Making Good: Idaho job changes, recognition and other achievements © 2013 Idaho StatesmanJuly 23, 2013 


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Keith Weber, director of Idaho State University's GIS Training and Research Center, received a Special Achievement in GIS Award on July 10 at the Esri International User Conference in San Diego. Esri was originally called the Environmental Systems Research Institute.

The center has used Esri's GIS technology in a system to produce and update GIS maps on the severity and intensity of fires.


James Classen, Ken Smith, Margaret Chipman, Chris Beck and Sid Cellan have been appointed to the reconstructed Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission by Gov. Butch Otter. The panel is responsible for regulating the exploration, drilling and production of oil and gas resources on private, state and federal land in Idaho.

Earlier this year, the Legislature approved and Otter signed a bill replacing the existing commissioners - the same five constitutional officers who serve on State Board of Land Commissioners - with five members appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Idaho Senate. The commission members include experts in oil and gas, geology and water, plus two landowner representatives - one who owns mineral rights and one who owns land without mineral rights.

The Idaho Department of Lands will continue to be the administrative agency responsible for supporting the commission's work and implementing rules and statutes related to oil and gas exploration and production.

Classen, of Boise, will represent geological interests for a four-year term. He has 50 years of experience as a petroleum exploration geologist, geological engineer and manager. He is a member of several professional geological associations. He served in the Army Reserves and earned an engineer of geology degree from Colorado School of Mines and a master's degree in geology from Stanford.

Smith, of Boise, will represent oil and gas interests for a four-year term. Smith is a retired certified public accountant who was chief financial officer for oil and gas companies in Oklahoma, Texas and Idaho, and was executive vice president, chief operations officer, and chief technical officer for Petroglyph Energy in Idaho. He has several active memberships in industry associations.

Chipman, of Weiser, will represent landowners with mineral rights for a three-year term. Chipman owns a cattle feeding and ranching business in western Idaho's Washington County. She is a 20-year member of her local school board. In the past two years she has helped bring about town-hall meetings in Weiser with oil and gas industry representatives and state officials. Chipman has a bachelor's degree in business from the University of Idaho and is a certified pharmacy technician.

Beck, of Hayden Lake, will represent water interests for a two-year term. Beck is the mayor of Hayden Lake and has been involved in public service since the mid-1990s. He is a registered professional engineer in Idaho and Washington with 30 years of experience as a geotechnical engineer. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in geological engineering from the University of Idaho and is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Cellan, of Soda Springs, will represent landowners without mineral rights for a one-year term. Cellan is owner and operator of Cellan Farms in Soda Springs and has worked for the Caribou County Road and Bridge Department and the city of Soda Springs. He is the secretary/treasurer of the Idaho Grain Producers Association, a member of the Lure Crop Advisory Board for Caribou County, and a member of the Idaho Fish and Game Winter Feeding Advisory Board for the 5th District.


The Coeur d'Alene Resort has been named by Travel + Leisure magazine as the No. 17 resort in the Continental U.S. in the magazine's 2013 list of the world's finest hotels.

Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards gave the Hagadone Hospitality-owned resort a score of 91.65 out of a possible 100. The highest score, achieved by The Lodge in Sea Island, Ga., was 95.29.

Readers rate the hotels and resorts on rooms/facilities, location, service, restaurants/food and value. The rankings will appear in the August print edition.


The Idaho Foodbank has received its fourth consecutive four-star rating from Charity Navigator, the country's largest independent evaluator of nonprofits.

Charity Navigator President and CEO Ken Berger wrote in his letter to Foodbank President and CEO Karen Vauk, "Only 6 percent of the charities we rate have received at least four consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that (The) Idaho Foodbank outperforms most other charities in America. This 'exceptional' designation from Charity Navigator differentiates (The) Idaho Foodbank from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust."

Charity Navigator awarded six 4-star ratings in Idaho this year, and the Foodbank was the only one to earn the highest rating four years in a row.

The rating puts the Foodbank in the company of charities including the American Heart Association, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, Save the Children, many United Ways, the Sierra Club Foundation, Mercy Corps and food banks from New York to Arizona.


Syringa Networks, a regional provider of high-speed fiber optic services, says its 2013 Charity Golf Tournament raised $10,000 in support of the St. Luke's Children's Hospital.

The tournament was held at the Boise Ranch Golf Course in June, with more than 100 participants representing Syringa Networks customers, vendors and partners. Event sponsors included ADVA Optical Networking, Cisco Systems, Ericsson, DirecTV and radio stations KBOI and KTIK.

"Each year we select a local charity to support - one that is making an impact in our community and that most aligns with our core values," says Larry Price, vice president of sales and marketing. "The St. Luke's Foundation, in support of the Children's Hospital, truly embodies our vision for community, integrity and partnership."

Syringa Networks hosted the tournament as an internal event starting in 2002. In 2010, as a result of the company's growth, Syringa repurposed it as a charity event and significant part of its community-outreach efforts. The tournaments have since raised more than $40,000. Beneficiaries include the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Computers for Kids and the Idaho State Police Association.

Other businesses

Axiom Fitness raised $14,928 for the Make-A-Wish Idaho Foundation in its "Make-A-Wish May" promotion. The three Treasure Valley Axiom locations allocated 10 percent of all new membership fees to the Make-A-Wish Idaho Foundation. They also sponsored the Make-A-Wish Ultimate Urban Challenge and held an auction to raise funds for Idaho's Wish children.

Jaime Todd has joined Thomas Cuisine Management as director of business development. Todd is responsible for sales activities, strategies and developing new markets.

She received her bachelor's degree in nutrition management from Arizona State University and has 15 years of experience in restaurant management and operations, medical-device sales and territory management.

Jason Neddaf has been named general manager of the Henningsen Cold Storage Co. warehouse operations in Twin Falls.

Neddaf will direct Henningsen's operation, which includes 12 million cubic feet and 55,000 pallet positions.

Neddaf served 14 years in various positions with Schreiber Foods, most recently as the supply chain business manager. He holds a bachelor's degree in food science and technology from Texas A&M University.

Henningsen, founded in 1923, provides multitemperature warehousing and logistics services.

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