Business Insider

Achievements in Treasure Valley business, government, education and nonprofits, August 2015

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Advertising and PR

Kelci Lynn Lucier has joined Strategies 360 as a communications associate. Lucier received a bachelor’s in English from Occidental College and a master’s in education from Harvard University. Her book, “College Stress Solutions,” was published by Adams Media in 2014.


Amanda Gibson has joined the United Dairymen of Idaho as manager of business development and processor relations. She spent four years at the State Department of Agriculture and worked previously at a wireless device company in Bilbao, Spain, and at an animal health products company in Eagle. MUG

Valley Wide Cooperative, Valley Agronomics LLC and Land O’Lakes donated $2,000 to the Patricia Romanko Public Library in Parma and $2,000 to the Parma Rural Fire Protection District.


The Idaho Nursery & Landscape Association says four people became certified nursery professionals in July: Amber Trent, of Boise, an employee of the Idaho State Department of Agriculture; Lindsey DeJuncker, of Boise, an employee of Idaho Power; Mikel Kyle, of Boise, an employee of LuckE13 Landscape; and Madeline Lundgren, of Middleton, an employee of Summer Lawns.

Erin Nuxoll has been named to the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce board of directors. Nuxoll is senior vice president of human resources and a member of the senior leadership team at the J.R. Simplot Co. MUG

Leadership Boise, a program of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, has named its 2015 leadership team. Brock Martinson, CTA Architects Engineers, is the new president and will serve a one-year, ex-officio term on the chamber’s board of directors. Heather Kimmett, KeyBank N.A., is vice president. Jamie Milan, Clear Voice Telecom Inc., is the Leadership Boise Academy vice president. The Leadership Boise president is chosen by chamber’s staff, and the two vice presidents are elected by the current Leadership Boise class.

The Leadership Boise Alumni Association has announced its new leaders. Hilarie Engle, of the Idaho Montana affiliate of Susan G. Komen, is the incoming chair. Nate Pierce, PacificSource Health Plans, is the chair-elect. They were selected by the Leadership Boise Alumni Advisory Board.


Brian Smyth has joined Lyle Pearson Auto Show as sales manager for the Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Sprinter Van team. Smyth has 27 years of experience in the auto industry. MUG


Idaho Independent Bank has been named by as one of the top 200 Healthiest Banks in America based on deposit growth, capital and the Texas Ratio. The Texas Ratio is determined by comparing the total value of at-risk loans to the total value of funds the bank has on hand.

Kenneth Kean has been appointed as a real estate loan officer at Idaho Independent Bank’s West Boise branch. Kean has 20 years of mortgage and construction lending experience and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business management from Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Wash. MUG

Randy Puckett has rejoined Zions Bank as a commercial relationship manager at the Meridian Silverstone Financial Center at 3715 E. Overland Road, Suite 130. Puckett has 17 years of banking experience and previously worked for Zions from 2011 to 2014. MUG

Jessica Aguilar has been promoted to assistant vice president of corporate real estate and construction at D.L. Evans Bank’s Downtown Boise branch, 890 W. Main St. She has been with the bank for two years.

Matthew E. Gilgen has been promoted to vice president and branch manager IV from vice president branch manager III at D.L. Evans Bank’s Boise West State Street branch at 3845 W. State St. He has been with D.L. Evans Bank for 10 years and is audit chair for the Idaho Community Reinvestment Corp. MUG

Don Gunner has been appointed to vice president and commercial loan officer for D.L. Evans Bank’s Boise Vista branch at 1600 S. Vista Ave. Gunner has 34 years of lending experience and has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and computer science from Central Washington University. MUG

Karlin Johnson has been named commercial loan officer for D.L. Evans Bank’s Caldwell branch. Johnson received his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and has 12 years of banking experience. MUG

Brenda Sanford has been promoted to chief administrative officer of D.L. Evans Bank. She has been with D.L. Evans since 1986 and for the last 23 years has been chief financial officer. Curtis Smith succeeds her as CFO. Smith has been with the bank since 2005. They are located in the corporate office in Burley. MUGSx2


PCS Edventures!.com Inc., a Boise provider of K-12 programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, announced a strategic alliance with School Specialty Inc., a distributor of supplies, furniture, technology products, supplemental learning products and curriculum solutions to the education marketplace. School Specialty will feature PCS products in its marketing.

