J.R. Simplot Company Among Those Honored by Forest Service.

Representatives from the J.R. Simplot Company, Trout Unlimited and others received the U.S. Forest Service’s highest honor, the Chiefs Honor Award, at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes the five-year collaborative effort to restore the waterways and fish habitats on the Yankee Fork of the Salmon River in eastern Idaho. The Yankee Fork Restoration Project involves a diverse group of organizations that came together in 2009 with the goal of restoring the area to a more natural condition. Work was needed because the area had been heavily impacted by dredge mining conducted in the 1950s. The group began its restoration efforts with a comprehensive assessment of the Yankee Fork watershed.

The J.R. Simplot Company is headquartered in Boise.

Idaho Power Recognizes Local Cement Plant for Improvements

Idaho Power has recognized Ash Grove Cement for its commitment to energy efficiency. Upgrades to the plant’s lighting earned the company nearly $200,000 in incentives from Idaho Power’s Commercial and Industrial Efficiency program.

Ash Grove replaced approximately 1,300 light fixtures with more energy-efficient LEDs. The improved lighting creates a better lit and safer work environment that reduces energy use and maintenance costs.

The lighting project will save Ash Grove approximately $67,000 annually in energy costs. It also will provide 1,250,522 kilowatt-hours in energy savings each year, enough energy to provide power for 100 homes annually.

Treasure Valley Nonprofits Receive Money for Cancer Programs

Cancer Connection Idaho and the Idaho Community Foundation has awarded more than $13,000 to programs that support education, social connections and coping skills for people and families touched by cancer statewide. It includes a $5,000 gift to Boise’s River Discovery Inc. to support its Joe & Fran Tonsmeire Salmon River Six-day Adventure and $2,500 to the Treasure Valley Family YMCA to purchase supplies and materials for the Artist in Residence program.

The Cancer Connection Idaho has partnered with the Idaho Community Foundation to expand financial support for nonprofits, public educational institutions, governmental entities and others in Idaho providing cancer support programming and education.

Drake Cooper Announces 
New President, COO

Drake Cooper announced Andrew Piron has been named president and chief operating officer. Piron will have responsibility for all agency operations, reporting directly to the agency’s CEO, Jamie Cooper.

Piron is a 20-­year industry veteran of leading management teams, digital media, advertising technology and client success, including roles in high-growth technology and media organizations, ­ most recently as president of Balihoo. Piron will lead Drake Cooper’s team of more than 50 employees across offices in Seattle and Boise, with responsibility for management and operations.

Boise Volunteers Surpass goal for Christmas Shoebox Project

Volunteers from the Samaritan’s Purse project’s Boise team celebrated a record-breaking collection of 16,250 gift-filled shoeboxes that reminded children around the world they are loved and not forgotten.

The Samaritan’s Purse project, Operation Christmas Child, surpassed last year’s Boise team’s donations of shoebox gifts. The Boise community’s generous contributions went to children in need worldwide for Christmas. For many of these children, the shoebox gift will be the first gift they ever receive.

Boise Regional Realtors 
Foundation Receives Grant

The Boise Regional Realtors Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of Boise Regional Realtors, recently received a $3,500 grant from First Story, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by Hayden Homes.

The funds will be used to further the BRR Foundation’s mission to improve the quality of life in the Boise region through housing-related projects and grants.

“We are so honored to be selected by First Story for this grant,” Cyndi Elliot, 2017 BRR Foundation president and Realtor with Group One Sotheby’s International Realty, said. “This grant money will make a significant difference in addressing housing-related and neighborhood needs.”

The BRR Foundation offers opportunities for local real estate professionals to give back to the community with their time, talent and donations.

New Vice President Named for Southern Idaho Life Care Center of America

Mikeal Pickrell was recently named vice president for Life Care Centers of America’s Frontier Region, which encompasses the company’s skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities in southern Idaho and Utah.

“We are excited to have Mikeal join Life Care as the regional vice president for the Frontier Region,” Linda Emmett, division vice president for Life Care’s Northwest Division, said. “Providing quality care is her top priority along with leading and developing her team. I am confident she will bring much success to the Frontier Region.”

Before taking this role, Pickrell served as CEO at Oaklawn Health and Rehab in Louisville, Kentucky.

Pickrell has worked in senior care for more than 25 years and has served in almost every discipline long-term care has to offer, including certified nursing assistant, med tech, social services director, admissions director, activity director and executive director.

Hawley Troxell adds 
John Hughes to Law Firm

Attorney John C. Hughes has joined Hawley Troxell and will be a member of the law firm’s Employment and Tax Practice Groups with focus on ERISA/Employee Benefits.

Hughes focuses his practice on the complex area of ERISA/Employee Benefits. He represents and provides advice to private companies, plan committees, corporations, tax-exempt entities, governmental entities and individuals. He has also represented retirement plan industry professionals and organizations such as financial institutions, third parties, administrators, accountants and plan consultants.

He is the former president and board member of the Boise Chapter of the Western Pension and Benefits Council. Hughes is a member of Southern Idaho Compensation and Benefits Association, City Club of Boise and the Human Resources Association of Treasure Valley.

Don Gunner Promoted 
at D. L. Evans Bank

John V. Evans Jr., president and CEO of D. L. Evans Bank, announced the promotion of Don Gunner to vice president branch manager at the Boise Vista branch.

Gunner has more than 36 years of banking and commercial lending experience. In his new position, Gunner will help his customers with all of their loan and deposit needs. He is committed to his community by serving as a volunteer at the Boise YMCA Strong Kids, Junior Achievement of Idaho, Boise Noon Optimist Club and Operation Wishbook. He is a board member and treasurer for the Boise Hive and treasurer for BNI-Downtown Professionals.

He invites everyone to visit him at the Vista branch located at 1600 S. Vista Ave. in Boise. Gunner can be reached at 208.429.1662.

WCA Elects Two New Board of Directors Members

The Women’s and Children’s Alliance announced the election of two new members to its board of directors, Jessica Flynn and Wendy Olson.

Flynn has spent the past decade as the CEO of Red Sky, a Boise-based strategic communication firm. She has a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and specializes in crisis communication, public relations, stakeholder engagement and storytelling. In 2016, the WCA named Flynn as a Tribute to Women and Industry honoree. Red Sky has been a corporate supporter of the WCA for several years.

Olson is a partner at Stoel Rives LLP in Boise. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Drake University and obtained her Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School. Olson served as the United States Attorney for the District of Idaho from 2010 to 2017, an office she was appointed to by President Barack Obama. As a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she worked extensively on domestic and sexual assault issues, including prosecuting child sexual assault and exploitation cases.

Idaho Humanities 
Council Selects New Executive Director

The Idaho Humanities Council, the Boise-based, statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting greater public awareness, appreciation and understanding of the humanities in Idaho, has hired a new executive director to replace retiring director Rick Ardinger after 26 years.

David Pettyjohn, of Oklahoma City, took the helm as IHC’s new director in January. He has a background in historic preservation and public humanities programming.

Since 2012, Pettyjohn has served as executive director of Preservation Oklahoma, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to coordinating historic preservation activities in the state.

“David has excellent leadership experience in the nonprofit sector, and his passion for the public humanities is invigorating,” Jenny Emery Davidson, chairwoman of the council said. “We are confident that, together with IHC’s three other talented staff members, he will carry forward the great work of the IHC around the state.”