John Saltas of the Class of 1972 was also inducted into the Pay Dirt Club. John, the son of Pete Saltas and Stella Nepolis Saltas, grew up in Bingham Canyon in the mining town of Leadmine. He comes from a long line of Bingham Miners who began arriving in Bingham Canyon in 1906 from Greece. Three of his grandparents were Ellis Island Greek immigrants and the fourth was a granddaughter of handcart Mormon pioneers. Each found their way to Bingham Canyon where they strove to make better lives for themselves and their new families. His home in Leadmine was on a plot of dirt not much larger than a postage stamp. He could hardly imagine how it was possible to live in a home with not only a front yard, but a back yard as well. He remembers having the mine dumps to play on, the hills to climb over, the canyons to explore and real or imagined dangers at every turn. His growing years in Bingham Canyon taught him to be secure in knowing that it is not what one has that matters in life, but it is what one does with his life.
He attended the Copperton Elementary School, West Jordan Junior High and graduated from Bingham High School in 1972. During his high school years he played on the football, wrestling and baseball teams. He was a member of the debate team, Prospector Club, Electronics Club, Future Teachers of America, Red Cross Club, Lettermen’s Club, junior choir, and Spanish Club. In addition, during his senior year he served on the Student Council.
After graduating from Bingham, John attended the University of Utah where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. Although his first job was selling shinny rocks to tourists in front of the House of Copper in Leadmine, he started his journalism career as the associate editor of Country Style Magazine in Chicago, Illinois. In 1984 he returned to Salt Lake where he founded Copperfield Publishing Inc. which is the parent company of the Salt Lake City Weekly. He would serve as the Editor, a columnist and Publisher of the Salt Lake City Weekly which grew from one employee in a Midvale basement to 50 employees in downtown Salt Lake. The Salt Lake City Weekly has Utah’s fourth largest newspaper circulation and under John’s leadership would be awarded over 150 professional journalism awards.
He is also the owner and manager of Avenews Software which is a developer of newspaper classified software in use in 40 US markets, President of Textzi Inc., a mobile phone text advertising service, and president of Kostizi, Inc., universal gift card application software.
John has received numerous awards for his accomplishments. Some of these have included:
1994— The Quintus C. Wilson Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Utah.
2008—The Salt Lake City Downtown Alliance Achievement Award for Lifestyle
2008—The Salt Lake City Downtown Merchants’ Association Friend of Merchants Award
In addition, John is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, the President’s Club at the University of Utah, a past board member of the National Association of the Alternative Newsweeklies and the cofounder of the Utah Songwriter’s Association.
John hobbies and interest include outdoor cooking, Greek cooking, collecting Greek cookbooks, vegetable gardening, studying the history of the Vietnam War, guitar, watching his kids’ sporting event and traveling wherever and whenever he can with his family—mostly to Greece. He is forever proud to call himself a Bingham Miner and continues to follow the accomplishments of Bingham High School. He is enamored with everyone he has ever met from Bingham Canyon. He notes that just being able to say he is a Bingham boy is pay dirt itself. He counts himself as being a grateful and lucky person because of his Bingham heritage. He is married to Paula Metos Saltas and they are the proud parents of three children, Pete, Eleni and Mikey.
Marilyn Richards and John Saltas are outstanding examples of the high quality graduates that have come from Bingham High and it was our pleasure to award them with the Pay Dirt Awards for 2009.