• Adam Velasquez
Adam Velasquez has shared his time, talent and expertise with a dozen worthy civic and non-profit organizations across Pocatello and continues to make southeast Idaho a better place with his unique combination of determined professionalism and down-to-earth friendliness. Professionally, Adam is Vice President and Executive Banking Relationship Manager for Zion’s Bank in Pocatello. In this role, he provides specialized service to professionals of emerging wealth who meet designated annual income and net worth qualifications.
• Akilah Lacey WINNER
Akilah Lacey is a force good among the youth of Pocatello. Over the years, Akilah has coached football at Shelley High School and Highland High School. While at Shelley High, he helped lead the team to two state championships. He was the general manager at Outer Limits Fun Zone from 2007 to 2010. He has also worked as speed and agility coach with Next Level Sports in Pocatello. However, Akilah didn’t stop there - his passion for helping youth and being a positive influence in his community led him to apply for a position in the Pocatello Police Department.
• Amy Hernandez
Amy Hernandez wanted her daughters in the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 to have good teachers - so she became one. Amy grew up in the Pocatello/Chubbuck area and is the proud mother of three daughters. As her children entered the first grade, they began to struggle. “My decision to become a teacher was based on a need to help them be successful in school and the frustration I felt watching them suffer,” Amy said. So she earned a bachelor’s degree from Idaho State University, graduating in 2010. She soon began striving for excellence as a teacher. Her efforts did not go unnoticed.
•Amy Rhoads WINNER
Amy Rhodes built a long and successful career in banking with lessons she learned on the farm and a legacy she inherited from her parents. Today she is the President of Citizens Community Bank. An Idaho native, Amy was raised on the family farm near Caldwell alongside seven other brothers and sisters. Her days were filled with hard work, where she learned to quietly get the job done no matter what it takes.
• Anne Fry WINNER
Anne Hall Fry aims to run more than just a boutique business - she is a confidence-booster, philanthropist and inspiration for women across Pocatello. Anne opened Annie Halls’ Vintage Boutique out of a little house on Center Street in October 2010. But she wasn’t opening a business purely to make a buck. Anne was recovering from a battle with brain cancer that knocked her on her back and took her out of a management career she had worked in for 33 years.
• Arlen Wittrock WINNER
Arlen Wittrock works for ON Semiconductor-Pocatello as a Public & Government Affairs Consultant. He holds both bachelors and masters degrees in Political Science from Southwest Minnesota State University and Mankato State University, respectively, with certifications in Secondary and College Education. While in Minnesota, Arlen was director of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, which played a major role in the development of Mall of America - the largest mall in the United States. Arlen has been a leader of economic development in Pocatello during all of his professional and volunteer careers.
• Bart Nawotniak WINNER
Bart Nawotniak brings his passion for good food, great atmosphere and the power of small business to the College Market - and has been since taking ownership of the business in 2012. Born and raised in Buffalo New York, Bart studied creative writing, literature and philosophy at Ashland University, in Ashland Ohio. After completing his bachelor’s degree he moved back to Buffalo where he managed the Clarence Center Coffee Company & Cafe in New York. Bart moved to Pocatello in 2011 when his wife, Dr. Shannon Kobs Nawotniak, began her career as a professor in ISU’s Geosciences Department.
• Blake Novosel
Blake Novosel was born and raised in Pocatello and aims to make his hometown a better place through both his profession and his volunteer work. Blake worked his way up at the Sandpiper Restaurant, first as a waiter and today as assistant manager. In that role, he is responsible for a long list of duties. Blake creates employee schedules, manages employees, manages the company social media page, disciplines and rewards employees, makes sure customers have an enjoyable experience and more. “Blake is very attentive to his customers, he makes sure they are happy and satisfied with their food and service,” Blake’s nominator said.