Northwest Nazarene University biology professor John Cossel and biology alumna Alicia Hedrick, a teacher at Fruitland High School, are working together on a research project this summer and next, “Assessing Disease Risk in a Population of the Critically Endangered Forest Frog, ‘Lithobates vibicarius.’” Their work is made possible by a $15,000 grant from the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust.

The Moscow Historic Preservation Commission has awarded the University of Idaho an Orchid Award. The award recognizes the work of university’s Architectural and Engineering Services team, which oversaw the design and construction of new campus entry gateways along Idaho 8 and U.S. 95 in Moscow.

Mark McGuire, head of the University of Idaho’s Animal and Veterinary Science Department, will serve as interim director of the Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station with the retirement of director Donn Thill after a 35-year career at the university. The station is based in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. McGuire joined the faculty in 1995 and has served as department head since 2012.

Brian R. Foisy is the new vice president for finance at the University of Idaho. His first day will be Aug. 31. Foisy has 20 years of experience, most recently as vice president for administration and finance at Minot State University in Minot, N.D. MUG

Jaap Vos has been named program head for bioregional planning and community design at the University of Idaho. Vos joins the university’s Urban Design Center in Boise. MUG

Claudia Allen has joined the Region V Small Business Development Center in the Idaho State University College of Business. Region V covers Bannock, Power, Bingham, Oneida, Franklin, Caribou and Bear Lake counties and is part of a statewide SBDC network. MUG

JoAnn Gurenlian, Idaho State University dental hygiene professor, is the 2015 recipient of the Esther Wilkins Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to oral health, education and the dental hygiene profession. Gurenlian, director of ISU’s dental hygiene master’s program, received the award from the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. Gurenlian is helping develop the nation’s first doctorate in dental hygiene at ISU. MUG

Joshua Pak, Idaho State University chemistry professor, is one of 78 scientists named to the 2015 class of the American Chemical Society Fellows for their accomplishments in chemistry and contributions to the society. MUG


John Boyd has joined Pharmer Engineering in Boise as an engineer EIT II. He earned a master’s degree in 2012 while working as a graduate research assistant with the University of Idaho’s Center for Ecohydraulics Research. MUG

Tyson Schlect has joined Pharmer Engineering in Boise as a process engineer, EIT I. Schlect received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, magna cum laude, from Washington State University and a master’s in environmental engineering from the University of Washington. MUG

Rich Reavis has marked one year of work as an engineer for Pharmer Engineering in Boise. He worked for three years as the new product development engineer at AWI in Salt Lake City, Utah after graduating from Boise State University with a degree in mechanical engineering. MUG

Jared Keller was promoted to principal of Lochsa Engineering of Idaho and Lochsa Engineering of Colorado, joining Riley Mahaffey at the helm of the Boise company. Keller began his engineering career at Lochsa in 2006 as a structural designer EIT and most recently was senior project manager, helping lead the company’s expansion into Denver. MUG

Jason Woodhouse recently joined Lochsa Engineering’s structural team as a structural designer. He is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University – Idaho, where he earned a degree in civil engineering. MUG

Financial services

Eide Bailly LLP, a CPA and business advisory firm, has promoted Christina Zwainz to manager and Jordan Salo and Kristin Diggs to senior manager in Boise.

Zwainz specializes in providing audits for governmental, nonprofit and higher education clients. She has been with the firm since 2009. Zwainz has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University Idaho.

Salo specializes in providing tax services for individuals, corporations and partnerships with a focus on closely held businesses. He has been with the firm since 2006. Salo has a master’s degree in professional accounting from Montana State University.

Diggs has experience providing audit services for a variety of clients, specializing in higher education, nonprofits and government. She has been with the firm since 2005. Diggs has bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Boise State University and a master’s degree in accountancy from Gonzaga University. MUGSx3

Laurence Parsons and his wife, Anne Parsons, have been named managers at Eide Bailly LLP in Boise. They have been with the firm since 2012 and have worked with Sage products for 15 years. MUGSx2


Maj. Christopher Borders has been named the new public affairs officer for the Idaho National Guard, succeeding Col. Tim Marsano, who retired after 30 years of service to the U.S. Air Force and Idaho National Guard.

