During our Vision for the Valley summit meetings, we put community leaders into small groups and gave them about a half hour to brainstorm about the future. Here are some quotes:
"We want to keep the idea that Boise and the Valley and Idaho are manageable, low stress. Getting to the airport, getting to the mall, going to the kids' soccer games, getting down to the Y, whatever it is, unlike a lot of communities, it doesn't take a great amount of planning ... and personal resources to pull it off."
JOHN HALE, managing partner, KPMG LLC
"One thing that really makes us very different in the Treasure Valley is that it is so easy for us to get involved. You can go to a BSU football game and you can root like crazy for the Broncos, right, but you can be right next to the president of the university. You can be right next to the governor in his cowboy hat, right?"
MICHAEL STOCKWELL, CEO, Ascensio
"(What we want is a) Treasure Valley, with affordable, easy access to the outdoors and healthy lifestyles, genuine people, a great labor force, an entrepreneurial spirit and a great sense of community."
SKIP OPPENHEIMER, chairman/CEO, Oppenheimer Companies Inc.
"One of the things we hear very often is when people do eventually get here, they are constantly surprised about what we have."
KAREN SANDER, executive director, Downtown Boise Association
"There's still a perception out there that this area is intolerant, that it doesn't honor diversity. And that's flat-out wrong. We need to overcome that. There's a perception that our education system, particularly secondary education, is substandard. That's not right."
JODY OLSON, counsel, Hawley Troxell, Ennis and Hawley, and board chairman, Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho
"The first step is actually what I would call prosperity maintenance. I mean, it's like, we've got to find a way to just maintain our quality of life and maintain our current economic condition, and not just fall further back or fall back as the downturn continues."
MARK RIVERS, Brix and Co.
"Much of the life that we enjoy here is given to us by somebody else. Our vision is that our broader sense of community would shift from a view of 'Protect what I have,' to a view of, 'Enhance what has been given to me.' "
KEVIN LEARNED, Idaho Small Business Development Center
"We sort of came to this term of shared hopefulness, that hope and trust is a big thing. And we worked around the concept of getting people to feel they belong, that they're learning and they contribute to the community."
DON KEMPER, CEO, Healthwise
"One (idea) was, on this idea of happiness, was being happy with less in exchange for having more freedom. ... You get more freedom, you have more resources, both to volunteer your time or to spend your money in different ways."
RACHEL WINER, Idaho Smart Growth