• Brenda May-Kinney
Brenda Kinney believes everyone deserves a second chance and she does her best to provide needed resources for those in our community who are in recovery. Brenda is the manager of Saint Vincent de Paul, where she serves those less fortunate with respect and compassion. Brenda has held that position since 2012. “This is the only place in our community where you can walk in and we help you with all your critical needs,” Brenda says. “We supply clothing, household items, food, furniture and even have assistance for utility bills and rent. "
• Brian Blad
Brian Blad is the city of Pocatello mayor. He attended Ricks College (now Brigham Young University-Idaho) and Idaho State University. Blad serves on a number of boards and committees including the Bannock Development Corporation board of directors, Pocatello Development Authority, the ISU College of Technology Advisory Board, Regional Development Alliance, Bannock Transportation Planning Organization, ISU Veteran Student Services Center Board, the Association of Idaho Cities Board, Idaho Counties Risk Management Program Board and the Pocatello Chubbuck Chamber of Commerce Board.
• Burns Leavitt WINNER
Burns Leavitt is a Brigham Young University-Idaho and Idaho State University graduate, military veteran and CEO/owner of Taurus Natural Salt Idaho and Devere Trucking, who has earned his reputation through years of dedication and hard work. Burns opened his first computer store in Pocatello in the early 1990s and was instrumental in introducing people tooth new technology and teaching them how to use emails and the Internet. Later, he left the area only to return and bring back Whisper Creek Log Homes with him. After the real estate market dropped and Whisper Creek closed, he ventured out on his own and started Taurus Natural Salt Idaho.
• Byron Haws
Byron Haws has shaped young lives at Century High School for eight years. As a teacher as well as the fine arts department head at Century, his students and peers are thankful for his example. Byron is the recipient of the Presidential Award in Teaching for excellence in teaching, he is frequently nominated for Teacher of the Year, he has been a finalist for the Simplot Teacher of the Year award, he has been featured on the KLCE Teacher Feature and he is easily recognized as one of the outstanding teachers of southeast Idaho.
• Caleb Corona
Caleb Corona is a proud owner of the local Mexican restaurant Señor Iguanas. Born in Mexico, he moved to Maywood, Calif. at the age of one where he resided until the age of five. He has been a resident of Pocatello since age five and went on to graduate form Pocatello High School. Caleb worked in various capacities in the restaurant industry until opening his own restaurant in December of 1997. Caleb continually shows support for his community with various donations and sponsorships throughout the year. He is a major supporter of Pocatello’s youth athletic programs, most notably in little league football.
• Caroline Wight
Caroline Wight tirelessly serves those around her at American falls High School as both an educator and a community volunteer. Caroline is an ESL, Government, and Senior Project Teacher and has been since 2005. Caroline is actively involved in the education community. She is dedicated to improving education for her students through leadership, example, and coaching. As the the English as a Second language advisor at American Falls High School, Caroline works with many students who immigrate to our country with little to no English speaking skills. Even after her students graduate, they remain a part of her life.
• Catherine Leavitt WINNER
Cathy Leavitt believes in the power of technology to transform young lives. As a teacher at Jefferson Elementary School, Cathy has helped her students come to love learning about engineering, technology and math, laying a foundation for their future success in these fields. Cathy earned her bachelor’s degree in Community Health Education from Brigham Young University in 1999. She then moved to Houston, Texas and started teaching at an inner-city school district. It was at Houston at Lone Star College that Cathy went back to school while teaching and received her Teaching Certificate.
• Doug Armstrong WINNER
Born and raised in Southeast Idaho, Patrol Sgt. Doug Armstrong of the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office is a sterling example of what it means to dedicate your life to service. In his 24 years of service, he has worked as a detention officer, patrol officer, narcotics detective, school resource officer and Southeast Idaho Special Tactics and Response (STAR) team tactical officer. He is the current commander for the STAR Team. Doug is a graduate of Marsh Valley High School. After high school, he took classes are Ricks College in Broadcasting and Communications. However, his true calling was in law enforcement.
• Dusty Bee
Dusty Bee decided long ago that he was going to be happy, and spread happiness, regardless of his circumstances. In May 2015, a small sneeze and a cough followed by fluid leaking from his nose turned into a life-threatening journey for Dusty. The pop in his head was the beginning of a cerebral spinal fluid leak. The condition causes incredible headaches, neck pain or stiffness, nausea, and vomiting. Other symptoms include dizziness and vertigo, facial numbness or weakness, unusually blurry or double vision, neuralgia, fatigue, or a metallic taste in the mouth.
