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IBR salutes 2012 Women of the Year

They’ve come a long way, baby.

In 1900, women workers were just 18 percent of the labor market in the United States. Today that number is edging up to the 50 percent mark. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, women now make up the majority of professional and service occupations. And, for the first time, women outnumbered men in finishing college and holding advanced degrees in 2011.

The Idaho Business Review recognizes women in business and annually applauds them, from public, private and charitable business sectors, giving credence to work ethic, innovation and balance. The IBR is proud to name the 50 Idaho Women of the Year for 2012 and honors these women and their commitment to excellence.

“This is the seventh year we have celebrated professional women for their achievements, as business leaders and community builders and for their forward thinking,” said Sean Evans, publisher and vice president of the Idaho Business Review.

This year, more than 180 nominations poured in from Moscow to Idaho Falls – 50 more than in 2011. Half finished the extensive application process and then were rated by past Women of the Year honorees. Each applicant was ranked on a scale of 1 – 5 (with 5 being the best) in four areas: professional achievements, leadership skills, community involvement and long-term goals.

“The fact that we have so many notable business women in our midst is a testament to our business community at large. Every year, the number of nominations increases and every year the selection process becomes more difficult,” Evans said.

Through a days-long elimination process, the list was whittled down to 50.

“Judging was hard,” said Kâren Sander, executive director of the Downtown Boise Association and one of this year’s selection committee members.

Sander said the women’s stories were incredible, and many told of adversities they had to overcome.

“The overall strength of character was impressive – these are not just an elite group, not all women who went to college, got the degree and went to work,” Sander said. “I was constantly amazed at how they started their own business or to what heights they’ve taken their company. Many fought for where they are today – and they just keep giving back to the community.”

You can read all their stories – they will be featured in a special publication in the Feb. 24 issue of IBR. The 50 women also will be honored at an awards dinner and ceremony. For its second year, the Idaho Business Review will name one as the IBR Woman of the Year 2012 at the awards dinner. For tickets, go to the website:

Idaho Business Review Women of the Year 2012:

Katherine G. Aiken, University of Idaho

Lucia Asumendi-Mereness, Homedale School District

Sharon Bantrup, BRJ Distributing

Janine Bastian, Property MgMt & More

Patricia Canto, Degrann Products, LLC

Adrean Casper, American Heart Association

Maurine Collins, Blue Cross of Idaho

Jenalee Crawford, TQ Properties

Stacie Curry, Boise School District

Lynnette M. Davis, Hawley Troxell

JamieLou Delavan, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

Beth Elroy, Micron Technology, Inc.

Marissa Emmons, McMillen, LLC

Jamie Gaythwaite, Peppershock Media

Kimberly Graime, Equity Advisors Consulting Group, LLC

Sylvia Hampel, Clearview Cleaning Service, Inc.

Brandi Hodnett, Deb Williams Insurance

Pamela Houston-Powell, EdWise, LLC

Britt E. Ide, Ide Law & Strategy, PLLC

Rachel Johnsen, International Association of Women Small Business Owners & SpringAhead

Laurie A. Kaufman, Associated Builder’s & Contractors Inland Pacific Chapter

Paula Kellerer, Northwest Nazarene University

Anne C. Kunkel, Givens Pursley LLP

Diane T. Kushlan, Kushlan Associates

Julie Larson, Meridian Entrepreneur Think-Tank Co-Operative

Melissa R. Lavitt, Boise State University

Cathy Light, Business Builders LLC & Assessment Leaders LLC

Laura K. Lineberry, Lineberry Orthodontics, PLLC

Sue Macartney, Your Color Image Center

Lauren McLean, The Confluence Group

Sylvia Medina, The North Wind Group

Maria Patrick, Micron Technology, Inc.

Terri R. Pickens, Pickens Law, P.A.

Michelle Points, Hawley Troxell

Christine Rood, University of Phoenix

Kimberly Evans Ross, Moffatt Thomas Barret Rock & Fields, Chrtd.

Heather P. Sabala, U.S. Bank

Jennifer M. Schindele, Bevis, Thiry & Schindele, P.A.

Terri A. Schorzman, City of Boise

Katie Sewell, Idaho Small Business Development Center

Deanna Smith, Idaho Smart Growth

Jennifer Stevens, Stevens Historical Research Associates

Vonna Torrey, Adecco, USA

Lisa Thorne, Lisa Thorne on Leadership

Allison J. L. Touchstone, University of Idaho

Karen L. Vauk, The Idaho Foodbank

Heather Wheeler, Community Transportation Association of Idaho

Anne B. Wilde, The HR & Benefits Advisor, PLLC

Linda Yanke, Yanke Machine Shop

Maryanna Young, Aloha Publishing

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.