Christa Ledbetter-Nuxoll was appointed to the Ada County Board of Community Guardians by the Board of Ada County Commissioners. The seven-member board recruits and monitors volunteers to serve as court-appointed guardians. Ledbetter-Nuxoll is a member of the Justice Alliance for Vulnerable Adults and is employed by the Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority. MUG

The Idaho Endowment Fund Investment Board says Gov. Butch Otter has reappointed Chairman Dean Buffington, state Rep. Neil Anderson and state Sen. Chuck Winder to four-year terms. Buffington, of Boise, is an investment adviser. Anderson, of Blackfoot, is a businessman and rancher representing District 31. Winder, of Boise, is a commercial real estate broker and assistant majority leader of the Idaho Senate, representing District 20. MUGSx3

Peter J. Black has been appointed to the Idaho Parks and Recreation Board by Gov. Butch Otter. Black is filling the vacancy of Jean McDevitt, who had served on the board since 1997. Black, a Democratic member of the Idaho House from 1982 to 1996 and assistant minority leader from 1986 to 1996, will represent the board’s District 5.

Health care

Geoff Hill, an accountant, has been appointed chief financial officer for West Valley Medical Center in Caldwell. Hill comes from California’s Riverside Community Hospital, which is owned and operated by West Valley’s parent company, HCA Healthcare. MUG

Yvonne Ketchum-Ward has been named CEO of the Idaho Primary Care Association. She succeeds Tom Fronk, who retired after three years in the job. Ketchum-Ward has served as the executive director of the Community Health Center Network of Idaho, a division of IPCA, since March 2014.

The Idaho State Dental Association’s new officers for the year beginning July 1 are: president, John E. Hisel Jr., DDS, Boise; president elect, Brian R. Crawford, DDS, Pocatello; vice president, James Miller, DDS, Coeur d’Alene; secretary/treasurer, S. John Staley, DDS, Boise; immediate past president, John J. Blaisdell, DDS, Caldwell.

The associations board includes these representatives: Idaho Panhandle Dental Society, Kory J. Wilson, DDS, Hayden; Lewis-Clark Dental Society, Mark W. Sheppard, DDS, Lewiston; South Central Idaho Dental Society, Steve P. Garn, DDS, Burley; Southeast Idaho Dental Society, R. Kim Smith, DDS, Pocatello; Southwest Idaho Dental Society, Lynn Gurney, DDS, MS, Boise, and Scott Alexander, DMD, Boise; Upper Snake River Dental Society, Michael A. Elison, DMD, Idaho Falls; and Western Treasure Valley Dental Society, Kim Keller, DDS, Nampa.

Health & fitness

Axiom Fitness presented Make-A-Wish Idaho with a check for $13,826 to help grant the wishes of Idaho children with life-threatening medical conditions. This donation is in addition to the $20,000 Axiom raised for the Walk-For-Wishes in June.

Hospitality & tourism

Alena Sheirs has been hired as sports/convention sales manager for the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau, joining two other sales professionals. Sheirs earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Boise State University. MUG


Norm Varin has been appointed to lead the Idaho Physicians Network, the largest independent provider network in Idaho. Varin directed government relations for PacificSource Health Plans, where he will continue. PacificSource has owned a majority interest in IPN since 2009. MUG

Insurance Professionals Agency in Boise is the recipient of a Safeco Insurance Make More Happen Award for its volunteer service with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho. The award includes a $3,000 donation from Safeco for the Idaho Ronald McDonald House.

Dr. Jack Stephens, founder of pet insurance in North America, has received the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Pet Health Insurance Association. A veterinarian, Stephens started the pet insurance industry in the U.S. in 1981 and went on to found Pets Best Insurance LLC, based in Boise, in 2005.


