Business Insider

Achievements in Treasure Valley business, government, education and nonprofits: January 2016

Advertising and PR

Sophie Sestero has been promoted to senior account executive at the Boise office of Fahlgren Mortine. Sestero joined the firm in November 2014 as an account executive. In 2016 she will serve as chair elect of Boise Young Professionals.


The Idaho Potato Commission says it has worked with more than 100 food bloggers over the past five years on projects and invited dozens of them to travel to Idaho to experience the annual potato harvest. The commission has invited blogger partners to post the Idaho Potato Heart Badge on their blogs. The commission also released a new documentary shot by a blogger named Average Betty that captures the harvest through her eyes and those of food-service professionals.


LCA Architects, a Boise based architectural and interior design firm specializing in commercial and public-sector design, hired two new staff members.

Aurora Riopelle is a graduate of the Norwich University with a semester spent studying abroad in Berlin, Germany. She has four years of planning, design and construction-administration experience.

Ben Bernier has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice studies from the University of North Dakota, a master’s degree in architecture from North Dakota State University and certifications from the Peace Officer Standards and Training Academy in Meridian.

Arts & Culture

Opera Idaho has added three members to its board: Thomas J. Katsilometes, Christopher Salove and Michael Wetherell. Katsilometes is a Boise lawyer, Salove a Boise resident who has worked at Supervalu and Albertsons for most of his career, and Wetherell a former Boise City Council member and retired Idaho district judge.


The Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Boise Convention & Visitors Bureau have merged. The bureau will be permanently housed in the chamber along with the Boise Valley Economic Partnership. The bureau will operate as a separately funded division of the chamber, as BVEP does.

Two men were honored by the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho’s seventh annual Leadership in Motion awards. The awards recognizes individuals, businesses and projects that demonstrate leadership in supporting Communities in Motion 2040, the regional long-range transportation plan for Ada and Canyon counties. The Leadership by Example, Elected Official award went to Mayor John Evans of Garden City. The Leadership in Practice, Professional award went to Dyan Bevins, professional engineer, Ada County Highway District.

Boise Young Professionals is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year. BYP launched October 2006 with the mission of attracting, developing and retaining a talented workforce. It has 1,240 members.

Ann Nelson, audit partner, KPMG LLP, is the 2016 chair of the board of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce. The chamber chose Scott Madison, executive vice president and general manager of Intermountain Gas Co. and Cascade Natural Gas Corp., as chair-elect. Madison will take over as chair in 2017.

Jim Manion, president of the Idaho Division of AAA Oregon/Idaho, retired Jan. 15. Manion was president since 1992. He went to work at AAA Montana in 1978 in Helena, serving as the director of public relations and safety. Manion will continue to serve on the Idaho Travel Council.


Corwin Ford of Nampa donated $25,000 to the Family Justice Center Foundation, which raises money for client services at the Nampa Family Justice Center; and $50,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Nampa, to sponsor 120 youth memberships.


Wally Lee has been named vice president - commercial loan officer at the Eagle branch of D.L. Evans Bank. Lee has 40 years of banking and financial experience in the Treasure Valley.

Maria Garcia has been named treasury relationship manager for Zions Bank at the Idaho headquarters in the Eighth & Main building in Downtown Boise. Garcia joined Zions’ treasury management department in 2013 as a technical implementation specialist and was promoted to assistant treasury relationship manager in 2015.


Franklin Building Supply has promoted Ben Thomas to general manager and Ken Leavitt to regional manager of the company’s McCall location. Thomas has been with the company for 11 years. Leavitt has worked at the McCall location for 25 years.


Allegient LLC, based in Indianapolis, has announced a partnership with Boise State University. The business information technology-consulting firm will offer online and in-person training courses to professionals in analytics.

