May. 30, 2017

Grow Here: Gretchen Caserotti on Storytelling and Service

by Marissa Lovell

Gretchen Caserotti’s career calling became crystal clear to her during children’s story time at New York Public Library.

Born and raised in Minnesota, Gretchen grew up in a home entrenched in the arts. After graduating high school, Gretchen bounced around the country uncovering pieces of herself in communities from Portland to New York City. In 2006, while working as an actress and waiting tables in the Big Apple, she realized that as much as she loved storytelling and performance art, acting wasn’t the outlet for her passions.  

She decided to make a change and hit the books twofold – as a graduate student at Pratt Institute and as a Children’s Librarian at New York Public Library. Amongst rows of books, Gretchen discovered her love of storytelling and passion for service colliding. As she worked toward earning her Master’s in Library Science, she learned about the human thought process. Matching this understanding with creativity, she discovered ways the library could be even more useful to the local community.

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May. 30, 2017

Grow Here: Wyatt Schroeder on Intentional Growth

by Marissa Lovell

While bouncing around the East Coast working on political campaigns, Wyatt Schroeder heard countless stories of poverty and homelessness. Never having lived that experience, he felt compelled to address these issues head on and began working in low-income housing repair with AmeriCorps. Hearing stories of struggle and perseverance to maintain a healthy living environment gave him a fresh perspective on his own life and his ability to give back to those in need. Following this pursuit to Virginia and Philadelphia, Wyatt found himself seeking a change of scenery and started to look at cities that were beginning to grow. Within a few hours of visiting Boise, he knew the City of Trees was going to be home.

In 2015, Wyatt was hired as a consultant for Charitable Assistance to Community’s Homeless (CATCH) Inc., a local nonprofit organization with a vision “for an Idaho where no family experiences homelessness and those that do are swiftly and compassionately guided back into a home of their own.” At the time, CATCH was facing serious financial distress. The organization had a maxed line of credit and was operating with 50 percent of funding sourced from a grant that was nearing its end. Wyatt was soon hired as Executive Director of CATCH and began to make moves towards getting the organization back on its feet.

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Jun. 10, 2016

Graduates Get Ready to Grow

by Charity Nelson

“Follow your curiosity…Anchor yourself…Go out and find your story before you take flight.”

These are a few of the words of wisdom imparted by Timothy Egan, an honorary doctoral degree recipient at Boise State University’s 2016 commencement ceremony on May 7. He also encouraged, “May your days be prosperous and creative.”

Colleges and universities across the Boise Valley bestowed more than 5,000 degrees and certificates last month. Fortunately, those students have an extraordinary opportunity to prosper...

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May. 4, 2016

Gianfranco - Big Ideas Grow Here

Gianfranco - Big Ideas Grow Here

A native of Sicily, Italy, Gianfranco moved to Boise to work in the information systems division of Micron Technology. Friendly people, a vibrant workplace, and a shorter commute are just a few of the positives Gianfranco experiences in Idaho’s capital city.

“There’s no traffic – I love it,” he says. “I don’t have to drive two hours to go to work. Here it’s 10 minutes. Every day it’s 10 minutes.”

Whether he’s riding his motorcycle on a summer evening or enjoying a movie, Gianfranco is happy to have made the move from Sicily to Boise.

“I feel the quality of life and that makes me feel happy. This means that the choice that I did two years ago was the right one.”

Mar. 9, 2017

Grow Here: Why Heartland RV Chose the Boise Metro

by Marissa Lovell

When Thor Industries, Inc. began looking for a location to expand their manufacturing facilities on the West Coast, the Boise Metro was on the short list. It wasn’t until the team set foot in their last stop on a site selection trip that they saw the full extent of opportunity available in the area. Within a few hours, their final stop became their first choice.

In September 2015, that choice was finalized when Thor Industries, Inc. announced Heartland Recreational Vehicles’ newest location on Karcher Road in Nampa. For Ken Julian, Vice President of Administration and Human Resources, selecting the right site for expansion was dependent on a mix of training, talent and space – three things that made the Boise Metro an easy decision. 

In mid-April of 2016, the first RV manufactured at the Nampa facility was shipped, marking the first milestone in the company’s inaugural year. Heartland RV’s big plans for the year ahead include expanding into their full 248,000 square-foot facility and growing their current workforce.

