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The Idaho Business Review hosts five discussions throughout the year which feature a panel of experts that will cover timely, relevant business issues.

All Breakfast Series events feature a continental breakfast and are held at the Grove Hotel in Downtown Boise, 245 S. Capitol Boulevard. Each session begins at 8 a.m. with the discussion starting at 8:30 a.m. and lasting roughly one hour.

A story summarizing each Breakfast Series discussion appears in the Idaho Business Review.

2023 Breakfast Series Schedule

Upcoming Breakfast Series Events

April 6, 2023:  Keeping it Local
The Grove Hotel
245 Capitol Blvd.
8:00 a.m.

What is Idaho’s local economy like, and what are the current economics of keeping it local in Idaho? How do local economies vary across the state – such as in urban vs rural cities – and what factors are in play? Panelists will discuss the significance of keeping business local, explain current challenges of keeping business local to Idaho and explore what keeping it local could look like in the future.


Tom MortellThomas J. Mortell
Hawley Troxell

Mr. Mortell is chair of the firm’s health law group as well as the firm’s co-managing partner. He serves as general counsel to the Idaho Hospital Association. Since 2002, Mr. Mortell’s practice has focused on advising hospitals and other health care providers on all aspects of health care law.

As with many others, Mr. Mortell has recently spent too much time thinking, reading, and talking to clients about the COVID-19 pandemic. Otherwise, he assists health care providers in business transactions, including the acquisition of competing entities, hospital/physician joint ventures, and the acquisition of physician practices.

He also helps medical providers with professional services contracts between hospitals and physicians and advises hospital boards on issues relating to physician integration, compliance, governance, and strategic planning. Mr. Mortell represents hospital clients in federal false claims act litigation, payer reimbursement claims, and related compliance matters. He represents and advises hospitals and other health care clients with issues relating to regulatory compliance (Stark, Anti-kickback statute, HIPAA, EMTALA) as well as physician peer review, credentialing, and provider discipline.

Mr. Mortell was the 2021 Board Chair for the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce and currently chairs the Chamber’s Policy Committe. He also serves as a board member for the Boise Valley Economic Partnership and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival.



Carrie WestergardCarrie Westergard
Visit Boise

Carrie Westergard is the Executive Director of Visit Boise (formerly Boise Convention & Visitors Bureau), a position she has held for more than eight years. She is responsible for planning and directing the operations and programming for Visit Boise, whose mission is to inspire people to explore Boise.

Boise is often featured in national press and Westergard has been quoted in many publications including Forbes, Bloomberg, The Seattle Times, Meetings Today, Successful Meetings, Smart Meetings and Small Market Meetings. Under Westergard’s leadership, Visit Boise has grown both its staff and financial resources. Westergard’s 30-year tenure in the travel industry includes stints with resorts, property management, public transportation, Chamber and Visitor Bureau’s.

In 2022, Westergard was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from Leadership Boise and In 2016, she was one of Idaho Business Review’s, Women of the Year honorees, and in 2017 she was named one of the ‘Top 25 Women in the Meetings Industry’ in M&C (Meetings + Conventions Magazine) and she is a proud graduate of Leadership Boise in 2018. She stays engaged in the community through her involvement with the Boise Metro Rotary and SKAL, Leadership Boise Alumni Association and the Board of Directors for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho. Westergard also serves on the Boise Airport Commission, Downtown
Boise Association and the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Committee.

Westergard is also an avid lover of the arts, Idaho recreation and exploration.


Jennifer Mauk
Buy Idaho Inc

As the Executive Director of Buy Idaho, Jennifer promotes the “shop local” message across the state, encouraging consumers to “look local first”, and businesses to utilize each other with the end goal of keeping dollars in Idaho. Being in the trenches with the small business community has become a passion for Jennifer. You can always find her meeting with business owners, gathering resources to help the sustainability of Idaho’s local economy, or at the numerous community events hosted by Buy Idaho such as the Buy Idaho Capitol Show, Wholesale Idaho, Buy Idaho Day, and Buy Idaho Holiday Market.

Sam Bailey

Sam Bailey leads Amazon’s economic development efforts for the Mountain West region of the United States. In this role, Sam oversees economic development opportunities locating new investments and supporting existing operations across a seven-state territory, which includes Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. At the world’s most customer obsessed company, Sam works at state, regional, county, and local levels to support Amazon’s job creation, capital investment, and public policy goals across multiple lines of businesses.

Prior to joining Amazon, Sam served as:

  • Vice President of Economic Development at the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation
  • President and CEO at the Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation
  • and, Senior Manager of Global Business Development at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade for the State of Colorado.

Sheri Johnson
Idaho Manufacturing Alliance

Sheri is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Idaho Manufacturing Alliance. She brings her entrepreneurial spirit and industry perspective in to steer the priorities of IMA’s mission: to connect, support and promote the Idaho manufacturing industry.

Prior to her role as IMA’s founder and executive director, Sheri and her husband ran a successful manufacturing company. That venture is what birthed the desire to create an organization to assist manufacturers and create a community within the state’s industry participants.

With a bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness Marketing from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, she has spent her career in entrepreneurial adventures including real estate advisor, marketing contractor, and small gift business ownership before her role in her co-owned manufacturing company.
While her and her husband continued to ask, “When will the adults show up and tell us what to do?”, she embarked on the adventure of forming a 501c6 business organization along with other manufacturers and industry supporters, to create a community where they could collaborate, support, share best practices and network.

Since its inception in 2014, IMA has grown to 195 member companies and collaborates or partners with scores of agencies, institutions, and non-profits to support Idaho’s growing manufacturing base.

Since its founding, Sheri, along with the IMA team and board of directors, have grown the organization and its impact within the state. One of the key focus areas for IMA has been in the workforce development arena. In October of 2021, the IMA obtained a 501c3 classification on its spin-off entity named Forging Futures Idaho. Forging Futures first entered the talent development space by growing more meaningful connections with educators to connect them to resources and employers.

June 6, 2023: Transportation
The Grove Hotel
245 Capitol Blvd.
8:00 a.m.

August 3, 2023: Community Planning
The Grove Hotel
245 Capitol Blvd.
8:00 a.m.

The state of transportation in Idaho will define what life will be like here in the near future. Will our roads and highways be gridlocked? Will our bridges fall into disrepair? What will traveling through the Gem State be like in 10 years?  These are among the questions we’ll tackle at IBR’s June Breakfast Series, where a panel of experts will discuss the economic impact of our transportation infrastructure, how the cities and rural communities face different challenges and opportunities, and how a proposal to bring commuter rail service to the metro area could be a game changer. Don’t miss this vital discussion at our next Breakfast Series panel on June 6.

October 4, 2023: Manufacturing
The Grove Hotel
245 Capitol Blvd.
8:00 a.m.


For information about registration, contact Laura Clements at [email protected] or (208) 639-3528.

For information about advertising or sponsorship opportunities, contact Cindy Suffa at [email protected] or (208) 639-3517.