Idaho State University biological sciences professor Terry Bowyer, assistant research professor John G. Kie and former ISU graduate student Kevin L. Monteith have been honored by The Wildlife Society with a Wildlife Publications Award for an Outstanding Monograph for their co-written paper, “Life-History Characteristics of Mule Deer: Effects of Nutrition in a Variable Environment.”

Stuart Summers, most recently director of marketing and recruitment at the Idaho State University College of Technology, has been named associate vice president of the university’s Office of Marketing and Communications. Summers succeeds interim director Andrew Taylor, who filled in after former director Adrienne King left ISU for a position at Murray State University on Aug. 30.

College of Idaho geoscience professor Jaime Goode received a $48,000 grant from the M.J. Murdock Trust for a three-year study, “Climate Change at the Forest-Stream Interface: The Role of Wildfire in Shaping Salmon Spawning Habitat.”

Shawn Patterson, a teacher at Crimson Point Elementary School in the Kuna School District, was named physical education teacher of the year for the Northwest region, which includes Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Montana and Alaska. The award is presented by the Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Zach Parker, a high school world history teacher at Sage International School of Boise, was awarded a $500 classroom grant from Northwest Professional Educators, the state’s only nonunion professional teacher association, to create a game using a playing board of the world.

Karen Garner, a first/second grade teacher, and Catherine Goff, a kindergarten through 6th grade resource-room teacher, at Idaho Arts Charter School in Nampa, were recently awarded a $500 classroom grant and $500 teacher scholarship, respectively, from Northwest Professional Educators. Garner’s grant will fund purchase of math manipulatives to teach Eureka Math. Goff’s scholarship will help her attend the 2016 General and Special Education Conference.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy, or YEA!, a program that guides students through starting businesses, has announced business mentors and sponsors for this year’s YEA! Class at Renaissance High School in Meridian. They are: Diane Bevan, Mark Brown Group, Silvercreek Realty; Frank Baillargeon, f/22 Consulting; Chris Foster, Command Performance; Joel Hess, Good News Real Estate; Kim Mulvihill, Intermountain Pet Hospital; Paula Miller, Iconic Idaho; Ron Ramza, Ramza Realty; Shelley Uzzel, Blimpie and Larry Wood, MetLife.

Jordan Rodriguez, director of marketing and communications at the College of Idaho, has been named a 2016 Rising Star by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. Rodriguez joined the C of I in 2010 as a communications specialist. His articles in the college’s Quest magazine received CASE VIII award recognition in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

Kathy Barnard has been named executive director of alumni relations for the Office of Alumni Relations and University of Idaho Alumni Association. Barnard is a 1981 graduate of the University of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

Diego Rodriguez has been named Boise State’s newest professor of the practice. Rodriguez is a partner at IDEO, a design firm that uses a design-thinking approach to help organizations innovate and grow. He will contribute his expertise to the Boise State’s new College of Innovation and Design.

The Idaho School Board Association awarded Trustee Mike Fuller of the Nampa School District its “Board Member Award of Boardsmanship” at the mastery level for Fuller’s work in the 2014-15 school year.


Stacey Donohue, a utilities analyst with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, received the “4 Under Forty” award from the Northwest Energy Coalition in Seattle. The award recognizes emerging leaders in energy efficiency.


Parametrix has hired Paul Ashton as a senior transportation engineer in the Boise office. Ashton has 25 years of experience as a design engineer and project manager specializing in transportation engineering.

Financial Services

Jason P. Owens, of the Edward Jones financial services firm in Boise, has achieved the professional designation of accredited asset management specialist.

Monte Warwick has joined Harris & Co. as a partner to the tax practice. He has 25 years of public accounting experience.

Food & Beverage

The RAM Restaurant and Brewery’s recent Drink Pink promotion raised $8,236 to benefit the American Cancer Society.


Mark Alldredge, a Boise certified public accountant, has been appointed to the Idaho Board of Library Commissioners for a five-year term ending June 30, 2019. An Idaho native raised in Caldwell, Alldredge earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Idaho.

