Tonnya Anne Baxter
In April 2011 CVRTI lost one of its most valued members, Tonnya Baxter. She began her long and distinguished career at CVRTI in 1973, first as a secretary then quickly rising to become the chief administrative officer at the Nora Eccles Harrison Cardiovascular Research and Training Institute (CVRTI) at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Tonnya was responsible for all financial, administrative and personnel matters at CVRTI. For such a large and diverse group, this is frequently an exceptionally difficult and complex task. However, because of her extraordinary abilities, perseverance and attention to detail, Tonnya excelled in all aspect of her job. Her work was critically important for the successful operation of the Institute and involved interactions with all members of the Institute and numerous University administrative offices. Tonnya managed the budgets of up 30 research grants totaling millions of dollars from major national funding agencies and the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation. She also dealt with all sorts of personnel issues involving hundreds of individuals through the years. Tonnya was a skilled problem solver with an incredible knowledge of the smallest detail of university administrative and financial policies and procedures. All CVRTI directors would agree that without her invaluable assistance they would have been lost. Throughout her years at CVRTI Tonnya maintained a gracious, patient and conscientious approach to her work. In addition to extraordinary professional skills, she had an encyclopedic knowledge of literature, art, music and current events. She was also a voracious reader with an incredible memory of all she had read. As a much beloved member of the CVRTI family Tonnya was truly the “first lady” of CVRTI. Words cannot express how much she will be missed.