A local woman has been named business leader of the year by Idaho State University.

Honoree Stephanie Adams has been a business owner for 12 years, opening Pocatello Pet Lodge in 2008 and expanding in 2017 with Pocatello Pet Lodge, Too.

“I just feel honored,” Adams said. “That’s really the best way to describe it. It sounds so cliché, but it really is an honor.”

The annual recognition is awarded by ISU College of Business students and started 61 years ago, according to a university press release. Previous honorees included former governors, a congressman and company leaders from across Idaho.

Adams will be recognized April 9 at the Stephens Performing Arts Center by Delta Upsilon chapter of ISU’s Alpha Kappa Psi professional business fraternity.

“The award annually recognizes an Idaho business leader who has demonstrated outstanding business and professional ethics while contributing significant support to worthwhile community, civic and education activities,” ISU’s press release stated.

Pocatello Pet Lodge is located at 145 S. 3rd Ave. Pocatello Pet Lodge, Too is located at 143 S. 2nd Ave. Adams offers grooming, daycare and overnight lodging for dogs, cats, small animals and exotic pets.

“My goal has always been to help Pocatello pet parents be the best parents they can be through offering services, advice, supplies, community connections,” Adams said. “My goal has always been to help the pet parents and the pets be happy and healthy in my community and have great places to stay when their owners can’t take care of them.”

On top of running her pet business, she is active in the community.

For example, she is president of the Zonta Club of Pocatello and she’s the public relations and marketing chair for Zonta’s District 8. The Pocatello group for Zonta — a worldwide women’s rights charitable foundation — provides academic scholarship money to women and one-time financial grants for an expense, such as an automotive repair, to families nearing financial crisis.

“It’s important for everybody, regardless what their walk in life is or their job is, to give back to the community around them,” Adams said. “It’s just natural as a business owner you should do the same, if not more.”

Adams is also a board member for the ISU Alumni Association and previously participated with the Portneuf Rotary Club, Marketing Steering Committee for the Neighborhoods of Historic Old Town Pocatello and was chairwoman of the Pocatello Animal Shelter Advisory Board.

Her years supporting the community and running her business led her to this year, when she was named ISU Business Leader of the Year.

Being in business has not always been easy, facing some adversity during her years as an owner in addition to having to evolve.

She said she was not a natural-born leader but has put focus on being the best boss she can be with a willingness to learn how to accomplish that.

“Something I’ve learned over time, it can’t just be my way or the highway,” said Adams, who has about 35 employees. “It’s definitely sometimes a give and a take, and I think there just has to be compassion and understanding in an employee-employer relationship, and certainly communication is key and that’s probably where I struggled the most.”

If her employees are satisfied in addition to her clients, that is an indication to her that she is succeeding.

“That’s how I know I’m doing a good job,” Adams said. “If both of those things are happy and fulfilled, then so am I.”