Achievements in Idaho business, government, education and nonprofits

Job changes, new hires, achievements, good deeds and recognition

March 19, 2014 


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Agriculture and Food

Durcan joins board of MWI Veterinary

Mark Durcan, CEO of Micron Technology Inc., has joined the MWI Veterinary Supply Inc. board of directors. He will serve on the compensation and corporate governance and nominating committees.

"Mark has an outstanding track record during his tenure as CEO of Micron, and we are confident that his executive, international and technology experience will benefit our board and company," says MWI CEO Jim Cleary.

Durcan has served as CEO and a director of Micron since February 2012. Previously, he served in senior leadership roles at Micron, including president and chief operating officer and chief technology officer. Durcan joined Micron in 1984.

Durcan is a board member of the Semiconductor Industry Association and chairman of the Micron Foundation. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees in chemical engineering from Rice University.

Vickery wins award

Valley Agronomics' Kirk Vickery is the state winner of the National Corn Growers Association's 2013 National Corn Yield Contest.

The award recognizes the highest-yielding corn in the irrigated division. The variety grown was Croplan 3899, a 96-day hybrid.

For nearly half a century, the contest has provided a chance for corn growers to compete to see who can grow the most corn per acre.

Valley Agronomics is a regional multistate agronomy cooperative that provides products and services to full-time farm and ranch producers.

Idaho Dairy Council makes donation

The council has selected 31 schools in Idaho to receive $52,370 to support their Fuel Up to Play 60 initiatives. Fuel Up to Play 60 is a free school wellness program in more than 70,000 schools nationwide.

Funds for this competitive, nationwide program - up to $4,000 per school per year - are provided by Idaho Dairy Council, other state and regional dairy councils, and dairy farmers. The money supports activities and tools, from resources that help enhance students' healthy eating, such as food-service equipment and nutrition education materials, to items that help schools address students' physical activity needs, such as exercise equipment and student and staff incentives.

In Idaho, schools will use the funds to create and promote new in-school breakfast opportunities for students, develop a taste-testing program to expose students to healthy new cafeteria food options, launch schoolwide walking clubs.

Treasure Valley Salsa gives to schools

Treasure Valley Salsa, a producer of locally made gourmet salsas, in 2013 donated $1,950 to the Boise Public Schools Education Foundation and Meridian Education Foundation. The donation was part of Treasure Valley Salsa's "Healthy Bodies, Growing Minds" charitable program.

Launched in March 2012, this program supports public schools in the Boise and Meridian school districts by donating 10 cents for every jar sold to retail stores within the school district boundaries.


Connors named alliance chairman

The Idaho Chamber Alliance has named Bill Connors, president and CEO of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce since 2009, as its new chairman.

Connors took over as chairman during the ICA's annual "Chamber Days at the Legislature" meeting in Boise in January and will serve a two-year term. He succeeds Shawn Barigar, president and CEO of the Twin Falls Area Chamber of Commerce.

Previously, Connors was the executive director of the Global Business Travel Association in Alexandria, Va. He also was a senior executive for the American Society of Travel Agents and the Travel Institute.

Connors serves on the board of the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau and was recently elected vice chairman of the Boise Airport Commission.

The alliance was formed to help local chambers around the state stay informed and connected to the Legislature, speak with a unified voice, and make an impact on the issues that affect businesses, the economy and communities.

WTS announces award winners

The Treasure Valley Chapter of WTS - formerly the Women's Transportation Seminar - has named award winners for 2013:

Member of the Year - Stephanie Borders

Employer of the Year - URS Corp.

Innovative Project Solutions Award - City of American Falls, Downtown Streets

Transportation Leader of the Year - Bruce Wong, Ada County Highway District director

WTS is an international organization that builds the future of transportation through the advancement of women. It has more than 5,000 members.

BYP leadership team announced

The Boise Young Professionals has announced its 2014 leadership team.

Kristin Muchow, Meeting Systems, will serve as the chair. Nick Taylor, Hawley Troxell, is the new chair-elect. Brooke Green, Community Transportation of Idaho, is the immediate past chair.

BYP is a program of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce to connect, empower and engage young professionals throughout the Valley in an effort to keep and attract talent. BYP is run by a 21-person leadership team and two part-time employees: Carrie Westergard, community relations director, and Erin Cave, assistant manager, leadership and digital media.

"The quality and vast array of programming offered would not be possible without the dedication of our volunteer leadership team and work teams," Westergard says.

The 2014 BYP program is sponsored by University of Idaho - Boise, Key Bank and Perkins Coie. The 2014 BYP media sponsor is the Idaho Statesman.