Volunteer Coordinator Sheila Winther, of the Idaho Commission for Libraries, has been awarded the Southwest Idaho Directors of Volunteer Services 2015 Excellence in Volunteer Management Award. Winther manages 80 to 120 volunteers who donate thousands of hours each year.

Gov. Butch Otter has appointed:

▪ Nampa attorney Davis VanderVelde to fill the Third District judgeship vacated by the recent elevation of Judge Molly Huskey to the Idaho Court of Appeals.

▪ Eric Anderson of Priest Lake, a former five-term member of the Idaho House, to a vacancy on the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.

▪ Commissioner Ken Roberts of the Idaho Tax Commission to succeed Rich Jackson as chairman of the four-member commission.

Kent Goldthorpe will be the president of the Ada County Highway District for 2016, by a vote of the ACHD Commission. Commissioners named Paul Woods vice president.

Nikole Zogg has joined Southwest District Health as district director. She has 18 years of public health experience and a doctorate in public health with an emphasis in epidemiology. Bruce Krosch, the district director since 2008, retired Dec. 31 after 16 years.

Health Care

Dr. Kathryn Beattie, a board-certified pediatrician with a master’s degree in business administration from Columbia University, has been named executive medical director and administrator of St. Luke’s Children’s hospital in Boise. Beattie earned a medical doctorate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed her internship and residency in pediatrics at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey — Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Nicole Laska, a pediatric and pregnancy chiropractor, has joined Live Right Chiropractic in Boise. Laska is a 2013 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Dr. Adam Husney has been named chief medical officer at Healthwise. Husney succeeds Dr. Marty Gabica, who spent 10 years at Healthwise, the last six as chief medical officer. Husney received a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Brown University and a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his residency in family medicine at the University of Michigan and is board-certified in family medicine. He joined Healthwise in 2000 as an associate medical director and later served as medical director.

Transformations Idaho has opened at 2857 S. Meridian Road, Suite 100, in Meridian. Transformations Idaho offers gynecological, aesthetic and cosmetic solutions for patients.


Sam Mahr has joined PayneWest Insurance as a commercial insurance account specialist in the Boise office. He began his insurance career in San Diego in 2010.


Four Boise lawyers have been elected to the Holland & Hart partnership:

Dean Bennett, a member of the labor and employment group.

Alison Johnson, a member of the corporate practice group.

Eric Vehlow, a member of the intellectual property group.

Brian Wonderlich, a member of the commercial litigation group.

Bradley J. Dixon and Kersti H. Kennedy have joined Givens Pursley’s litigation practice. Dixon is a partner. Kennedy is an associate.

Cordell & Cordell, which says it is the nation’s largest domestic litigation firm focusing on representing men in family-law cases, has opened its first office in Boise. Cordell & Cordell has more than 170 attorneys in more than 100 offices across the United States. The office is at 950 W. Bannock St., Suite 1100.

Ada County Prosecuting Attorney Jan Bennetts was among those recognized by Idaho’s Mothers Against Drunk Driving for the efforts of her office in handling DUI cases. A victim of an aggravated DUI expressed appreciation for deputy prosecutors Heather Reilly and Robby Bleazard and victim-witness coordinator Susan Ledford.

Moffatt Thomas donated proceeds from its December 2015 Employment Law Breakfast Briefing to local chapter affiliates of the Society for Human Resource Management. The Human Resources Association of Treasure Valley and the Southeast Idaho Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management received checks of more than $1,000 each for the registration fees collected in their geographic areas.

Boise attorney Wade Woodard of the law firm Andersen Banducci PLLC has been named a senior fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America.

Stoel Rives LLP partner Nicole C. Hancock has been appointed managing partner of the Boise office, which has more than 30 attorneys and staffers. Hancock, formerly the chair of Stoel Rives’ Food and Agribusiness industry team, succeeds corporate partner Kris Ormseth, who served as managing partner since 2012 and previously from 2003 to 2009.