• Elizabeth Bolinger
Elizabeth Bolinger is a fourth grade teacher at Grace Lutheran School with a unique skill for understanding the needs of her students and a desire to help out in whatever way she can. Elizabeth holds a bachelor of science degree from Idaho State University where she also earned a masters of education degree with literary emphasis in 2007. While at ISU she excelled academically, earning her place as the Outstanding Achievement Winner for the College of Education in 2005. She also held a graduate teaching position while there, co-teaching the undergraduate course Education 309.
• Frank Vandersloot HALL OF FAME WINNER
Frank L. VanderSloot is CEO of Melaleuca, Inc. in Idaho Falls. Since the company began in September 1985, VanderSloot has directed its growth into an international company that generates more than $1 billion in annual revenue through a sales force reaching hundreds of thousands of households across North America, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Poland and the United Kingdom. He has directed the development of the company’s 450-plus nutritional, pharmaceutical, personal care and household cleaning products.
• Gina Stucki
Gina Stucki is the owner of The Red Poppy in Pocatello - a restaurant that is both delicious and cozy with food that reminds you of home. Although Gina was born and raised in Pocatello, she moved to California after graduating from Highland High School and stayed there for 25 years. In that time, Gina attend National University in San Diego where she earned a bachelor’s in business administration with a minor in human resources management. She went on to gain further education at UCI Extension and Irving Valley College in child development.
• Gordon Howell
Gordon Howell is the first responders unknown best friend. As the 911 coordinator for Bannock County he works tirelessly to ensure that the technical side of 911 communications is working as it needs to be. From the person in distress calling for police help to the officers on the beat, Gordon makes sure there is an effective communication system in place. A lifetime local, Gordon graduated from Highland High School in 1964. He was among the first class to graduate from that school. After high school, Gordon joined the U.S. Air Force where he served honorably for four years.
• Jake Liday
Jake Liday understands the physical rigors that come with being a firefighter and with that understanding he is improving the lives of first responders across southeast Idaho. Jake holds a masters in health education from Idaho State University, is a Certified Peer Fitness Trainer and is an Urban Search and Rescue Team Member. He is also a Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician for the Pocatello Fire Department. Over the years, Jake has used his knowledge and expertise to create a fitness and wellness program within the Pocatello Fire Department.
• Jennifer Attebery WINNER
Jennifer Attebery has a unique skill for balancing the day-to-day needs of a university department with forward-thinking initiatives the position Idaho State University’s Department of English and Philosophy well for future success. Attebery is a Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English and Philosophy at ISU. Her achievements and accolades are extensive. Attebery holds a Ph.D. from Indiana University, a master’s degree from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree from the College of Idaho. Attebery is the recipient of the Distinguished Researcher award at ISU in 2016.
• Jim Von Busch
Jim Von Busch is an associate pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Pocatello whose life goal is to use his profession to lift others to their full potential. Jim obtained his bachelor of art’s degree from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois in 1989. He then came to Idaho State University where he earned his master of counseling degree in 1993. He holds a Ph.D. of Counseling from Trinity Theological Seminary. Jim is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Idaho. “It is my goal and passion to coach, counsel and teach people so that they can reach their full potential in Christ,” Jim says.
• Karen Aguilar
Karen Aguilar is the Fire Chief Pocatello Valley Fire Fighters (PVFF). After volunteering several years as a fire fighter with PVFF, Karen was chosen chief on March 1, 1997. In this totally volunteer position she is responsible for the areas between Pocatello's southern city limits and Inkom’s northern boundary, including all roads, Gibson Jack, Mink Creek, Portneuf area, and 5th Street, with housing areas. Much of the terrain is mountainous, requiring four wheel drive capabilities. Both structure and wild land fire protection is provided, as well as car fires.
