served their alma mater as co-chairmen of the Centennial Campaign Committee and have been instrumental in securing the initial funding for the eight herald trumpets, in addition to securing funds for the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons, the Atkin Tutoring Center, the Udvar-Hazy School of Business building, the President’s Loop and D-Circuit, Dan’s Cove, the Dixie Paver Centennial Project, and seven memory gardens. Ralph was an adjunct business professor at Dixie State College for several years. Ralph played tennis at DSC, and was also an actor. One of his proudest accomplishments was receiving the Dixie State College Outstanding Actor of the Year Award in 1964-65 for his role as father in “Life with Father.”
Ralph holds a private pilot’s license (single/multi engine) and enjoys golf and traveling with family members. He and Cheri are the parents of eight children (all graduates of Dixie State College), and have 15 grandchildren.