More than 200 Idaho women were nominated by peers, colleagues and mentors to vie to be one of the Idaho Business Review’s 2017 Women of the Year. Ninety-five of those nominated completed and sent in detailed applications that included resumes, letters of recommendation and personal statements. Ten selection committees evaluated the applicants.
The judges – former honorees themselves, plus a representative from program sponsor Hawley Troxell – reviewed each application, rating the women 1 to 5 in five categories: professional achievements, leadership, providing mentorship to other women, community service work, and community leadership.
As instructed, they read through each submission carefully and thoughtfully. The highest and lowest scores for every applicant were tossed out, and the remaining scores were averaged. The 50 women with the highest scores are this year’s honorees, representing women across the state. This year there are honorees from the Treasure Valley (Boise, Eagle, Meridian, Nampa), Twin Falls, Oakley, Pocatello, Glenns Ferry, Lewiston, Caldwell, and five are representing Idaho Falls.
Nearly all who judged remarked on the caliber of the applicants. Jill Wagers, owner and dentist at Jill Shelton Wagers Family Dentistry, said she spent “much deliberation” on her group of 10. “It was harder than I thought it would be,” said Wagers, who also was a 2016 honoree. “Such amazing women we have in our community!”
Beth Ineck, economic development director for Nampa and a 2016 honoree, said: “I read applications that made me cry … It is always amazing to see the energy women in our communities have to dedicate their time to work, community and family. This is truly the struggle I think so many of us deal with every day … .” Ineck added that according to the applications she read, “they are all truly deserving of recognition of their contributions.”
Betti Newburn, president at ContractLaboratory.com and an honoree in 2013, called the task of judging difficult.
“Every year is as hard as the last to make selections and rate such a powerful group of women,” she said.
Even so, Newburn added she was grateful for the opportunity and “for allowing me to be uplifted by reading the applications, letters, and resumes of Idaho’s and probably some of America’s most incredible women.”
Jackie Hopper, one of the Women of the Year in 2011, said she was grateful for the judging experience. “As I looked over the applicants, I was once again humbled and encouraged to remember the tenets of the award. Being a female leader, empowering my community and the women in my community, going above and beyond my professional tentacles to raise the bar for the better of all in our state is such a noble cause. I read over these applications and was encouraged to up my game in this community.”
Hopper also commended the women for taking the chance, knowing that they could end up on either side of the marker.
“I submit my score sheet knowing those who have completed the process risk a bit of themselves in applying. Kudos to them all for they help us be better women for our world.”
Kathy Martin, one of the 2014 honorees and dean of Community Programs and Governmental Relations at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, said she was “very impressed with the dedication and commitment that the nominees had for serving their communities and for helping others. One does not always have a mentor or advisor to guide them through various challenges. These women have set an example for their colleagues, their families and their friends to strive for excellence. I’m proud to get to know them.”
Mayor Dana Kirkham of Ammon, and also one of the women honored in 2016, said “it was tough to score. I hope that some that didn’t score as high will apply again. Some just need a little more time to do great things!”
This year’s honorees include five who will enter the Circle of Excellence; they have received the honor before. Women can be recognized with the award up to three times.
These 50 women will be honored at a reception, dinner and awards gala 5:30 to 9 p.m. on March 9 at the Boise Centre. One woman of the 50 will be named at the end of the evening’s event and honored as the Idaho Business Review Woman of the Year. A dedicated magazine featuring all of their stories will be published with the March 10 Idaho Business Review.
Seating for the event, which will be held at the new Boise Centre East, is limited.”Dressy” to formal attire is the norm; however, there is not a strict dress code. In the past, this event, hailed as “the Academy Awards of Boise” has been a sellout. It is recommended you reserve your table(s) and/or ticket(s) early. For tickets, visit https://www.regonline.com/registration/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1915588.
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This marks the 12th year that Idaho Business Review has honored women leaders in our state.
