It may have taken a while, but Coree Carver, 39, found her career path, which just happens to be president of her own company. That’s something she would not have believed when she graduated from Meridian High School in 1995.
“I didn’t want to go to college after high school,” Carver says. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do.”
My how times have changed.
Carver now is the president of Axus International, a food distribution company that exports organic and natural foods from the U.S. to countries around the world.
After working for the City of Boise for 10 years as a purchasing agent, she and husband Charles, who works at Micron, had the opportunity to live overseas for three years. It was an eye-opening experience.
“Living in a foreign country changes your perspective,” Carver says. “Culturally, people are similar, it’s just that their tastes are different.”
Upon returning to the U.S., Carver became a serious triathlete until college finally called. She started at Boise State in 2010 and graduated cum laude in 2013.
“I was more focused and knew what I wanted,” she says.
During that time, Carver had more on her plate than school. She was a trustee for the Foothills School of Arts and Sciences, where her two girls were students. She led the development committee and crafted a fundraising campaign vital to the school.
“Coree is brilliant, dynamic and determined,” writes Jennifer Swartz, the board chair of the school.
Carver also did an internship and marketing for a food company. She saw an opportunity and knew the government was looking to build exports, so she started Axus International. While starting her own business, she also became treasurer for Ilana Rubel’s campaign for District 18 House of Representatives in 2014.
“She spent hundreds of hours helping me with my campaign – learning the details of campaign finance laws from scratch and making sure everything was done perfectly,” Rubel writes. “Amazingly, she did all of this while launching her own successful business, continuing to invest enormous amounts of time volunteering at school and raising he two daughters. Is there an ‘Awe-Inspiring Under 40’ category? Coree would win that.”
Carver’s husband, Charles, had a chance to work in Taiwan for six months, so the entire family moved. That has proved to be a boon to Axus International.
“Relationships are more important than anything, and meeting face-to-face has been helpful,” she says. “It’s not about the products – it’s about relationships. It takes a year or more to build a relationship to the point where they will place an order.”
Being her own boss also has been a blessing.
“I’m a perfectionist,” she says. “I expect a lot out of people, and I can’t imagine working in a system with a lot of bureaucracy.”
Axus is growing but still faces challenges.
“We’re still a start up,” Carver says. “There still are systems that need to be put in. We’re making a profit, but we definitely would like to become more profitable.”
Most memorable airplane trip: “I’ve been in Taiwan since December, and since then, I’ve flown to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Philippines, Thailand and the United States all in three months. That’s been pretty memorable.”