Making Good in Idaho Business

Job changes, new hires, achievements, good deeds and recognition. © 2013 Idaho StatesmanOctober 8, 2013 


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Leslie Odom is the new associate director for reporting in the Office of Institutional Research at Boise State University.

Odom has more than 10 years of experience with data analysis and report writing for higher education, most recently serving as director of institutional research and planning at the University of Dallas, a private liberal arts institution. She held previous roles at the University of North Texas, the University of Texas at Dallas, Texas Woman’s University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Odom has been a regular contributor to the Texas and Southern Associations for Institutional Research. She holds a doctorate in educational research from the University of North Texas.

Steve Chiu, Idaho State University associate professor of electrical engineering, was one of 73 young engineering educators selected to take part in the National Academy of Engineering’s fifth Frontiers of Engineering Education symposium.

Faculty members who are developing and implementing educational approaches in a variety of engineering disciplines will come together for the event to share ideas and learn from research and best practices in education. The attendees were nominated by fellow engineers. The symposium will be held Oct. 27-30 in Irvine, Calif., and is sponsored by John McDonnell and the McDonnell Family Foundation. The National Academy of Engineering, an independent nonprofit organization, was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences.


Erin Heuring, Taylor Reed, Kelsey Manweiler, Kaela Becklund, Elise Villaret, Chelsea Perdue and Carson Sandau have been welcomed by U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo as new interns in his Idaho and Washington, D.C., offices to learn more about Congress, the federal government and the legislative process. Interns in the senator’s offices assist staff with legislative research, constituent communications, administrative tasks and many other duties.

Washington, D.C., office

Heuring recently graduated from the University of Idaho, where she studied English and international studies. A Boise native, she studied in China and was a tutor at the on-campus writing center. She plans to attend law school.

Reed comes from Boise and earned her degree in international studies and French at the University of Idaho.

Manweiler, a Boise State University graduate, earned her degree in marketing. She plans to attend law school.

Boise office

Becklund is finishing up her last semester at Boise State, where she is pursuing a degree in political science. After completing that degree, she plans to pursue a master’s or law degree.

Villaret is a junior at Boise State, where she is studying political science; she plans to attend law school.

Idaho Falls office

Perdue hails from San Diego, Calif., and has been studying international studies at Brigham Young University-Idaho for the past four years. In the future, she plans to relocate to the Washington, D.C., area to seek employment in a foreign policy-related field.

Twin Falls office

Sandau is a third-generation Idahoan and a senior at Twin Falls High School. He is a member of his school’s show choir and the Chamber of Commerce Young Ambassadors and he volunteers at the Twin Falls Visitor Center. He plans to attend an Idaho university.


John May, a longtime tourism and hospitality industry professional in Boise, has joined the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association as executive director.

May replaces Grant Simonds, who served as the association’s executive director for 28 years and will now serve as the group’s governmental affairs liaison.

May is the former general manager of the Owyhee Hotel, served for six years on the Idaho Travel Council, and held leadership positions on the Idaho Lodging and Restaurant Association and the Treasure Valley Lodging Association. He’s a native Idahoan.

Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association is a nonprofit trade and marketing group with approximately 250 members across the state, including licensed outfitters, licensed guides and associate members.


The Housing Co. is one of 17 organizations nationwide to earn full Green Organizational Accreditation by the Sustainable Performance Institute and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The accreditation is given to organizations that implement green building and operational best practices, build the capacity of staff, track and measure building performance, realize significant improvements in health and energy efficiency and achieve cost savings.

The Housing Co. is a nonprofit created by the Idaho Housing and Finance Association in 1990 to provide rental housing options for families and seniors. Its primary purpose is to preserve Idaho’s existing affordable housing stock, foster development of new housing in underserved areas, and provide professional property management.

Green Organizational Accreditation is part of HUD’s Affordable Green Initiative, a pilot program launched in 2012 to support affordable housing organizations. The goal is to enable organizations to institutionalize sustainability and improve portfolio management.

Justin Nyquist has been appointed for a three-year term to the American Red Cross of Greater Idaho Board of Directors.

Nyquist is an account executive at Red Sky in Boise.

“Besides his expertise in the marketing arena, as a certified Arabic linguist, (Nyquist) also brings a multicultural point of view to our international agency.” said Pat Waller, chair of the board of directors.

Nyquist served for five years in the Marines.


Brian Shields of Micron Technology presented a check for $14,371 to The Idaho Foodbank after he drove 7,600 miles across Asia and Europe to raise the funds from 26 donors.

The Micron executive and his daughter, Chantal, raced in the monthlong Peking to Paris Endurance Rally for classic cars in May and June. In their 1965 Ford Mustang, they came in 33rd overall and 19th in their class of 32.

The rally wound through China, Mongolia, Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Austria, Switzerland, Germany and France. Shields displayed the Foodbank logo on his car with the goal to raise cash donations through pledges for every mile they drove.


Billy Wingfield II, general manager of ValleyRide Boise bus services, has been named to Mass Transit Magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40” list.

Wingfield, employed by Veolia Transportation, served as ValleyRide operations manager from July 2007 until November 2011, when he was named general manager.

Wingfield oversees more than 85 employees. For fiscal 2012, Valley Ride achieved record ridership of 1.24 million on its 16 fixed-line bus routes.

Wingfield’s accomplishments include establishing and implementing a new employee orientation and training program, improving safety-related incident/accident records, and restructuring the Operations and Maintenance Department.

Wingfield has a bachelor’s degree from Boise State University. He was an all-conference Boise State football player and was team captain for three years.

Also named to the “Top 40 Under 40” list was Robert Schneider, who served as general manager of ValleyRide Boise bus services from February 2007 to November 2011. Schneider is currently executive director of Central Midlands Transit based in Columbia, S.C.

Other businesses

MWI Veterinary Supply Inc. has been named for the third year in a row to Fortune Magazine’s list of “100 Fastest-Growing Companies.”

MWI ranks No. 87 and is also one of 15 companies included in Fortune’s “Fastest Growing All-Stars.” MWI was ranked No. 80 in 2012 and No. 92 in 2011.

To be considered for the list, public companies must meet certain financial metrics and reporting standards. Fortune ranks each by revenue growth rate, earnings-per-share growth rate and three-year annualized total return for the period ended June 28, 2013.

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