Boise Centre gets new employees

Boise Centre has appointed Anne Marie Downen as controller, while Mary-Michael Rodgers has been hired as communications manager for the center and the Greater Boise Auditorium District.

Downen most recently worked as the senior financial officer for Hepton Livestock LLC. She has also served as controller and in human resources for Performance Design LLC, director of finance for Gem State Manufacturing Inc., vice president and commercial loan officer for Idaho Banking Co., and assistant vice president and credit administrator for Farmers & Merchants State Bank.

She belongs to the Idaho Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is a business counselor for SCORE, the Service Corps of Retired Executives. Downen is a graduate of the University of Idaho.

Rodgers has been a member of the Boise Centre marketing and sales team since 2010. Her experience includes working as a sales manager for the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau, director of sales for the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown, and sales manager for Red Lion Hotels. Rodgers is a member of Meeting Professionals International and serves on the Western Idaho Fair/Expo Building board of advisers. She is a graduate of Northern Arizona University.

Downen begins her duties April 1. Rodgers started her new role March 1.

New chair-elect at Boise Chamber

The Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce has selected Kris J. Ormseth, managing partner of Stoel Rives LLP's Boise office, as its new chair-elect. Ormseth will take over as chair in 2015.

Ormseth has served on the board of directors for the Women's and Children's Alliance since 2005 and was president in 2010. He serves on the board of directors and executive committee for the Treasure Valley YMCA. He has served on the board and executive committee of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce since 2007.

Through his practice, Ormseth represents public and private businesses in manufacturing, energy, technology, health care, financial services, real estate development and other industries. He also devotes a portion of his practice to representing emerging businesses. He has been listed for the past nine years in Chambers USA as one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business;" as a "Mountain States Super Lawyer" by Law & Politics magazine; and in Best Lawyers in America.

Previously, Ormseth was the vice president of Landata Inc. of Idaho. Ormseth earned a bachelor's degree from Stanford University in 1983 and his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1991.

Scott Kreiling, president of Regence BlueShield of Idaho, is the chamber's chairman in 2014. He succeeded Candi Allphin, U.S. Bank, who served as the chair in 2013 and will continue as immediate past chair.

Hupp joins board of visitors bureau

Rebecca Hupp, director of the Boise Airport, has joined the board of directors of the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau. Hupp has 20 years of experience in the airline industry, along with a previous role as a board member for the Maine Tourism Commission.

Hupp has been airport director since April 2012. She previously served as the director at Bangor International Airport in Maine and manager of the Aberdeen Regional Airport in South Dakota. Hupp earned a bachelor's degree in aviation management from the Florida Institute of Technology and an MBA from Webster University.

Hupp serves on the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce's Travel Industry Advisory Board and as a mentor to young professionals through the Boise Young Professionals' b|wise program.

The board of the convention bureau is made up of tourism-industry leaders.


CATCH Inc. receives donated vehicle

Tom Scott Toyota presented a new Toyota Tundra to CATCH Inc., as part of the Toyota 100 Cars for Good program, a philanthropic initiative in which the automaker is giving away 100 cars to 100 nonprofits over 50 days, based on votes from the public. CATCH stands for Charitable Assistance to Community's Homeless.

CATCH Inc.'s executive director, Greg Morris, says the pickup will help with the group's efforts to rehouse homeless families with children, including obtaining and distributing furniture and household items.


EdLab Group, PCS collaborate

PCS Edventures!.com Inc., a provider of K-12 programs focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, is collaborating with the EdLab Group, a private nonprofit founded in 1998.

The collaboration will help PCS improve teacher professional development and provide greater access to STEM for students nationwide, PCS says.

PCS will introduce EdLab's Girls Can Build program and other pilot programs developed in the Edventures Lab. The programs will provide a platform for STEM learning for K-4 girls. PCS's Edventures Lab and classroom products, intellectual property and teacher training will support the EdLab Group's National Girls Collaborative Project and other initiatives.

Engineering prof receives award

Elisa Barney Smith, a Boise State University associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been named winner of the Outstanding Leadership and Professional Service Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Region 6.

The award recognizes a member who, through professional and technical abilities, has made contributions to the institute, the community, fellow professionals and the public.

Barney Smith is a member of the Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers. She was chair of the Boise section of IEEE from 2000 to 2003 and has been chair of IEEE's Region 6, Northeast Area, since January 2009.

Barney Smith was noted for several accomplishments during her role as chair, including oversight of the formation of the section's young professionals affinity group, the Computer Society chapter and the joint chapter of Power Engineering and Industrial Applications Societies. As northeast area chair, she has pushed for formation of three groups: the Signal Processing Society chapter, the Solid State Circuits chapter and the Life Member affinity group.