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May. 9, 2017

Grow Here: Angela Taylor Living On Purpose With a Purpose

by Marissa Lovell

Growing up in Mountain Home, Idaho, Angela Taylor learned hard work, integrity and service through the actions of her parents. Her father, a United States Airman, and her mother, a teacher’s aide, demonstrated what it meant to live life on purpose and with purpose, and challenged her to rise to her potential. After graduating from high school, Angela attended Stanford University where she studied economics and won multiple national championships with the women’s basketball team. Recognizing the social and economic impact of athletics, Angela headed to business school at New York University, where she became involved in launching professional women’s basketball as WNBA Senior Director of Player Personnel.

After nine years, Angela began to move back towards the West Coast working as Vice President of Business Operations for Minnesota Lynx, General Manager of Washington Mystics and President and General Manager of Atlanta Dream. In 2015, Angela wanted to be closer to her parents and moved back to Boise with a pressing thought on her mind – how can I generate opportunities for the community that contribute to the economic development in Boise? 

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May. 9, 2017

Grow Here: Sonia Galaviz Opening The Door For Opportunity

by Marissa Lovell

Sonia Galaviz never planned on being a teacher. Her sights were set on becoming a lobbyist from the time she began high school in Northern Idaho up until the middle of her college career at Boise State University. Everything changed when she began volunteering at a family literacy program for migrant workers in Caldwell. Witnessing the power reading and writing had in that community, Sonia knew from then on that she was meant to teach.

Sonia teaches fifth-grade at Garfield Elementary – one of the oldest schools in Boise School District that now exemplifies the bright future within the Boise Valley. Although there are 18 languages spoken under Garfield’s roof, one is universal – the language of opportunity. 

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May. 9, 2017

Grow Here: Luis Caloca Turning Ideas Into Action

by Marissa Lovell

Luis Caloca, Director of Enrollment Management and One Stop at College of Western Idaho, has paved his way by turning ideas into action. Starting out in Wilder within a predominantly Hispanic community, Luis’s life was transformed when his family moved to Canyon County and enrolled him in West Canyon Elementary – at the time, a school with very few Hispanic students. 

Experiences like that led him and two others to create the Future Hispanic Leaders of America in their senior year – an organization committed to helping Hispanic students advance in education by assisting with college admission, finding scholarships and grants and serving as a support group for those sharing similar experiences.

These pivotal experiences early on in Luis’s education paved the way to a career in higher education – specifically a career where he could work with students and the community to address the same adversity he felt as a student.

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Jun. 15, 2015

First-Ever ‘Hybrid’ Coworking Space Offers Meridian Startups Fuel To Grow

by Sarah Pokorney, New Ventures Lab

More than 100 Meridian business owners, entrepreneurs and community leaders got a peek at the newly renovated hybrid co-working space at the “first-look” open house May 28, 2015.  The 14,000 s.f. Lab in downtown Meridian, Idaho, is the first of its kind with flexible member-based coworking space as well as dedicated offices for more than 15 businesses.

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Dec. 1, 2016

Grow Here: Why Paylocity Chose the Boise Metro

by Marissa Lovell

Before his plane touched down in Boise, Paylocity’s Senior Vice President of Operations Mark Kinsey was captivated by the view of the city nestled below beaming foothills. Pleasant surprises rolled in with friendly interactions, effortless transportation through the city and a distinct vibrancy in the downtown core.

For companies in the midst of a major growth surge, the next phase of progress often includes expansion into new markets. In March of 2015, Paylocity, a Chicago-based payroll and employee management software solutions company, was faced with making this very decision. With 100 cities across the nation on their radar, company leadership began to search for the perfect location to extend their roots. The ideal setting required access to a certain mix of talent, room for growth and a place that had a natural balance of energy and culture that aligned with the company. 

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Sep. 24, 2015

Canyon County Co-op Comes to Life

by Marissa Lovell

Big ideas grow in the Boise Valley everyday. Sometimes, those ideas must be uprooted and replanted in a greener meadow. That is the course taken by the Canyon County Co-op, who has gone from seeding a dream to cultivating a reality.