• Kathleen Lewis WINNER
For more than three decades, Kathleen Lewis has been dedicated to making Idaho’s communities the best they can be, providing the tools that small towns need for present and future success. Kathleen is the Executive Director of the Southeast Idaho Council of Governments (SEICOG). She is in charge of helping smaller communities with grants and programs that these cities might never have discovered on their own. Along with a staff of 16 people, Kathleen helps seven counties in southeastern Idaho get the resources they need to best serve their populations - from water to sewer programs and much more.
• Kerry Harmon
Kerry Harmon is the owner of Muse Boutique Salon & Spa, as well as a personal stylist and design guru. “Kerry welcomes each change as a new opportunity,” her nominator said. “She has a deep sense of beauty and a love of life.” Kerry attend the University of Wyoming where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in management. She also holds associate's degrees in marketing, business Pre-Law, and management. As Muse opened, Kerry brought a unique style and flair to the Gate City that people across the region have noticed. Muse was chosen as "The Best of the Best Small Boutiques in Idaho" by shoptiques.com.
• Lisa and Aaron Villano
Lisa and Aaron Villano embrace small town values and family in everything they do. The couple owns Vilano’s Italian Restaurant in Old Town Pocatello - a business they built from scratch with 40 years of combined restaurant experience. “Lisa and Aaron are hometown people who know how to make everyone who comes in to the restaurant feel like you are special friends,” said the person who nominated the couple for the award. The business is built on grandma Villano’s old family recipes and the family’s emphasis on quality. The Villano family moved to the Gate City in the 1970s. For 25 years, the couple built a career in the restaurant industry.
• Melanie Burleson
Melanie Burleson is a Customer Service representative with Convergys who goes above and beyond on a daily basis. Melanie holds a Bachelor’s degree from California State College, Fullerton. Her personal philosophy is guided by her Christianity and her care for others. For over 10 years Melanie has worked at Convergys. Each week, on her own time, and for very little in return, she collects the recycling at Convergys. She the takes it to the recycling center where she receives roughly $5 for two weeks effort. Melanie has been passionate about the environment and recycling at each place she has worked.
• Melanie Willams WINNER
Melanie Williams prides herself on believing in the potential of every student. As a teacher at William Thomas Middle School in American Falls, Melanie uses her extensive academic achievements to help her students reach their full potential. Melanie holds a bachelor of science degree from Utah State University with a double major in Political Science (Pre-Law) and Philosophy. She went on to earn yet another bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education (with a major in Political Science and a minor in History) from Idaho State University. She then earned her master’s degree in Instruction Technology from Idaho State University in 2013.
• Misty Stucki
Misty Stucki is more than just Idaho State University’s cheerleading coach - she has been a guiding inspiration to many across southeastern Idaho for years. Misty was born and raised in Pocatello, attending Syringa and Wilcox elementary schools, Hawthorn Junior High and Pocatello High School. At Hawthorne she developed her love of cheer and it’s a passion that has guided her career ever since. Throughout high school, Misty cheered and worked at Elite Performance Gymnastics. She was so talented that she was asked to be on the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) staff.
• Monte Hibbert
Monte Hibbert is a retired Major in the Idaho Army National Guard who has had a long and valiant career serving his country and community. It all began for Monte in Sugar City, Idaho where he graduated from Sugar-Salem High School. His thirst for education took him to Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) in Rexburg where he was a pre-med student who graduated with honors. Monte’s academic achievements continued to accumulate at Idaho State University. There, he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology with minors in Chemistry and Spanish and a Master of Science Degree in Microbiology. Monte is also an Army ROTC graduate with high honors.
• Paul Hansmann
As an assistant professor and School of Psychology program faculty member at Idaho State University, Paul Hansmann blends research and applied knowledge to help successfully understand behavioral issues. His body of work aims to help students across southeast Idaho and beyond who struggle in school, giving them well-researched tools to help promote psychologically healthy behaviors and achieve academic success. Hansmann earned his master’s in educational psychology from Oklahoma State University in 2010. He went on to obtain a Ph.D. in psychology from the same university.
