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Idaho Business Review Women of the Year event breaks record

As more than 500 attendees — and 50 Idaho Business Review Women of the Year — held their collective breath, the envelope-opening moment finally arrived. Heidi Thompson was reveled as IBR Woman of the Year and accepted her award to thunderous applause and a standing ovation. Here, Thompson holds her one-of-a-kind award created by glass artist Zion Warne.  (Photo by Jory Clay Sutton)

As more than 500 attendees — and 50 Idaho Business Review Women of the Year — held their collective breath, the envelope-opening moment finally arrived. Heidi Thompson was reveled as IBR Woman of the Year and accepted her award to thunderous applause and a standing ovation. Here, Thompson holds her one-of-a-kind award created by glass artist Zion Warne. (Photo by Jory Clay Sutton)

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.

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.

14 comments

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  5. Dear Heidi, We are all so happy for you and certainly not surprised…. you deserve it and are so proud of you. Congratulations to the best lady in the world… we all love you. xoxo

  6. Congrats Heidi! You are an inspiration to us all. Thank you for leading by example. I am blessed to have been employed by Scentsy and to now be a Consultant. I can’t think of a company I would rather be a part of! You deserve it!

  7. Congratulations Heidi!
    You are most deserving!
    I am proud to part of the wonderful Scentsy Family!

  8. Great job Scentsy is a great company to be a part of congrats to you Hidi awesome …..

  9. Heidi has truly been an example of perseverance, dedication & commitment in achieving her dreams. Many lives have been touched and I for one will be eternally grateful to her for all she has done for women in Business World. Hats off to a job well done Heidi.

  10. excellent job ! you are an inspiration!

  11. I am very proud to belong to Scentsy where I have the best chiefs of the world and where every day we added new profits like company. Scentsy these in the Hall of Fame
    Congratulations HEIDI

    Hugs from Puerto Rico Scentsy team!

  12. This is awesome… congratulations, Heidi! You are an inspiration to so many of us up here in Canada too & this award could not have gone to a nicer business woman :) Our heartfelt thanks to you and your family for the opportuny we have to touch so many lives through Scentsy… a lot of people are having a lot of fun with it!

  13. I’m so very excited that Heidi won this award. She deserves every moment of the fame! Thanks Heidi for lookin’ out for all of us and I’m proud to be a part of the family as a Star Director! You and Orville have made it all possible.

  14. As one of the 700+ Scentsy employees, I owe Heidi (and Orville) a debt of gratitude. She is definitely deserving of this award! Congratulations Heidi! Thank you IBR for honoring the business leaders of Idaho!