Barney Smith's research is in image processing and pattern recognition, with a primary focus on document image analysis. Her doctoral work focused on modeling and understanding document image degradations to improve document image analysis and recognition. For this work she earned an National Science Foundation CAREER award.

She also does research on biomedical image processing, remote sensing and astronomical image processing. Her newest research focus is on neuromorphic computing. This work is collaborative with Boise State faculty members Kris Campbell and Vishal Saxena.


Silver is interim city administrator

Ramon "Ray" Silver, who oversaw the construction of two four-star hotels while serving as city manager in Coronado, Calif., has been named interim city administrator for Ketchum.

Silver began work March 4, filling the position vacated early this year by Gary Marks, who accepted another job.

Silver also has been city administrator in Huntington Beach, Calif., where he helped implement the strategic plan for the city's evolution from a daytime destination to an overnight destination, Ketchum Mayor Nina Jonas says. His tenure included the construction of resort hotels and adoption of new downtown development standards to create vibrancy in otherwise empty real estate.

He also has served as city manager of Upland and Westminster, Calif., and has been involved in projects including tourism, economic and community development, land use, strategic planning and budgeting. In addition, he has worked in the private sector as a consultant providing economic and land-use development, housing support and interim staffing to both public and private corporations.

Silver holds a bachelor's degree from California State University, Los Angeles, and a master's degree from California State University, Fresno. He is a past president of the Rotary Club in Coronado.


Wish Granters elect 2014 officers

The officers are:

President: Frank Wallace of Pepsi Beverages Co.

Vice President: KJ Mac of Kool Oldies 99.5.

Treasurer: Janelle Conaway of JasperSoft Corp.

Secretary: K'lyn D'Elia, community volunteer.

Other board members are Matt Irvin of Boise Inc.; Kevin Grant, community volunteer; Cindy McClaskey of McClaskey's Glads and Cherie Coonce, community volunteer.

Create Common Good names COO

Boise-based nonprofit social enterprise Create Common Good has named Don Berry president and chief operating officer. A former Trus Joist and Weyerhaeuser executive, Berry has emerged from retirement to help scale Create Common Good's impact and work in tandem with founder and CEO Tara Russell.

Berry will manage day-to-day operations and growth while Russell focuses on external new business and partnership development, telling Create Common Good's story, and preparing for expansion into new markets.

Russell says Berry's experience in finance and manufacturing - he sports an MBA and spent a quarter century managing wood-products plants - will prove invaluable as Create Common Good pursues self-sufficiency and begins replicating its model elsewhere.

"We're seeking to scale our food production and training efforts in Boise and beyond to other communities that are searching for employment solutions and value-added food production," Russell says. "We've been eager to find the right person to manage the day-to-day operations and prepare our team for this exciting new chapter. Don's deep experience and wisdom with manufacturing across multiple, large-scale operations will be critical to these efforts."

Berry, who began volunteering at Create Common Good last summer, says he's been a little restless since retiring and wants to help people. "I'm aiming to improve efficiency and serve more people in the community," he says. "I want to fill our facility to the limit and flip Create Common Good's revenues-to-donations ratio from 20-to-80 to 80-to-20."

Retail and restaurants

AB Acquisition names CFO, CAO

AB Acquisition LLC (Albertsons), which operates Albertson's LLC and New Albertson's Inc., says Rick Navarro, who had been the company's chief financial officer since its inception in 2006, has been appointed chief administrative officer. Succeeding Navarro as CFO is Robert B. Dimond.

"Our decentralized operating structure requires executives with entrepreneurial mindsets, and the work that Rick and Bob have done in their careers exemplify that trait," says Bob Miller, CEO of Albertsons. "Our leadership teams at Albertson's LLC and New Albertson's Inc. have done a phenomenal job positioning our stores for the future, and both Rick and Bob are capable executives who will help our company to capitalize on that as we look to grow for the future."

As CFO, Navarro oversaw all aspects of the company's financial management, including treasury, accounting and controls, financial planning and analysis, inventory control, payroll and tax. He was integral to the formation of the company in its earliest stages and the creation and implementation of its operations review processes. In his new role, Navarro will oversee the information technology, legal, business development, human resources and public affairs functions.

Dimond brings 24 years of financial and senior executive management experience in the grocery and distribution industry. Dimond most recently served as executive vice president, CFO and treasurer at Nash Finch, a food distribution and retail company with $5 billion in annual revenues. Dimond also served as the primary contact for all investor relations, investment and commercial banking activities.

