A hand-made chandelier twinkled like glittering diamonds over more than 500 people who gathered Feb. 17 to honor the Idaho Business Review’s Woman of the Year, Heidi Thompson.
The Idaho Business Review honored 50 women in this year’s event in a night of wine, food, music, dance, words of praise and awards.
“This is our sixth year for the Women of the Year event and it was our best ever,” said IBR Vice President and Publisher Sean Evans. “We truly enjoyed celebrating the success and triumphs of some of our state’s most successful women.”
A first this year came at the end of the evening in an Academy Award-like moment as Thompson, president and co-owner of Scentsy, Inc. – and one of the 50 honorees – was revealed as the 2011 Woman of the Year. A selection committee of past honorees used a rating system covering four critical categories, and Thompson scored highest across the board.
Thompson, whose rags-to-riches story could be fodder for a Hollywood movie script, smiled through tears as she accepted the award presented to her by Evans, keynote speaker Bethine Church and Dr. Bill Bach, from the University of Phoenix, presenting sponsor. She thanked her mother Alice Kalilimoku, her children, Sarah, Mary, Emma, Owen and Grace and especially her husband, and “best friend,” Orville. Other family members, friends and coworkers were there to share the celebration.
The Boise Centre’s ballroom was lit by a periwinkle-hued chandelier the size of an SUV that was brought in especially for the event.
“Building all of the custom pieces to present the glamour and style of Hollywood during the event, and remain under budget was difficult,” said Danielle Snelson, owner of Joie Events of Boise.”It had to be light enough to hang from the ceiling, but exotic enough to be chic.”
The chandelier is made with a carbon frame and fabric with lighting.
“It’s classy, with the old Hollywood style,” she said. “We wanted to bring a part of the vintage glamour to Boise for one night.”
Other event firsts included commissioned handcrafted awards individually created for all 50 honorees by glass artist Zion Warne. The Frim Fram 4 provided toe-tapping jazz numbers and the venerable Mrs. Church shared some advice her mother had given her: Work hard and you can accomplish anything.
The big takeaway for the night: 50 Women of the Year – and each with her own story to tell. Read them all in the IBR pullout magazine in today’s publication.
“Every one of these 50 women of the year exemplifies what it takes to be a leader, deeply involved in her community, an accomplished professional who can and does follow through on long-term goals,” Evans said.