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Idaho Business Review reveals ‘CEOs of Influence’

By Jeanne Huff – Idaho Business Review

Every company has one. Great ones – think Lou Gerstner, Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs – are household names in the annals of successful companies, a veritable “Who’s Who” representing success, profit, and revenue.

To honor the Idaho business elite’s chief executive officers, this year marks the debut of the Idaho Business Review “CEOs of Influence.”

Dozens of nominations came from throughout the state, representing companies small and large, from public, private and nonprofit sectors. A committee of Idaho business leaders measured and ranked nominees for consistently demonstrating leadership, integrity, values, and vision, and for their commitment to excellence, financial performance, community involvement, and diversity.

But the most critical factor scrutinized was influence.

“These are the business leaders of our state,” said Idaho Business Review Publisher and Vice President Sean Evans. “Not only do they represent the highest tier within our business community, but they also make a real difference. They shape their companies, mold their employees and determine the direction of their businesses. In turn, they influence all of us. We look forward to profiling and honoring these influential CEOs.”

The CEOs will be recognized in a premier event and featured in a pullout magazine. Look for detailed profiles in the IBR CEOs of Influence magazine to be published Friday, May 27. The ticketed event is slated for Thursday, May 26 at The Boise Centre. It is open to the public and includes a networking reception, dinner and award ceremony. Individual tickets are $65 ($75 after May 12). Table sponsorships also are available. For details and to register for the event, click here:

The Idaho Business Review is proud to present the seven members of the class of 2011 “CEOs of Influence.”

Public company with more than $500 million in annual revenue:

Joel Hickman, Idaho District president and CEO of Key Bank.

In a letter of recommendation, Vice President Jeffrey W. Hancock says: “While he demands performance and focuses on achieving our corporate mission, in the end he truly cares more about all of us as people and individuals. It is the model of how one motivates and influences their employees.”

Public company with less than $500 million in annual revenue:

A. Scott Anderson, president and CEO of Zions Bank.

Anderson has been key in positioning Zions Bank as the No. 1 lender of United States Small Business Administration loans in the Boise district for the past nine years.

Private company with more than 500 employees:

James Alan Kissler, CEO of Norco.

Following a donation from Kissler, Dr. George Record, a surgeon with Doctors Without Borders wrote in a letter: “I am writing to thank you on behalf of patients all around the world for your gift. In Haiti, following the January 12 earthquake, we performed lifesaving surgery on thousands of people with crushed limbs. In the DRC and Sri Lanka we provide surgical care to civilians with painful and life-threatening gunshot and machete wounds. Thank you Norco for your commitment to bring lifesaving medical care to millions of people in need in nearly 70 countries around the world.”

Private company with less than 500 employees:

Dennis L. Johnson, president and CEO of United Heritage Financial Group and United Heritage Life Insurance Company.

In 2010, United States Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner met privately with Johnson and four other life insurance CEOs about financial services legislation.

Small business with 50 or fewer employees:

Jessica A. Flynn, co-founder, president and CEO of Red Sky Public Relations.

She says: “Success is people knowing when you are here and remembering you when you are gone.”

Nonprofits with more than $10 million in annual revenue:

Jim Everett, CEO of the Treasure Valley Family YMCA.

The Treasure Valley YMCA is in 90 different locations, operates four facilities, 17 child care centers and is the largest provider of child care and youth services in the state. Under Everett’s leadership and in tough economic times, a new $18.2 million Y-Camp was opened in June 2010 on 400+ acres in Cascade.

Nonprofits with less than $10 million in annual revenue:

Rick Ritter, president and CEO of Idaho TechConnect, Inc.

About the nonprofit, Ritter says: “The results of this great team are clear. Since 2006, this team has provided assistance to more than 1,600 companies (65 percent new/startup, 35 percent existing). These companies employ just over 2,500 Idahoans and have paid more than $148 million in wages and more than $8 million in Idaho income taxes. These companies have raised just over $60 million in investment.”

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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  8. Congratulations to Rick Ritter, Jessica Flynn and all the other CEOs of Influence. Your leadership and contributions to our valley are most appreciated.

  9. A great list. Jim Everett was recognized a few years ago for his philanthropic work in the community. A video about Jim that was shown during the award ceremony:

  10. Great list of people. What happened to Steph Worrell @ Red Sky PR? She must have left the business. Too bad. Congratulations to everyone.