Nine attorneys at Givens Pursley in Boise have been selected as 2015 Mountain States Super Lawyers: Gary G. Allen, Christopher J. Beeson, Thomas E. Dvorak, Jeffrey C. Fereday, David R. Lombardi, Christopher H. Meyer, L. Edward Miller, Judson B. Montgomery and Robert B. White.

Kelly Greene McConnell has been listed among the Top 100 Mountain States Super Lawyers and the Top 50 Women Mountain States Super Lawyers for 2015.

Debora K. Kristensen has been named one of the Top 50 Women Mountain States Super Lawyers for 2015.

Craig Swapp & Associates, in Boise, is a gold sponsor for Kuna High School’s “Kaveman Strong” program — a series of events to boost school morale, create a legacy, and unite the student body with the local Kuna community. MUG

Wayne Meuleman and Joe Meuleman, attorneys at Meuleman Law Group in Boise, have been recognized by Mountain States Super Lawyers — Wayne for construction litigation and Joe as a rising star.

Jerry Johnson has joined Meuleman Law Group as an associate attorney focusing on construction and real estate transactions and disputes. He has a degree in Construction Management and held various industry positions before attending law school. MUG

Hawley Troxell attorneys David W. Knotts, Carsten A. Peterson, Tracy L. Wright, William K. Fletcher and Jessica E. Pollack have joined the firm in its main office in Boise. Knotts, the group’s senior attorney with 25 years of experience, joined Hawley Troxell as a partner. MUGSx5

Hawley Troxell expanded its Eastern Idaho presence by merging with the Idaho Falls law firm of Smith & Banks PLLC. Smith & Banks is a four-attorney firm led by its founding partners, Marvin M. Smith, Jeffery W. Banks and Marvin K. Smith. Steven M. Boyce is currently of counsel with Smith & Banks, and Austin Strobel is joining the firm. MUGSx5


The Idaho Media Initiative at Boise State University has announced the winners of its inaugural Public Affairs Reporting Awards. The winners include Idaho Statesman health and business reporter Audrey Dutton, Boise State Public Radio reporter Frankie Barnhill, freelance journalist Eric Hayes, Sandpoint Reader editor Cameron Rasmusson and independent filmmaker Zach Voss. Each received $2,000 to help report and produce public-affairs journalism.


Dar Symms, a lawyer and president of Symms Fruit Ranch in Caldwell since 2009, has joined the Idaho Freedom Foundation’s board, expanding its membership to six. Boise investment adviser Bob Rathbone is the chairman, and small businessman Brent Regan of Coeur d’Alene is cochairman. Other members included Heather Lauer of Phoenix, Dr. Loel Fenwick of north Idaho, and former state Sen. Russ Fulcher of Meridian.

The Idaho Foodbank has two new board members. John Colgrove is the vice president of marketing and merchandising for Albertsons’ Intermountain Division. Gina Walker is the director of program sales for Sysco USA 1, Idaho, where she has worked since 1998. MUGSx2

  Jay Lugo, of Boise, was recently inducted as governor of Lions Clubs International, District 39, which includes 42 Lions clubs serving 1,100 members and communities in Eastern Oregon and Southern Idaho.

The American Red Cross of Greater Idaho has announced three new board members. Gayann DeMordaunt is the executive director of Family Leader Idaho and a founder of North Star Charter School. Bruce Olenick is the Pocatello regional administrator for the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. Fred Webster is director of physician and provider relations for West Valley Medical Center in Caldwell. MUGSx3

Real Estate

Matt Foster has joined Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group’s Nampa office. Foster, an Idaho native, earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Idaho State University. Holly McNeel has joined the Meridian office. A former teacher with 12 years of experience, she holds a bachelor’s in English and a master’s in elementary education from Boise State. MUGSx2

Cushman & Wakefield | Commerce has expanded its Boise team with BreeAnna Fratusco as broker administrator, a support position. Fratusco earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Idaho. MUG

Holly Chetwood has joined the Thornton Oliver Keller Commercial Real Estate’s retail brokerage team from Palouse Commercial Real Estate in Spokane. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound. MUG

Thornton Oliver Keller Commercial Real Estate says industrial specialist Devin Pierce, a partner, has earned the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors designation. Pierce holds a bachelor’s degree from Pacific Lutheran University and is one of five industrial SIOR designees in the Treasure Valley. MUG

Patrick Curtis, of Boise, had joined Arthur Berry & Co. Curtis has 19 years of experience and holds a bachelor’s in business and finance. MUG


Boise’s Foot Dynamics store is mentioned in the July edition of Footwear Plus, an industry magazine. An article quotes Golden Harper, founder of Altra Zero Drop Footwear, saying that Foot Dynamics sells hundreds of Altra’s ultracushioned shoes each week.