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Jan. 13, 2016

Canyon County Co-op Set to Open Jan.19

The Canyon County Co-op is set to open its doors to the public next Tuesday, January 19. To say Canyon County is excited for their new co-op is an understatement. Organizers initially anticipated selling 600-700 memberships at $65 apiece by opening day, but approximately 1,500 people had signed up by the end of the first week of January—with more memberships being sold every day. 

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Jun. 24, 2015

Office Envy: Scentsy

by Marissa Lovell

What once lived in a 40-foot storage container on a small Idaho sheep farm now sprawls onto 73.7 gorgeous acres right off Eagle Road in Meridian. Home to more than 700 Boise Valley employees and an active part of the community, the Scentsy Commons Tower is a hub of activity, ideas and generosity. At the heart of the campus and the company, the Tower was inspired by the idea of being a greenhouse – a place where employees can thrive and flourish and big ideas can grow. 

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Aug. 5, 2015

From Serendipity to Full Bloom

BUGS’ seed of an idea was planted when Amy Hutchinson, then a teacher at South Junior High, noticed her fidgety students engage differently when she brought them outside to study pollinators. She asked herself, “How can I capitalize on this?” At the same time, she was discussing with her friend Wendy Young, a Master Gardener who worked for non-profits eradicating poverty, “What would you do if you could take education in any direction?”

Ideas percolated, and one afternoon over cups of tea, the two friends hatched a plan, a summer children’s gardening school. Children—as people at their most curious, tactile and kinesthetic—could learn by immersing themselves in the natural world through gardening. Both women loved the idea, and were eager to start. All they needed was land, money and students. 

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Aug. 20, 2015

A JUMP Boise Sunset

Photo by Michael McCullough

A beautiful Boise sunset over one of downtown Boise's newest additions, JUMP Boise. JUMP (Jack's Urban Meeting Place) is an interactive creative center and community gathering place. 

Nov. 12, 2015

Welcome to the New Boise Co-op in the Village at Meridian

The Boise Co-op opened it's doors at their newest Meridian location this week. While the North End location is the flagship store, the new 25,000-square-foot location is equivalent to the original market, the Co-op Wine Shop and the Pet Shop combined. The look and feel of the Village at Meridian store is also different from what longtime Co-op customers have come to know. The new shop also includes a cooking classroom complete with a kitchen slated to begin on Wednesday, Nov. 18. 

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Aug. 10, 2016

5 Meridian Developments To Keep An Eye On

Sometimes it's hard to keep up with all the growth in Meridian — new homes, new apartments, new restaurants and new businesses. Here's a one-stop shop for information about five interesting developments.

1) Digitization at the Library
2) The Vault Patio
3) Flatbread Expands
4) Black Rock Coffee Bar
5) Growth at the Village

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Aug. 24, 2016

Destination: Downtown Meridian

by Marissa Lovell

Idaho’s fastest city growing city since 1994, Meridian is no stranger to progress and growth. Recently named America’s best city to live in by USA Today, the Boise Valley’s central city has proven to hold a little something for everyone. With the Village at Meridian’s ever-growing radius and suburban development happening throughout the area at lightning speed, downtown Meridian brings an unexpected experience – a cultural cohesion of strong historical roots and emerging potential. For downtown business owners, the move to the city’s center has been encouraging and positive – part of the reason why more businesses across different industries are setting up shop in downtown Meridian.

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Jun. 12, 2015

Downtown Boise to See 395 New Residential Units

Six projects are on the way to downtown Boise this year that will create nearly 400 new living spaces. Many of the plans include ground-level office and retail space with capacity for residential and parking above. The new additions will kick start the City of Boise's goal of bringing 1,000 new urban living spaces into the city's core by 2020.

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Nov. 12, 2015

Athlos Academies Has a Vision for the Future in Boise

by Boise Valley Economic Partnership

Idaho-based education service provider Athlos Academies has announced that it will be opening a new national training facility and corporate headquarters office in Boise. Athlos purchased the former Macy’s building at the corner of 10th and Main in downtown Boise, which will see a full remodel in the coming months. The company will be creating 50 new jobs in Idaho with an average wage of $50,000, for a total of 70 employees. Athlos Academies will receive a Tax Reimbursement Incentive (TRI) award of 17% for eight years.

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