• Paul Manning WINNER
Lt. Paul Manning has had a long and storied career seeing the best and the worst that humanity has to offer. Throughout more than 30 years at the Pocatello Police Department, Manning has worked his way up from a 4th class Officer to the position he holds today - Lieutenant of Investigations. Manning attend the Idaho Basic POST (Police Officer Standards and Training) Academy in 1982 and graduated 10th in his class. He later went on to attend the rigorous FBI/LEEDA Supervisory Leadership Institute, focusing on Executive Survival and Policing in the 21st Century.
• Paula Miller
Paula Miller has been married for 31 years, is a mother of five children and a grandmother of five. She obtained her social work license in 2003 and currently works with the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District #25 as a Community Resource Worker serving both Tendoy and Washington elementary schools. Paula has a strong commitment to strengthening individuals, families, and the community. She has served as a community board member for SEICAA since 2005.
• Phil Meador HALL OF FAME WINNER
Phil Meador is the patriarch of the Meador family of dealerships in Pocatello. The Meador family — wife Bekki, and sons Jason and Matt, as well as Phil — now operate three major dealerships in Pocatello. They include the new 40,000-square-foot Toyota dealership on Flandro Drive, as well as Courtesy Ford and Phil Meador Subaru, which will move to the old Toyota store on Yellowstone Avenue. Phil sold his first automobile, a 1973 VW Super Beetle, back at a Volkswagen dealership in Ontario, Oregon and has found fulfillment in the car business ever since.
• Randy Dixon WINNER
The City of Pocatello would look significantly different if Randy Dixon were not around. He has been the driving force behind relighting the historic Chief Theater, chaired Relight the Night, relit the running neon greyhound on the Bus Depot, and spearheaded the return of the Indian Chief to Pocatello High School. Both in his working years and after his retirement, Randy has worked tirelessly to protect Pocatello’s cultural heritage. In 1983 he spearheaded successful efforts to see Chief Theatre given to City of Pocatello by Frank H. Ricketson of Denver. One year later, the transfer was made and Randy co-founded the Chief Foundation.
• Rayna Valentine
Rayna Valentine has long been involved in many aspects of enriching Pocatello and giving back to the community. An Idaho native, Rayna graduated from Pocatello High School in 1965. Staying close to her southeast Idaho roots, she then went on to Idaho State University where she earned bachelor’s of arts degrees in English and French. Rayna then earned her master’s in english at ISU in 1971. Rayna’s professional career included working as an adjunct faculty member for the English Department at Idaho State University teaching freshman composition. She also served as a paralegal to the City Attorney for 27 years, retiring in 2006.
• Richard Denton
Richard Denton is a veteran paramedic with Pocatello Fire Department and the Bannock County Ambulance District. A Firth local since 1991, Rich served in the U.S. Navy from 1985 to 1995 and worked at the Idaho National Laboratory as a civilian subcontractor from 1996 to 1999. Today, Rich is known for his contributions to the Pocatello Fire Department. During his time with the fire department, Rich has done his best to ensure that firefighters have the best equipment possible to effectively protect and serve the residents of Bannock County.
• Richard Provencher WINNER
Richard Provencher is manager of the U.S. Department of Energy Idaho Operations Office, a position he has held since May of 2010. He is responsible for oversight of the nation’s leading nuclear energy research laboratory and the environmental cleanup and waste management mission at the Idaho site. Mr. Provencher oversees nearly 5,000 federal and contractor staff of a multi-program laboratory focused on innovative nuclear energy solutions, clean energy options, and securing world class critical infrastructure and carry out a safe environmental cleanup program.
• Rick Smellie
Rick Smellie is the owner of Dell's Home Appliance and Mattress Center. Rick has earned a reputation through the years as a smart businessman and a contributing member of the community. Rick is a graduate of Pocatello High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business management from Brigham Young University. Rick took over the appliance business when his dad retired. Under Rick’s leadership, Dell’s Home Appliance and Mattress Center has become a landmark in Pocatello. Today, he has a loyal staff who his nominator said, “loves working with him and is a part of the development and success of our community.”