Lowe’s Heroes from the Treasure Valley volunteered to assist in remodeling a Women’s and Children’s Alliance dormitory into office space. Also, the children’s therapy room was remodeled with paint, flooring and shelving for toys and crafts storage.

Tobacco Beverage Cos. opened its 50th store this month, a Big Smoke in Post Falls. The 20-year-old Nampa company operate Big Smoke and Tobacco Connection stores in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.


Robert Half, a staffing firm, has hired Greg Schreiner as branch manager in Boise. Schreiner attended Boise State University and has 15 years of experience in sales and seven years in recruiting. MUG

J’s Ultimate Hand Car Wash’s third annual car show, a charity fundraiser, raised $1,525 for the Veterans of Foreign Wars 1173. Some money will pay for haircuts for veterans at the state Veterans Homes in Boise, Pocatello and Lewiston. The rest will support the Homeless Veterans Initiative at the Boise Rescue Mission.

Sterling Landscape Co. in Nampa is under new ownership. Lavon Webb and Dan King began the process of buying the company from founders John and Lynne Sterling in 2004. The company officially became Sterling Landscape Co LLC in February. Sterling Landscape has been in business since 1972. Webb joined in 1989 as a laborer on the commercial landscape crew. King started in 1990, also as a landscape laborer. Other Sterling team members who have been recently promoted are Angela Williams, plant inventory/sales, and Eva Larson, personal gardening manager/sales.

Kristi Saucerman has been named CEO of Plan Ahead Events, an event planning company. Saucerman most recently served as CEO of Auction Frogs, a Boise event management and online auction platform she founded. Saucerman has been active in BLaunched, a mentoring program, and the Idaho Angel Fund.

Small business

Steven Santos of Boise At Its Best Flowers has been named a certified floral designer by the American Institute of Floral Designers.

Brian Price has acquired Signs 2 Fit, a Garden City sign, banner and advertising business owned by Georges Chatel since 2007. Price was most recently at Catapult3 for 16 years as vice president in charge of the graphics department. Chatel will remain as a consultant for several months.


TSheets, a Boise time-tracking software company, has partnered with Square, a payment and point-of-sale vendor, to add an employee management component to Square’s tools for businesses.


Idaho Power has recognized employees with 25 or more years of service. Ted Choules was hired July 1, 1985, as an auxiliary equipment operator at Lower Salmon Power Plant and now works as a station tech foreman at the mechanical and electrical shop. Bob Thielges was hired July 9, 1985, as a custodian at the BOC and now works as a utility arborist at the corporate headquarters. Kip Hill was hired July 2, 1990, as a meter reader in American Falls and now works as a regional system operator in Boise. Mike McLeod was hired July 27, 1990, as a biologist in Boise and is still working as a biologist at the corporate headquarters. Shaun Parkinson was hired July 2, 1990, as an engineer in Boise and now works as the water resources leader at the corporate headquarters. Patty Parsons was hired July 22, 1990, as a clerk in the general office and now works as an executive assistant at the corporate headquarters. Russ Weedon was hired July 18, 1990, as a mail clerk in the corporate headquarters and now works as a community education rep at the Boise operations center.

Idaho Power also announced the retirements of Wes Blackmer, 39 years; Mike Campbell, 16 years; Pat Johnson, 38 years; Warren Kline, 41 years; Martha Prouty, 32 years; Colleen Ramsey, 35 years; Mike Redden, 32 years; Ron Schellberg, 39 years; Don Streebel, 43 years; Linda Thomas, 16 years and Dale Welch, 35 years. MUGSx3