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IBR’s 50 Women of the Year inspire, awe 50 judges

Toni Nielsen, Zions Bank region president Western Idaho, and the 2014 IBR Woman of the Year, looks on after passing the baton to Teresa Poppen, 2015 IBR Woman of the Year. Poppen is the founder and executive director of One Stone Inc., a nonprofit that helps high school students make a difference in their communities.Photo by Pete Grady

Toni Nielsen, Zions Bank region president Western Idaho, and the 2014 IBR Woman of the Year, looks on after passing the baton to Teresa Poppen, 2015 IBR Woman of the Year. Poppen is the founder and executive director of One Stone Inc., a nonprofit that helps high school students make a difference in their communities.
Photo by Pete Grady

More than 200 Idaho women were nominated for Idaho Business Review 2016 Women of the Year, and 97 sent in completed applications. Ten selection committees with five women on each one sifted through the resumes, letters of recommendation and other supporting information.

The judges were mostly past honorees, plus a representative from presenting sponsor Hawley Troxell, and IBR editors. They pored over the applications, rating the women 1 to 5 in five categories: professional achievements, leadership, mentorship to other women, community service, and community leadership.

They read through each submission, carefully and thoughtfully. The highest and lowest scores for every nominee were tossed out, the remaining three scores averaged, and the 50 women with the highest scores are this year’s honorees.

“I was inspired just reading their resumes,” said 2015 honoree Abby Black, vice president, Treasure Valley team leader and owner of TitleOne Corp.

Heather Hill, one of the 50 in 2014 and executive director for FitOne, benefiting St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital, said she found the opportunity to review nominees “both inspiring and eye-opening… women are truly helping shape the future of Idaho.” Marty Siebertz, a 2011 honoree and a real estate associate with Atova Inc., declared some of the women in her group “could run our country.”

Boise State University Vice President of Finance and Administration Stacy Pearson, an honoree and The Woman of the Year for 2013, said that in addition to admiring the accomplished women in her group, she also wanted to commend those “on a trajectory,” with the potential to achieve the honor in the future.

And for Jackie Hopper, the scoring process brought back fond memories of her own 2011 Women of the Year experience. “I remember thinking that a big hook was going to come and remove me from the line before my opportunity to walk across the stage, as I felt so unworthy of the awards. As I read over these applicants, I was inspired, in awe and motivated to go beyond what I am doing in my professional and personal life. Once again, I feel so amazed to be counted among this group of applicants.”

The 50 women will be honored at a dinner and awards gala 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 25 at the Boise Centre. One woman will be honored as the Idaho Business Review Woman of the Year. All of their stories will be told in a dedicated magazine published with the Idaho Business Review Feb. 26th. For tickets go to the IBR website: https://www.regonline.com/WOY2016. This marks the 11th year that Idaho Business Review has honored women leaders.

IBR 2016 Women of the Year

Karen Appelgren, vice president, director, Business Resource Center, Zions Bank, Boise

Renee Avram, vice president, manager, Twill Falls Canyon Park Financial Center, Zions Bank, Twin Falls

Nora J. Carpenter, president, CEO, United Way of Treasure Valley Inc., Boise

Erin Cave, manager, leadership and digital media, Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, Boise

Karen Echeverria, executive director, Idaho School Boards Association, Boise

Colleen Asumendi Fillmore, state director, USDA Child Nutrition Programs; area chair, Natural Science at University of Phoenix; Idaho State Department of Education, Boise

Charlotte G. Borst, president, The College of Idaho, Caldwell

Catherine Chertudi, environmental programs manager, Boise Public Works Department, City of Boise, Boise

Winnie Christensen, director, GKFolks Foundation; Miss Africa Idaho, Twin Falls

Julie M. Fogerson, assistant vice president, Idaho regional communications, Wells Fargo, Boise