Xerium Technologies Inc., a North Carolina-based provider of industrial products and services, has added Alexander Toeldte to its board of directors. Toeldte is an operating director at Paine & Partners LLC, a private equity firm, and is the former president and CEO of Boise Inc. and executive vice president at Boise Cascade LLC. Toeldte is the chairman of the board of Jitasa Inc., and is on the board of Wevorce Inc. Both are privately held companies in Boise.


The all-volunteer board of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Boise has three new board members:

Brett Lensing is a mental health counselor with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Trinity University.

Liza Long is a doctoral candidate in organizational management and presents to organizations around the country about the need to support children and families.

Jennifer Stairs is a personnel manager at Human Supports of Idaho who holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and is pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at Northwest Nazarene University.

Other board members are Rick Simon, president; Alex Copple, vice president; Sally Oberlindacher, secretary; Jose Acosta, director; and Ken Winer, director.

Also, Anne Shoup returns to NAMI Boise as executive director after serving as the office manager from 2006 to 2011. She has worked as a certified peer specialist /case manager and shares her own journey with mental illness through NAMI’s In Our Own Voice program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in management and organizational leadership.

Kelly Gibbons, of Nampa, has joined the staff of Wish Granters as development coordinator to help with fund raising. Wish Granters grants wishes to adults 18 and older in Ada and Canyon counties who have terminal illnesses.

Real Estate

MGM Association Management, of Meridian, has signed an agreement to provide accounting services to the homeowners’ association for the 184-home Westminster Subdvision in Nampa, and an agreement to manage the 279-home Woodbridge Community subdivision in Meridian.

Edgar Dodge has joined Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group in the Downtown Boise office. Dodge is an Idaho native with 30 years’ service to the U.S. Army and the Idaho Army National Guard. He plans to specialize in VA loans for homes.

Coleman Homes has donated $15,000 to the Treasure Valley YMCA and $5,000 to the Boise Art Museum. Through its Giving Tree drive, Coleman donated more than $6,000 to Idaho’s One Church One Child organization, which helps foster children.

Carey Farmer has been installed as the 2016 president of the Ada County Association of Realtors. Farmer is an associate broker at Group One Real Estate and has been a Realtor for eight years.

Other leaders sworn in include: President-Elect Katrina Wehr of Silvercreek Realty Group, Vice President Gary Salisbury of Red Barn Real Estate, Treasurer Danielle Cullip of Silverhawk Realty, Immediate Past President Brenda Kolsen of Silverhawk Realty, directors Krista Deacon of Silvercreek Realty Group and Jeffrey Wills of Amherst Madison Legacy, and five state directors: Becky Enrico-Crum of Andy Enrico & Co., Shirley Koch of Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group, Carolyn Sinnard of Happy Dog Realty, Susan Weaver of Group One Real Estate and Greg Winther of Silvercreek Realty Group.

During the installation, ACAR CEO Breanna Vanstrom said the association will change its name to Boise Regional Realtors this year. The association was known as the Boise Realty Board from 1920 to 1964, then as the Boise Board of Realtors starting in 1964, and then as the Ada County Association of Realtors starting in 1990.

Whitewater Park Apartments, a 324-unit complex on Whitewater Park Boulevard in Boise, raised $5,000 for Special Olympics Idaho with a silent auction held during its grand reopening and with an additional contribution from Kennedy Wilson, the real estate company that bought the complex in 2014.

Cushman & Wakefield/Commerce has expanded its Boise office with three brokers and one retail-team support employee:

Kâren Sander is the Downtown office and retail specialist. Sander worked previously for the Downtown Boise Business Improvement District.

Rhonda Garland is investment-specialist director. Previously, she was managing principal at Investment Analytics Group LLC.

James Stewart is retail-specialist director. Previously, he taught undergraduate marketing courses and managed 12 company-owned Starbucks coffee houses.

Laura Morrison is retail brokerage assistant. She worked previously as a project coordinator at Chevron and Google.