Prior to Nash Finch, Dimond was with Wild Oats Markets as chief financial officer and senior vice president from April 2005 to December 2006. He also served as group vice president and chief financial officer for the western region of The Kroger Co., as well as vice president, administration and controller for Smith's Food and Drug Centers. Dimond earned his bachelor of science degree in accounting from the University of Utah and is a certified public accountant.

Wal-Mart gives grant to mission

The Boise Rescue Mission has received a $70,000 grant from Wal-Mart and the Wal-Mart Foundation as part of the company's State Giving Program. The grant will help the Rescue Mission fund programs that serve people in need and the homeless through food purchases, kitchen supplies, healthy snacks for children's programs and transportation.

The grant was presented to the Rescue Mission during an event at the City Light Home for Women and Children.

Boise Rescue Mission is the primary provider of services for the homeless in the state of Idaho with four facilities in Ada and Canyon counties. In addition to providing overnight shelter, meals and clothing, it offers programs to address homelessness in its entirety. Last year, the Rescue Mission served more than 34,000 hot meals and provided more than 122,000 overnight stays to those in need.

Last month, the Rescue Mission celebrated the recently completed expansion of the Lighthouse Rescue Mission and the grand opening of the Valley Women and Children's Shelter.

The contribution is one of five recently awarded grants totaling $185,000 in the state. The Post Falls Food Bank, Sandpoint Area Seniors, High Country Resource Conservation and Development Area, and Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership also received grants.

In 2012 in Idaho, WalMart, Sam's Club locations and the Wal-Mart Foundation awarded more than $5.3 million to local organizations in Idaho.

Boise RAM's party fights hunger

The RAM Restaurant and Brewery presented a $2,500 check to the Idaho Foodbank. The donation represented proceeds from The RAM's parking lot party last fall. Regional leader Kevin Martinez and Idaho head brewer Jake Schisel presented the check to Idaho Foodbank Development Director Teena Wright.

The event featured the Hunger-Free Altbier, a collaborative German-style brown ale beer brewed by The RAM and Snow Eagle Brewing in Idaho Falls. Proceeds from commemorative T-shirts and burgers sold during the event were also donated to the food bank.

Stith joins Thomas Cuisine Management

Shannon Stith has been named chief financial officer at Thomas Cuisine Management.

Stith has 10 years of experience in finance and accounting. Most recently she was employed at Boise Inc., now a Packaging Corporation of America company, as a senior planning associate. Previously she served as the CFO and vice president of finance for PCS Edventures!.com Inc. and RxElite Inc.

Stith earned her bachelor's degree in finance and MBA from Boise State University. She is a CPA and a registered paralegal.

Stith is a member of the AICPA's Women's Initiatives Executive Committee and has served on committees for the Idaho State Society of CPAs and the Idaho State Board of Accountancy. Stith volunteers for the Junior League of Boise.

Panda Express makes donation

Panda Express donated $3,000 to The Boys & Girls Club of Ada County, helping give local youth the "Gift of a Great Future." Along with the donation, Panda Express also catered the holiday party for The Boys & Girls Club of Ada County.


Idaho Stampede donates money

The Idaho Stampede Community Foundation, in conjunction with Cummins Rocky Mountain, Gary Multanen and Best Bath Systems, donated $11,500 to Hope House Inc. Hope House is a home for children who are emotionally impaired, developmentally disabled, and/or come from dysfunctional families.

The Boys & Girls Club of Ada County received $3,300 to help refurbish the gym floor. The Boys and Girls Club helps 4,000 Ada County youths.

Country club elects board members

Hillcrest Country Club is pleased to announce three new members to its board of directors - Susan Olson, executive director for Hawley Troxell; Scott Madison, executive vice president and general manager for Intermountain Gas Co.; and Ryan Eaton, national accounts manager for United Rental. Olson is the second woman to be elected to the board in the 74 years since it has been open.

"With an ever increasing younger member base, we are pleased to see many progressive changes at the club," says Ryan Stratton, the 36-year-old board president. "The traditions of our club remain vitally important, but there is also a need to evolve with the community."

Hillcrest is a family-friendly private club that opened the third golf course in the Treasure Valley when it was established as The Idaho Country Club in 1925 by Harry and John Eagleson. The club became Hillcrest Country Club in 1940.


ECCO partners with Sage school

ECCO Vice President of Global Engineering Todd Mansfield, who has been supporting a twice-weekly SolidWorks design modeling software class on-site, presented Sage technology and engineering teacher Guy Falconer with a framed Technology Partnership certificate.

