Laughter and a standing ovation followed the conclusion of retired Chief Justice Roger S. Burdick’s remarks during the Idaho Business Review’s Leaders in Law and Excellence in Finance honoree celebration.
Fifty-six individuals were recognized Tuesday night at Boise Centre for their mentorship and other contributions to the finance and law professions. For the first time in-person, Idaho Business Review (IBR) coupled the industries together in the celebration which, as several reflected, signifies the shared service the fields offer separately and together.
“For those of you who have been honored in the Excellence in Finance awards, my remarks today will focus on the community that I know best, the legal community; please include yourselves in the world I describe today,” said presenting sponsor speaker Jerry Long. “As I describe the importance of the law, you will recognize your own role in the world that I’ve described. If lawyers are the architects, you’re the builders, those who make the vision and ideals real.”
“After nearly a decade, we believe it was time to bring the industries together to recognize the incredible talent and tremendous dedication within those who work in the fields of law and finance. We also believe the strategic move supports the objective of the Idaho Business Review of keeping you connected, which proved to be true during the reception I just witnessed,” IBR publisher Cindy Suffa said during the program.
Nearly 300 attendees sampled appetizer-style flatbread, charcuterie boards and more catered by Boise Centre, and gathered safely for IBR’s final 2021 award presentation ceremony, where University of Idaho College of Law was the presenting sponsor. Nov. 16 marked the ninth annual recognition of Idaho leaders in law and outstanding finance experts statewide. All types of legal professionals — from up-and-coming attorneys to firm partners — joined representatives from banking, retail, food and beverage and other businesses.
To conclude the event, former U.S. District Attorney Bart M. Davis introduced Lifetime Achievement Honoree Chief Justice Burdick, sharing a story of how a mischievous high school student went on to become one of Idaho’s most acclaimed and renowned legal professionals. His community service, mentorship and humility through it all have been inspiring to Davis and many others.
“With a glimmer in his eye and an awkward, sometimes irreverent sense of humor, an inability to recall or properly pronounce names, but with a decent heart and good judgement, this emotional fellow served for 18 years as a member of Idaho’s highest and distinguished court,” Davis said. “During his service, he prioritized Idaho’s unified court system, growing treatment courts and hatching guardianship monitoring; improving the juvenile court system; boosting judicial compensation and advocating for the necessary resources.”
After receiving IBR’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Burdick humorously shared advice: look ahead in life without focusing on what’s behind, as a linebacker does in football; it’s easy to ride the draft horse, it’s the wild ponies that build character, but, reflecting on his career was a serious moment.
“I acknowledge I’ve been very lucky, but with the help of family, and the ones I’ve previously mentioned, I’ve been given the opportunity of a lifetime,” Burdick said, pausing for a moment, “to serve Idaho as a judge who follows the facts and applies the law.”
As IBR is proud to continue honoring those who provide outstanding leadership and dedication to their fields, nominations are open for deserving individuals, and publications of this year’s Leaders in Law and Excellence in Finance are available in print and digitally.