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Idaho Business Review selects 50 leading Idaho women; one ‘Woman of the Year’

The New Year brought more than the annual Jan. 1 midnight celebration for some Idaho women.

From 136 nominees, 50 will be handed awards for Idaho Business Review’s Women of the Year. And, this year for a first time, one will be singled out and named “Woman of the Year” at an awards dinner on Feb. 17.

The process was daunting but crucial considering the high stakes, said Toni Smith, 2010 honoree and vice president and branch manager for D.L. Evans Bank in Meridian. Smith also served on this year’s selection committee.

“As a past recipient, it was such an honor to have received such an award,” she said. “I knew how much it meant. But last year, we were one of 50. This year, can you imagine how fabulous this is going to be for the one named ‘Woman of the Year?'”

To come up with the final 50, IBR’s selection committee consisting of past honorees rated the nominees in four categories: professional accomplishments, leadership skills, community involvement and long-term goals.

Rachel Winer, 2009 honoree and executive director for Idaho Smart Growth, also helped whittle down this year’s nominees.

“It was hard because there are so many amazing, incredible women in Idaho,” she said.

The 50 honorees come from all walks of personal and professional life. Some have years of education and multiple degrees; others do not. They all are successful in their professions, recognized as leaders, involved in their communities and can see the big picture and know how to follow through.

“We truly enjoy being able to recognize some of our state’s most successful women,” said IBR Vice President and Publisher Sean Evans. “The magazine and event give us the opportunity to tell their stories and how their triumphs and challenges have shaped their lives – and our communities. And this year one will shine even brighter than the rest as she is named the Idaho Business Review’s  ‘Woman of the Year.'”

The stories of this year’s recipients will be featured in the IBR’s upcoming pullout magazine. The Woman of the Year will be announced during a celebration on Feb. 17, in which all honorees will be recognized. The ticketed event is open to the public, which includes a cocktail reception, dinner and award ceremony at the Boise Centre. Individual tickets are $60 ($70 after Jan. 27). Table sponsorships are also available. For details and to register for the event, click here. This year’s recipients are:

Alden, Michelle, Isaiah Foundation, Inc. / Isaiah’s Ranch
Ball, Tresa E., HR Precision, Inc.
Bowins, Kristina, Colliers International
Burgess, A. Patrice, University of Idaho
Cavanaugh, Sandra, All Spirit Media / Silverdraft, LLC
Clark, Cindy, Boise State University
Dabell, Kathryn, Zions Bank
DeWalt, Mary, Ada Community Library
DiCostanzo, Elina, Cooper Norman Certified Public Accountants
Endicott, Joan Marie, ETC Endicott Training & Consulting
Evans, Adrienne, United Vision for Idaho
Fillmore, Colleen Asumendi, Idaho Department of Education / University of Phoenix
Geisler, Neva, United Way of Treasure Valley
Geller, Julie, Peterson & Associates Realtors
Gonzalez, Margie , Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs
Haas, Kate, (Former) Congressman Walt Minnick, 1st Congressional District
Higgins, Elfreda, State of Idaho
Hopper, Jacquelyn Rochelle, Saint John the Evangelist Cathedral
Howe, Amy, US Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho
James, Valerie, Ride for Joy Therapeutic Riding Program
Johnson, Janelle, Exclusive Events by jd
Jones, CL, Sterling Savings Bank – HLD
Jorcyk, Cheryl L., Boise State University
Jorgensen, Teresa, Fisher’s Document Systems
Madsen, Dori, Southern Idaho Learning Center
May, Gail, Owyhee Plaza Hotel
McMillen, Mara, McMillen, LLC
Michaud, Michelle, Michaud Law Group & Conflict Resolution Center, LLC
Morrow, Aspen L., Aspen Consulting and Associates; ID Theft Victim Help of Idaho
Moyer, Kathy, Meridian School District
Murdock, Lorena, Bonneville Joint School District 93
Nelson, Genesis , Anytime Fitness
Nielsen, Toni, Zions Bank
Nunez, Kelsey Jae, Givens Pursley LLP
Pipal, Julie, CH2M Hill
Read, Hannah, Idaho Shakespeare Festival
Redding, Annie, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network
Roth, Kathryn, Mountain West Bank
Rubocki, Melanie, Perkins Coie LLP
Sanchez, Janeen, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Group
Santa Cruz-Cernik, Maria, Stag Hair Care LLC
Siebertz, Marty, Camp River Run, Inc. / Atova, Inc.
Stansell, Christy, Arbonne International
Swope, Sabrina, Affinity Inc. and Northwest Alternative Inc. (Idaho 501 c3)
Thompson, Heidi, Scentsy, Inc.
Turner, Amanda, Front Street Brokers / “The Writers’ Block”
Wells, Mary, Verdi Wealth Planning
Williams, Debbie, Deb Williams Insurance
Willman, Mindy, Moffat, Thomas, Barrett, Rock & Fields, Chtd.
Woodings, Kimberly, Boise State University

About Jeanne Huff

Jeanne Huff is the special sections editor at IBR, editor of Women of the Year, Accomplished Under 40, CEOs of Influence, Money Makers, Leaders in Law, Corporate Guide to Event Planning as well as editor of custom publications including Welcome to Boise, Dining Decisions, Idaho Heartland Living and Travelog.


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  4. i would like to congratulate my mom sabrina swope for becoming one of the top 50 business women of the year love you so much

    love your youngest daughter, sabrina allison

  5. Congratulations to all of the Honorees for 2011! I hope you all enjoy your honor as I did last year. It was truly an honor and wonderful experiece for me as an Honorree for 2010. We celebrate each one of you! Have a Colorful Time!

  6. CHEERS! To the women of 2010…