• Russ Davie
Russ Davie is a southeast Idaho native with a love of teaching and of his students. His own education began at Pocatello High School where he graduated in 1993. He then attended Cero Cosso Jr. College where he played baseball. However, he would eventually go on to pursue his true professional calling at Idaho State University. Throughout 1995 and the first decade of 2000, Russ would attend Idaho State University working towards a bachelor’s degree in Special Education and Human Exeptionality and a Special Education Teaching Certification.
• Scott Redding
Many of us drive right by Scott Redding’s accomplishments daily without a second thought. However, some of the bridges, roads and interchanges we drive through exist because of Scott’s incredible work ethic and talent. A native of southeast Idaho, Scott holds five degrees from Idaho State University in Civil Engineering (Associates and Masters degrees), Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, and business administration. Scott also earned his Professional Engineering License from ISU. For the past 13 years, he has worked for the Idaho Department of Transportation in various capacities including acting engineering manager.
• Teresa Jackman
Teresa Jackman is an academic lifeline for many students in southeast Idaho. As the Title One Reading Coordinator at the Connor Academy, Teresa helps develop effective strategies for lifting students who struggle with reading. She has been working as an educator for 23 years and, according to her nominator, “enjoys every minute of it.” Teresa started her career in Aberdeen as an elementary school teacher. While there, she was named Aberdeen School District Teacher of the Year in 2000. Teresa later transferred to the Conor Academy as a Title One Coordinator and loves helping kids who need that little extra attention and care.
• Tia Lloyd
Tia Lloyd is the general manager of the Pine Ridge Mall, a 60,000 square-foot property and retail icon for the area. Throughout one year as general manager, Tia and the Capital Real Estate Services team have overseen incredible growth. The mall has filled 20,000 square feet of formerly empty retail space in the past year in addition to drawing crafting heavy-hitter Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby and other out parcel additions to the mall added an additional 60,000-plus square feet of retail. Tia earned her associates degree from Utah State University in Logan, Utah. She went on to study at Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg.
• Todd Stinger
Todd Stinger, owner/CEO of Todd's Automotive and Performance in Chubbuck, is known as much for his community involvement as for his expertise in the automotive industry. Todd has owned the auto shop since 1999 and employs about eight mechanics and other staff. He graduated from the Idaho State University’s College of Technology and has also earned Master Technician honors from various automotive affiliations. Todd is also an established recreational vehicle and all-terrain vehicle performance technician, and teaches his craft to youth across southeast Idaho. He is involved with the Boy Scouts, as well as the National Honor Society.
• Travis Atwood
Travis Atwood is a born businessman who currently uses his skills as the Business Development Manager for Avcenter in Pocatello. Travis is a graduate of Jerome High School and is currently studying online to obtain an Associates Degree in Business Management. Travis’ entire career has revolved around aviation. His first job was in sales at Aviation Specialities Unlimited. He then worked for Access Air Ambulance and Charter in Boise as their Charter Manager. Travis then moved into management and business development roles with various air charter companies in Boise, Broomfield, Colorado and Idaho Falls.
• Travis Smith
Travis Smith is the quintessential leader, showing co-workers, youth and his children that they are worth the investment of his time. Travis is an assistant chief of operations as well as an acting paramedic firefighter for the Pocatello Fire Department and the Bannock County Ambulance District. Travis earned a BA in Fire Service Administration and has his associates of Fire Service Administration from Columbia Southern University. He served in the US Army and Idaho National Guard for eight years. Travis is a member of the Fire Services Training Advisory Council and the International Society of Fire Service Instructors.
• Travis Taylor WINNER
As wildfires rage and chaos often ensues, Travis Taylor keeps a cool head and manages to organize the chaos. As an assistant helicopter manager in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, Travis coordinates with Air Operations, the wildfire planning unit, and the operations branch to ensure efficient and safe use of the aircraft and crew while working on team managed fires. Travis successfully orchestrated teams of eight-10 people in addition to contract personnel during the heat of wildfire season.