Making Good: Idaho job changes, recognition and other achievements

bizcom@idahostatesman.comJune 11, 2013 


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Advertising and PR

Ritter Public Relations won first place for a public affairs campaign in the Idaho Press Club's Best of 2012 competition for its work on the Idaho Health Insurance Exchange. The same campaign won an Impact Award from the Capital City Communicators.


Frank Shrontz, former CEO and chairman of the Boeing Co. and a University of Idaho alumnus, has received the Legacy of Leading Award from the university. The award honors people who have made significant contributions in leadership.

In 1986, Shrontz was inducted into the University of Idaho's Alumni Hall of Fame. In 1992, he was awarded an honorary doctor of law degree. In 1995 he was given a university Business Achievement Award, and in 1998 he received the Idaho Award of Legal Merit.

In 1996, Shrontz was the first recipient of the E. Donnall Thomas Medal from the Northwest Industry Partnership. In 1997 he was honored by the Junior Achievement Puget Sound Business Hall of Fame and received the Stanford Arbuckle Award. In 2004, he was inducted into the U.S. Business Hall of Fame.

Shrontz earned a law degree from the U of I College of Law in 1954. He served as chairman of Boeing from 1988 to 1996. In 1973, he was appointed assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations and logistics, and in 1976 he became assistant secretary of defense.

The university says Schrontz led Boeing through the worst airline slump in history, conceived and presided over a sweeping cultural change for the company and guided the creation of the world's first "paperless airplane," Boeing's 777, which relied on computer-assisted design.

John Gardner, director of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies' Energy Efficiency Research Institute, has been awarded the Bob Olsen Memorial Conservation Eagle Award from the Northwest Energy Coalition.

Gardner, and a mechanical engineering professor at Boise State University, is the founding director of the institution, a statewide initiative that includes Idaho's three universities and other groups. The institute is focused on conserving energy, lowering costs and creating new professional opportunities.

Since a gubernatorial proclamation established the institute in 2010, its researchers have made significant contributions in residential energy efficiency and commercial building energy performance, according to Boise State University.

Its most visible program is the regional Industrial Assessment Center, a $1.5 million federally funded program that trains undergraduate students throughout Idaho to improve energy efficiency of industrial processes from machine shops to food processing plants. One of only 24 in the nation, the center provides eligible small- and medium-sized manufacturers with a no-cost energy assessment and serves as a training ground for the next generation of energy engineers.

The institute is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and private foundations.

The Northwest Energy Coalition is an alliance of more than 110 environmental, labor, civic, faith and human service organizations, utilities and businesses in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.


Jeffrey R. Feeler has been appointed president and CEO of U.S. Ecology Inc., a Boise provider of radioactive, hazardous, PCB and nonhazardous industrial waste management and recycling services.

Eric L. Garratt was appointed executive vice president, chief accounting officer, treasurer and controller. Steven D. Welling was appointed executive vice president of sales and marketing. Simon G. Bell was appointed executive vice president of operations and technology development.

Feeler was named acting president and CEO after James R. Baumgardner was fired in October for undisclosed reasons. Feeler joined the company in 2006 as vice president, chief accounting officer, treasurer and controller. He was promoted in 2007 to vice president and chief financial officer; positions he held until his promotion to senior executive in October 2012. Before 2006, Feeler held financial and accounting management positions with MWI Veterinary Supply Inc., Albertsons Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. He is a certified public accountant and holds bachelor's degrees in finance and accounting from Boise State University.

Gerratt was promoted to vice president, acting chief financial officer and chief accounting officer in October. He joined the company in August 2007 as vice president and controller. He previously held financial and accounting management positions at Supervalu Inc., Albertsons and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Gerratt is a certified public accountant and holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Idaho.

Welling previously was senior vice president of sales and marketing. He joined U.S. Ecology in 2001 with the acquisition of Envirosafe Services of Idaho, now U.S. Ecology Idaho. He previously served as national accounts manager for Envirosource Technologies and western sales manager for Envirosafe Services of Idaho. He also managed new market development and sales for a national bulk chemical transportation company. Welling holds a bachelor's degree from California State University-Stanislaus.

Bell had been vice president of operations since 2007. From 2005 to August 2007, he was vice president of hazardous waste operations. From 2002 to 2005, he was the Idaho facility general manager and environmental manager. Bell has 20 years of experience in the hazardous and radioactive waste and mining industries and holds a bachelor's degree in geology from Colorado State University.

U.S. Ecology subsidiaries provide radioactive, hazardous, PCB and nonhazardous industrial waste management and recycling services to commercial and government customers, including refineries and chemical producers, manufacturers, electric utilities, steel mills, medical and academic institutions and waste brokers.


Lucy R. Juarez of Boise was elected vice chairwoman of the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs.

Juarez is an employment attorney interested in protecting employees' rights and fighting discrimination in the workplace and communities.

The commission's chairman is Juan Alvarez, whose term expires July 1, 2016.

Natural resources

Hecla Mining Co. has announced its acquisition of Aurizon Mines Ltd., a Canadian company, for $514 million Canadian and 57 million shares of Hecla stock.

The acquisition brings to Hecla the Casa Berardi mine, which is located in Quebec and is expected to produce 125,000 to 130,000 ounces of gold in 2013. The mine is expected to operate for more than a decade.

"The Aurizon assets, together with Hecla's strong base of producing silver mines, create a unique precious metals company, with three long-life, high-grade, low-cost operations, all in mining-friendly North American jurisdictions," says President and CEO Phillips S. Baker Jr.

The acquisition also brings several exploration and predevelopment projects in Quebec that might become productive.


Mike Jung, Idaho Statesman president and publisher, is the new chairman of the United Way of Treasure Valley. Clark Baumgartner and Scott Randolph have joined the board.

Jung has been a board member since April 2012. He formerly was the publisher at the Santa Cruz Sentinel and graduated from San Jose State University.

Baumgartner is the director of human resources for D&B Supply. He has more than 15 years of experience in HR, a bachelor's degree in business administration from Boise State University and a master's degree in business administration from Northwest Nazarene University. He is an instructor for the University of Phoenix.

Randolph is a partner in Holland & Hart LLP's Boise office. He represents clients in complex business disputes and employment litigation. He received a bachelor's degree from Oregon State University and a law degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

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