Chevron U.S.A. Inc., Jacksons Food Stores and Gem Stop say the 2015 Fuel Your School program generated $250,000 to help fund 273 classroom projects, including 127 focused on science, technology, engineering and math, for 38,478 students at 105 public schools in Ada and Canyon counties.

$1 was donated each time a customer bought eight or more gallons of fuel at participating Chevron and Texaco stations in the two counties during October.

Albertsons and its customers donated 1,097 holiday meals to The Idaho Foodbank as part of the “Santa Bucks” campaign. This pairs with 2,298 meals donated to the Foodbank in November before Thanksgiving for a total of more than 3,395 turkey and ham meals in the last two months of the year. The “Santa Bucks” and “Turkey Bucks” campaigns enable customers to round up their purchase or add $1, $5 or $10 as a donation.


Clothesline Cleaners held a suit drive for Boise Rescue Mission. Every suit donated by customers and the community was cleaned and pressed, and 1,400 suits were donated to the homeless.

Maria Lorater from Abyss Towing of Meridian has received the American Towman ACE Award for achievement in service performance. The award is presented by American Towman, a magazine for emergency road service professionals.

Tourism, which provides cloud-based software for professional vacation rental managers, has named Tina Upson vice president of operations. Upson started with LiveRez in 2008, the year it was founded.

LiveRez says it had its best year ever in 2015, pioneering a direct integration with Airbnb, winning the Boise-Metro Chamber’s Travel Industry Excellence Award, releasing key technology upgrades, and signing up the company’s 1,000th property manager partner.


Idaho Power has recognized employees with 25 or more years of service:

John Hawk was hired Nov. 17, 1975, as a groundman in Pocatello and now works as a line crew foreman in Boise.

Randy Hopkins was hired Nov. 4, 1975, as a junior engineer at the General Office and now works as a senior engineer at the corporate headquarters.

Steve Browne was hired Nov. 3, 1980, as a junior draftsman at the Engineering Center and now works as a system administrator in Boise.

Rod Kolsen was hired Nov. 3, 1980, as a meter reader in Pocatello and now works as a contract inspection leader in Boise.

Kevin Stone was hired Nov. 3, 1980, as a groundman in Vale, Ore., and now works as a line crew foreman in Payette.

Steve Atkins was hired Dec. 29, 1980, as a junior accountant in Boise and now works as a senior employee relations rep in Boise.

Ryan Burt was hired Dec. 29, 1980, as a junior clerk in Nampa and now works as a senior IT business analyst in Boise.

Randy Mills was hired each summer beginning in 1984 as a meter reader; hired permanently in 1986 as a customer service rep and now works as a finance team leader in Boise.

Tris Yerrington was hired May 19, 1982, as an engineering student at the Engineering Center; rehired April 21, 1986, as an engineer and now works as an engineering leader in Boise.

Kirk Whittaker was hired March 7, 1983, as a computer programmer in Boise and now works as a market risk manager in Boise.

Patty Auch was hired Nov. 21, 1990, as a mail clerk in the General Office and now works as a departmental specialist in Boise.

Bill Blume was hired Nov. 13, 1990, as a groundskeeper at the Boise Operations Center and now works as a transformer mechanic in Boise.

Todd Cooper was hired March 23, 1990, as an engineer in Twin Falls; resigned in January 2000 and rehired Nov. 8, 2000 as a real time transaction scheduler at the Distribution Operations Center and now works as a system planning engineer in Boise.

Lisa Dance was hired Nov. 30, 1990, as a data entry operator at the General Office and now works as a service specialist in Payette.

Katrina Basye was hired Dec. 4, 1990, as a tax accountant in Boise and now works as a property tax manager in Boise.

Idaho Power announced the retirements of Max De Moss, 40 years; Mark Hardinger, 39 years; Steve Skinner, 38 years; Bruce Rayburn, 36 years; Shelley Yano, 11 years and John Reid, 10 years.

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