Business Insider

Making Good in Idaho Business

Jeff Lliteras
Jeff Lliteras


Leslie Preston, of Coiled Wines, won best in show at the fourth annual Idaho Wine Competition, and the Garden City winemaker’s Riesling was proclaimed the best in the state.

Her Coiled Wines 2012 Dry Riesling, which retails for $17, won the top award.

Cold Springs Winery in Hammett won best red wine for its 2009 Merlot. Cold Springs also won gold medals for its 2011 Chardonnay and 2010 L’attraction white blend.

Sawtooth Estate Winery in Nampa won best rosé for its 2012 Classic Fly Series Cinsault Rosé, while Camas Prairie Winery in Moscow won best dessert wine for its strawberry mead.

Also winning gold medals were Bitner Vineyards for its 2009 Petit Verdot Merlot blend, Clearwater Canyon Cellars for its 2011 Carmenere, Fraser Vineyard for its 2011 Tempranillo and Ste. Chapelle for its 2012 Special Harvest Riesling.

“The Idaho Wine Competition is extremely important to the Idaho wine industry because it gives a sense of credibility to these wineries,” said Moya Dolsby, executive director of the Idaho Wine Commission.

Idaho’s most popular grape variety is Riesling, and it’s typically produced in an off-dry style with residual sugar beyond 1 percent. Preston’s gold medal came from a Riesling finished at 0.7 percent residual sugar and bottled under a sleek screwcap. It was only her second vintage of Riesling done dry, and she produced 392 cases.

Preston launched Coiled Wines in 2008, choosing to raise her family in her home state of Idaho and leave her job at Stags’ Leap Winery in Napa.

The Idaho Wine Competition is run by Great Northwest Wine and coordinated by the Idaho Wine Commission in Boise.


Ben Johnson has joined Lyle Pearson Acura as a sales consultant. He has 10 years of auto sales experience.

Johnson previously worked at Edmark Superstore in Nampa. He graduated from the College of Idaho with a master’s degree in education, and he is a retired Air Force first sergeant.

Lyle Pearson Co., founded by Pearson in 1969, represents six luxury-line manufacturers including Acura, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz – Sprinter, Porsche and Volvo.


John Billetz, executive director of the Idaho High School Activities Association, will retire after eight years at the helm. Billetz’s retirement is effective June 30, 2014.

Before joining the association from Post Falls High, Billetz spent time as the principal at Burley High School and athletic director at Minico. He also worked at Gooding High School and had stints as head football coach at all three schools.

Matt Compton, Dave Harbison and Jason McKinley have joined The Idaho Education Association

Compton, director of public policy, has extensive experience in political campaigns, organizing, fundraising and public relations. He has served as a lobbyist for the Idaho Sportsman’s Caucus since 2006. He is a graduate of the Meridian School District and Boise State University. He also has a master’s degree from Humboldt State University.

Harbison, communications director, has a background in public/media relations and communications, and in radio and television. Most recently he served as a strategic communications associate with Scott Peyton & Associates, where he worked on branding and outreach projects for clients. Harbison also worked for Boise State University as director of content development and media projects. His broadcast journalism experience includes work with KBOI/KTIK and the Bronco Radio Network in Boise, as well as with various national networks and stations in Houston, Washington, D.C., and Ann Arbor.

McKinley, Region 2 director, is rejoining the IEA staff. He served as the director of government relations from 2000 to 2003. He also taught English for seven years at Potlatch High School and has had leadership roles with local IEA associations. Region 2 encompasses Lewiston, Moscow and several other communities in North Idaho.

Edward O. “Oz” Garton, Mark Hurley and James Unsworth designed a study on the response of mule deer to the reduction of coyotes and mountain lions in southeastern Idaho that earned The Wildlife Society’s 2013 Monograph Award.

One monograph is selected each year from a large field of research.

Garton is professor emeritus at the University of Idaho College of Natural Resources.

The study, funded primarily by Idaho Department of Fish and Wildlife, began as a way of addressing the decline of mule deer in the Northwest. Hurley, who earned his master’s degree at U of I, led the study with Unsworth, who did his undergraduate work and earned his doctoral degree at U of I under Garton.

The research team selected all hunting units south of Interstate 84 from Twin Falls to the Montana border. Six different treatments were used involving depredation hunts and removal of mountain lions and coyotes.

“That was the big thing with the hunters,” Garton said. “They feel like predators are competing with them for deer.”

Transmitters were placed on nearly 1,000 deer monitored throughout the five-year study. Garton and the team created a method to correct for error in headcounts done while flying over herds.

The study concluded that, although the survival rate of fawns and young does could be increased with a decline in predators, it did not affect the long-term population of the mule deer.

The research team also included Debra Montgomery, who earned two master’s degrees at the University of Idaho.

Financial services

Jeff Lliteras and Audra Stewart have joined the regional CPA and business advisory firm of Eide Bailly LLP. They work in the firm’s Boise location.

Lliteras has more than 10 years of experience, specializing in Sarbanes-Oxley, internal audits, Securities and Exchange Commission reporting and business valuations. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Institute of Internal Auditors, and the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Gonzaga University. He joins Eide Bailly as a consulting services senior manager.

Stewart joins Eide Bailly as an audit associate. She is a recent graduate from Boise State University, where she earned her master’s in accountancy. She also earned her bachelor’s in business administration — accounting from Washington State University. She is working toward her certified public accountant license.


Terry Todd, director of the Idaho National Laboratory Fuel Cycle Science and Tech Division, has been named as a fellow in The American Institute of Chemical Engineers. This level of membership is the highest offered by the institute and is awarded to those who have been working in the profession for 25 years or more.

Todd has been a chemical engineer for 33 years, beginning with his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Montana State University. He has a doctorate in radiochemical engineering from the Khlopin Radium Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia.

At INL, where he has spent more than 30 years, Todd specializes in chemical separation methods to recycle nuclear fuel and reduce waste. In 2008, he earned the INL distinction of Laboratory Fellow.

In addition to authoring many peer-reviewed publications, Todd has been awarded 29 patents. Some of these patents relate to the Nano-Composite Arsenic Sorbent, an affordable polymer particle that removes the toxic substance from drinking water. Todd says the invention “might help make life better for affected people.” The technology received an R&D 100 Award in 2006.

He is the only current INL employee named as a Fellow of the AIChE, which has 45,000 members in 90 countries.

INL is one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s 10 multiprogram national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of the strategic goal areas of DOE: energy, national security, science and environment. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.


Social Good Network, Boise, has been selected to showcase its digital cause-marketing platform at the 10th anniversary of Advertising Week, an annual gathering of marketing and communications leaders. The company is one of 25 start-ups, identified in a worldwide search, to present in the “Video, Content, and Storytelling” track.

Social Good Network connects companies, causes and crowds. Its digital cause-marketing platform engages purpose-driven consumers with meaningful cause stories, increasing awareness, conversion, and measurable social impact. The company, headquartered in Boise, was co-founded in 2011 by Antonia Chappell, chief innovation officer and president, and Russ Stoddard, chief do-gooder and CEO.


Eric Vos, fleet maintenance technician from FedEx Freight, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., finished second at the nationwide 2013 TMC SuperTech competition held in Pittsburgh in September. Vos, a technician with the company for nine years in Boise, placed first in the Tire & Wheel skills station and third in Drivetrain skills.

SuperTech, hosted by the Technology & Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Associations, is a skills competition for professional commercial vehicle technicians.

More than 120 technicians faced off in the competition. They were challenged with a written exam and hands-on skill tasks that tested each technician’s knowledge of engine electronics, steering and suspension, tires and wheels, preventative maintenance inspections and more.