From record-breaking numbers come 50 outstanding women of the year

Jeanne Huff//December 16, 2014

From record-breaking numbers come 50 outstanding women of the year

Jeanne Huff//December 16, 2014

Some attendees at the 2014 Woman of the Year gala. Photo by Pete Grady.
Some attendees at the 2014 Woman of the Year gala. Photo by Pete Grady.

In a year of firsts, come 50. This was the first year the IBR broke 250 nominations since the annual program to honor 50 successful women began, 10 years ago. It was the first year 140 completed the somewhat lengthy application process. It was the first year 17 past honorees sat on a selection committee, sifting through the words that represented so many at the top of their game.

The applications were reviewed by at least three sets of eyes and then rated from 1 to 5 in each of the following areas: achievements and accomplishments, leadership, community service, setting and making goals – and this year, another first as a new category was added: the wow factor. A perfect score: 25.

The scores were added up and then averaged to get to the final numbers. There were 31 who scored 20 or above. Eighteen scored at 19 and one came in at 18.66667.

Judging was a challenging process, said Zions Bank Vice President Sheila Spangler, because “there (were) so many highly accomplished women to choose from. I was amazed at how many applications I reviewed that I actually said ‘wow’ out loud.”

Clearview Cleaning President and Owner Sylvia Hampel agreed. “It is truly incredible to me the caliber of women that we have in Idaho. Beyond their education and work ethic, the amount of women that are so involved in community service and giving of their time was astounding.”

Michelle Choate, organizational development program manager for St. Luke’s Health System, said the process was both humbling and grueling. “I was alternately honored and horrified to have done this – how to rank these amazing women when each one is a force – a fabulous, powerful example of what women do for others, themselves and their communities.”

Stacy Pearson, vice president of finance and administration at Boise State University – and the 2013 IBR Woman of the Year – said, “I learned so much from reading about these women and found many lessons and was inspired by many of their stories.”

For those who did not make the cut this year, selection committee members were unanimous in encouraging them to keep doing what they’re doing. They hope to see their names next year.

“I could see why every woman had been nominated,” said Jana Jones, director of economic development services for the Boise Valley Economic Partnership. Terri Schorzman, director of the department of arts and history for the city of Boise, urged those who did not make it this year to “remain focused on accomplishing their goals. They are all really fabulous and, in truth, we have hundreds of women of the year throughout the state.”

The 50 women will be honored at a dinner and awards gala 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 26 at the Riverside Hotel and their stories will be told in a dedicated magazine published with the Idaho Business Review Feb. 27. For tickets go to the IBR website: https://www.regonline.com/WOY2015.

IBR 2015 Women of the Year

Laura Alvarez Schrag, president/ owner, Pondera Consulting Inc., Nampa

Baxter Q. Andrews, founder/ executive director, Idaho Dads Inc., Boise

Mary Andrews, director, Economic Development, Boise State University, Boise

Liyah Babayan, owner/ creator, Ooh La La! Fashion Boutique; owner/ creator, Sterling Image Consulting, Twin Falls

Katy Bergholm, mine permitting manager, Agrium Conda Phosphate Operations, Soda Springs

Shelby Bills, co-owner, business manager, Graeber & Company LLC, Boise

Abby Black, vice president, Treasure Valley operations manager, TitleOne Corporation, Boise

Nikeela R. Black, attorney/ professional racehorse jockey, Greenleaf

Kelli Bolicek, director, Administrative Services Bureau, Ada County Sheriff’s Office, Boise

Krista Aida Bustamante, organizing director, Idaho Community Action Network, Boise

Carolyn Casey, Aha! facilitator/ founder, Women’s Aha! Camp, Carolyn Casey LLC, Boise

Jennifer Claassen, director, Idaho Miss Amazing, Miss Amazing Inc., Boise

Rosie Dice, senior counselor/director emeritus, City Light Home for Women & Children, Boise Rescue Mission, Boise

Chelsea Doty, talent solutions wellness analyst, Micron Technology Inc., Boise

Lori Fascilla, executive director, Giraffe Laugh Early Learning Centers, Eagle

Damaris G. Fisher, senior assistant general counsel, Micron Technology Inc., Boise

Christine Frei, executive director, Clearwater Economic Development Association Inc., Lewiston

Janice E. Fulkerson, executive director, Idaho Nonprofit Center, Boise

Cece Gassner, counsel, Perkins Coie LLP, Boise

Zelda Geyer-Sylvia, president and CEO, Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service Inc., Meridian

Anne G. Glass, founder and president, Feed the Gap Inc. Boise

Marla Brattain Hansen, associate professor, Boise State University; artistic director, Idaho Dance Theatre, Boise

Kerrie Hurd, lender relations specialist, U.S. Small Business Administration, Eagle

Vicky Jekich, supervisor, Community Cancer Education & Outreach, St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute; founder and certified music practitioner, Merina Healing Arts Foundation, Boise

Michelle Kresge, president and CEO, Spotlight Events Inc., Eagle

Laurie La Follette, CEO, Special Olympics Idaho, Garden City

Natalie Lemas Hernandez, commercial real estate agent and chief operating officer, KW Commercial – Nancy Lemas Team and Commercial Northwest Property Management, Boise

Elizabeth Lizberg, executive director, Camp Rainbow Gold Inc., Boise

Lauren McLean, councilwoman, City of Boise; owner, Confluence Group, Boise

Georgia Meacham, owner/ CEO, Georgia Meacham & Company, Boise

Judy Centa Meyer, founding partner, Parkwood Business Properties, Hayden Lake

Sarah Michael, mobility manager, District 4, Community Transportation Association of Idaho, Sun Valley

Kim O’Neill, assistant dean of advancement for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow

Brenda Pettinger, assistant vice president for Academic Affairs, College of Western Idaho, Nampa

Teresa Poppen, founder, executive director & ultimate difference maker, One Stone Inc., Boise

Danielle Quade, partner, Hawley Troxell, Coeur d’Alene

Heidi Reeder, associate professor, Department of Communication, Boise State University; owner, SuccessTracks LLC, Boise

Megan Ronk, chief operating officer, Idaho Department of Commerce, Meridian

Ilana Rubel, house representative for District 18, Idaho House of Representatives; partner, Fenwick & West LLP, Boise

Priscilla Salant, director, James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research, University of Idaho, Boise

Diane Schooley-Pettis, associate dean and professor of finance, Boise State University, College of Business and Economics, Boise

Wendy Shoemaker, commercial real estate agent, Intermountain Commercial Real Estate, Boise

Nicole Snyder, attorney, administrative partner, Holland & Hart LLP, Boise

Tamara Thompson, director of client services, The Land Group Inc., Eagle

Karan E. Tucker, executive director, CEO, Mountain States Group Inc., Boise

Jodi Lynn Vanderpool, administrator of quality and patient safety, West Region, St. Luke’s Health System, Boise

Shawna Walz, president & executive director, Idaho Diaper Bank, Boise

Loredana Werth, associate professor of education, Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa

Erin J. Wynne, attorney, Wynne Law PLLC, Boise

Alicia Young, practice manager, St. Luke’s Urology Division, Treasure Valley, clinical nurse informaticist, clinical integration, St. Luke’s Health System, Boise