"Sage truly has forward-thinking teachers and administrators, making the school a great fit for resource-sharing," Mansfield says. "In addition to imparting some of our expertise, we've been able to help fund seats of SolidWorks and furnish sophisticated equipment like 3D printers, a ShopBot and circuit boards with which they can practice programming."

"It feels great to assist in the educational system, and you never know, one or more of these students could end up being the next superstar engineer at ECCO one day," he says.

Sage is a K-12 school with an International Baccalaureate Program. ECCO, with operations on four continents, makes safety lighting and audible warning equipment for commercial, emergency and industrial applications.

AT&T gives grant to Girl Scouts

Boise-based Girl Scouts of Silver Sage received a $5,000 grant from AT&T Idaho for science, technology, engineering and math programming this summer at Camp Alice Pittenger on Payette Lake.

AT&T supports the Girl Scouts' National STEM initiative through a $1 million contribution to a program designed to reach underserved girls.

Micron appoints Thomas as VP

Micron Technology Inc. recently has named Darren Thomas vice president of its storage business unit.

The unit includes Micron's solid state storage business that ranges from hard-disk-drive replacements with solid-state drives to enterprise-class storage solutions. He brings 30 years of experience and most recently served as the vice president of Enterprise Storage for Dell Inc.

"The role of flash memory technology in storage will continue to grow, and Micron is investing to drive innovation, reliability and performance in our storage business," says Micron President Mark Adams.

"We are excited to have Darren join us and bring his leadership and industry experience to this effort moving forward."

Thomas' background includes serving in multiple storage and engineering executive and management positions at Texas Instruments and Compaq Computer Corp., among other companies, prior to joining Dell. An engineering graduate from Memphis University, Thomas was also instrumental in founding the Storage Networking Industry Association.


Sheldon honored by Jamaica board

Penny Sheldon, owner of Penny Sheldon Travel in Boise, was rewarded by the Jamaica Tourist Board for being one of the top 50 selling agents out of a group of 11,000. She was treated to a getaway at newly opened Royalton White Sands Resort. The celebration concluded with a special "All White Affair" gala where agents were presented with a specially designed piece of artwork by Jamaican artist Everald Powell. The agents were honored by Jamaica's minister of tourism and entertainment, Wykeham McNeill, and Director of Tourism John Lynch.


Idaho Power helps Girl Scouts

Boise-based Girl Scouts of Silver Sage has received a $3,000 grant from Idaho Power.

Funds from Idaho Power will provide 2014 summer camp scholarships to low-income girls, and will help pay for volunteer camp training and camp clean up.

Girl Scouts of Silver Sage serves nearly 4,500 girls in southern Idaho. Girl Scouts delivers educational leadership programs designed to build self-esteem, integrity and a sense of community, enabling girls to reach their full potential in their lives, careers and communities.


Damsel in Defense founders get award

Damsel in Defense co-founders Mindy Lin and Bethany Hughes have been awarded the Women's and Children's Alliance 21st Annual Tribute to Women and Industry award. They and other TWIN honorees were recognized at an awards luncheon at the Boise Centre.

Lin and Hughes in 2011 co-founded Damsel in Defense, a faith-based company that specializes in providing personal-protection products like stun guns and pepper spray to women. They say more than 4,500 independent "Damsel Pros" have joined their mission nationwide to equip, empower and educate women.

Damsel in Defense supports organizations that rescue women from sex trafficking, rehabilitate victims and assist survivors of sexual and domestic abuse.

Maintenance firm donates to Foodbank

Automated Maintenance Services Inc. gave $2,500 to the Idaho Foodbank. The company also provides volunteer hours to the food bank throughout the year.

Axiom Fitness donates to schools

Axiom Fitness donated $1,350 - $675 each to the Boise School District and the Meridian School District - as a result of its October new-member drive, in which $2 for every new member was designated to support local schools.

"Supporting local schools and teachers is an important part of our mission," says J.P. Green, president of Axiom Fitness.

International award to Boise technician

A Safelite AutoGlass Technician in Boise won the Belron Exceptional Customer Service Award.

Jacki Wilburn, repair specialist,is the first second-time Exceptional Customer Service Award winner.

The award was created in 2009 to recognize Belron team members worldwide who provide exceptional service to customers. Belron, the world's largest vehicle glass repair and replacement company, is the parent company of U.S.-based Safelite AutoGlass.

CTR Cleanup wins national award

CTR-Cleanup & Total Restoration won the Blue Ribbon Small Business Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The awards are given to companies for demonstrating exceptional business practices in several areas, including strategic planning, employee development, community involvement and customer service.

CTR is a residential and commercial cleanup, restoration and reconstruction company. Founded in 1994, CTR is locally owned and operated.

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