Kristin Armstrong Savola, director of community health, St. Luke’s Health System, Boise
Laurie Bell, executive director, Mini Joys Inc., Boise
Jan M. Bennetts, prosecuting attorney, Ada County, Boise
Dyan Bevins, capital projects supervisor, Ada County Highway District, Garden City
Carlyn Blake, executive director, Ūsful Glassworks Inc., Boise
Nicole A. Bradshaw, senior director of oncology services, St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute, Nampa
Megan Bryant, director of Idaho Laugh Fest, founder of Zip Zap Zop, author, stand-up comedian, Boise
Christy Calhoun, senior vice president of Consumer Health Experiences, Healthwise, Boise
Janet Callahan, chair, professor, Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering, Boise State University, Boise
Laura Cobb, vice president public relations and community development, Citi, Meridian
Debbie Critchfield, board member, secretary, Idaho State Board of Education; communication officer, Cassia Schools, Oakley
Vanessa Crossgrove Fry, assistant director, Idaho Policy Institute; assistant research professor, School of Public Service; doctoral candidate, Public Policy and Administration, Boise State University, Boise
Julie DeLorenzo, real estate consultant, DeLorenzo Consultants, Keller Williams Realty, Boise
Finia Dinh, computer science program manager, Idaho STEM Action Center, Boise
Debbie Donovan, administrator of student programs, Boise School District, Boise
Jacquie Elcox, CEO, president, Treasure Valley Hearing & Balance, Boise
Karianne Fallow*, CEO, United Dairymen of Idaho, Meridian
Jackie Flowers, general manager, Idaho Falls Power, Idaho Falls
Meg Glasgow, president, FINER FRAMES, Eagle
Farhana Hibbert, regional director, U.S. Senator Mike Crapo, Pocatello
Tracy Hitchcock, CEO, Create Common Good, Boise
Casey (Casandra) Holcomb, assistant vice president, district manager, North Central, Wells Fargo Bank, Lewiston
Wendy Horman, representative, Idaho House of Representatives, Idaho Falls
Danielle Horras, director, strategic initiatives, University of Idaho, Boise
Ann O. Hubbert, director, professor, School of Nursing, College of Health Sciences, Boise State University, Boise
Terri Hughes, leadership coach, author, Terri Hughes LLC, Boise
Billie Johnson, physical design engineer, ON Semiconductor, Pocatello
Erica M. Kallin*, deputy prosecuting attorney, special victims unit chief, Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Canyon County, Caldwell
Danae Klimes, vice president, commercial relationship manager, Zions Bank, Twin Falls
Debbie Kling, president & CEO, Nampa Chamber of Commerce, Nampa
Amy Lientz, director, Partnerships, Engagement and Technology Department, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls
Cathy Light*, CEO, Lideranca Group Inc., Eagle
Amy Little, president/CEO, Idaho Nonprofit Center, Boise
Sue Linja, owner, operator, CEO, S & S Nutrition Network Inc., LTC Nutrition Consulting LLC, Nutrition & Wellness Associates, Boise
Kelly McMurry, president, THE CLOSET, Boise
Rhea Morrison, senior director of Network Operations, St. Luke’s Health Partners, Boise
Kimberly Ouwehand, outreach development, community relations, Treasure Valley Hospice, Nampa
Lori Otter, First Lady of Idaho, State of Idaho, Star
Sue Paul, executive director, Warhawk Air Museum, Nampa
Amy Pence-Brown*, body image activist, writer, artist, Boise
Mary C. Reiman, international business development representative, Capitol Steel Corporation, Boise
Catherine Riddle, radiochemistry research scientist, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls
Megan Ronk*, director, Idaho Department of Commerce, Meridian
Sophie Sestero, senior account executive, Fahlgren Mortine, Boise
Susan E. Shadle, director, Center for Teaching and Learning, Boise State University, Boise
Caile E. Spear, health education specialist, professor, Department of Community and Environmental Health, Boise State University, Boise
Denise L. Stephens, chief information officer and director of information management, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls
Rhonda VanOrder, vice president, treasury management sales officer, Columbia Bank, Nampa
Cindi Wilde, owner, Corner Market; co-owner Stew’s Place Real Estate, Cindi Wilde Boarder House and Residential Court, co-owner cattle operations in Eastern Idaho, Glenns Ferry
Cynthia Yee-Wallace, deputy attorney general, civil litigation division, Office of the Idaho Attorney General, Boise
*Denotes former Idaho Women of the Year honorees now in the Circle of Excellence.