Ashley Ford-Squyres, owner, AF Public Solutions LLC, Boise

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

Brandie Garlitz, community liaison, Treasure Valley Hospice, Mountain Home

Erin Guerricabeitia, director, City of Boise, Boise Urban Garden School, Boise

Johanna (Joey) C. L. Hale, director, Internal Audit, J.R. Simplot Company, Boise

Carolyn Holly, news anchor, KTVB-TV, Boise

Beth Ineck, economic development director, City of Nampa, Nampa

Sarah (Xiaoye) Jin, senior treasury analyst, Micron Technology Inc., Boise

Katherine Johnson, director of marketing and communications, Treasure Valley Family YMCA, Boise

Autumn Kersey, executive director, board chair and co-director, Treasure Valley Children’s Theater LLC/Treasure Valley YOUTH Theater Inc., Meridian

Dana Boothe Kirkham, Mayor, City of Ammon, Ammon

Diana Lachiondo, director of community partnerships, City of Boise, Boise

Marcia T. Liebich, executive director, Sunnyview Hospital Foundation, Hailey

Brooke Linville, CEO, IonVR, Boise

Barbara Zanzig Lock, director, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic & Lecturer of Tax Law, University of Idaho College of Law, Boise

Corinne (Cori) Mantle-Bromley, dean, College of Education, University of Idaho, Moscow

Deneen May, vice president, manager, Meridian Silverstone Financial Center, Zions Bank, Meridian

Molly Mettler, senior vice president for Mission, Healthwise, Boise

Amy J. Moll, dean, College of Engineering, Boise State University, College of Engineering, Boise

Terri Muse, assistant dean for external relations, University of Idaho College of Law, Boise

Nancy K. Napier, distinguished professor, Boise State University, Boise

Mary (M.C.) Niland, president, CEO, Witco Inc., Caldwell

Rebecca L. Noah Casper, Mayor, City of Idaho Falls, Idaho Falls

Patricia M. Olsson, partner/shareholder, Moffatt Thomas, Boise

Julia Rundberg, executive director, City Club of Boise, Boise

SeAnne Safaii-Waite, associate professor, University of Idaho, Boise

Carole Skinner, president, The Flicks, Boise

Stacie States, president, Keller Williams Realty, Boise

Shannon Stoeger, senior vice president and branch administrator, Idaho Independent Bank, Boise

Ann Swanson, Small Business Development Center director, Region V, Idaho Small Business Development Center, Pocatello

Olga Tijerina-Menchaca, assistant vice president/branch manager II – Idaho Center Branch, Nampa; Overland Branch, Boise; Nampa

Gloria Totoricagüena, president,  Idaho Policy and Consulting LLC, Transnational Initiatives LLC,  Boise

Jill Shelton Wagers, general dentist, owner, sole practitioner, Jill Shelton Wagers Family Dentistry P.C., Boise

Shawna Walz, founder, executive director, Idaho Diaper Bank Inc., Boise

Amanda Watson, senior account executive, Red Sky, Boise

Carrie Westergard, executive director, Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau, Boise

Jennifer Wheeler, president, WRG Corporate Services; executive director, Idaho Oral Health Alliance, Boise

Cheryl A. Wright, vice president of Finance and Administration, College of Western Idaho, Nampa

Mary York, partner, Holland & Hart LLP, Boise

America Yorita-Carrion, coordinator, Alumni Association, Idaho Youth Ranch, Boise

Click here to attend the 2016 Women of the Year awards gala

 View photos from the 2015 event



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.


  1. It is great to see so many talented women recognized in our state. I am surprised however, to see that almost all live in the treasure valley. With more than 250,000 people in Eastern Idaho, one would think you might find more than three.

  2. What an inspiring and great event for the amazing and talented women of Idaho. I had the privilege to recommend one of fifty W.O.Y. 2016 and feel a profound sense of pride just playing a very small part in this tremendous achievement. Way to go Women of Idaho.

    -Mike Woydziak