Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Bank of Idaho CEO gets cybersecurity certification

Jeff Newgard
When it comes to financial data security, Bank of Idaho is stepping up from the top down.

In early November, Bank of Idaho President and CEO Jeff Newgard traveled to Denver to attend courses and test for certification in the CompTIA Security+ program. This certification gives a strong base of knowledge in several areas of cybersecurity, including threat management and security infrastructure.

Newgard’s certification, paired with his involvement with the Independent Community Bankers of America’s Special Committee on Cyber-Security, means his perspective on the subject matter includes the most current information in both industry-specific implementations and more global applications. This enables the bank to make educated decisions to better safeguard the institution and its clients.

“By having a stronger understanding of the technology and processes, I am better prepared to work with our I.T. leadership to ensure we take the right steps to protect the bank, and more importantly, our customers,” Newgard said.

The top-level commitment of resources reflects the high priority the Bank of Idaho places on the protection of customer information, while the increasing frequency of widespread data breaches illustrates the importance of such measures.

“I’m kind of a hands-on guy, and with so much in the news about data breaches and digital fraud, I felt it was important to get a better understanding of how we, as a community bank, can better protect our customers. My work with the ICBA Special Committee on Cyber-Security, and my recent studies have greatly increased my awareness on the issues facing all of us. We are committed to doing all we can to protect our customers, from the top down.”

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Burton elected v.p. of Fall River Co-op board

Ralph Burton
Fall River Electric board member Ralph Burton of Island Park has been elected vice president of the nine-member cooperative board. Burton has been a board member for six years and an owner-member of the co-op for nearly 20 years. As vice president, Burton is authorized to act on behalf of the board president when he is unavailable and perform any other duties as assigned by the
full board membership. Fall River Electric board members are elected annually by the Co-op’s board of directors.

Burton is the retired CEO of The Amalgamated Sugar Co. and Snake River Sugar Co. Amalgamated, with roots reaching back to 1897, is an American sugarbeet-refining company and is owned by Snake River Sugar, a Boise based cooperative.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Commonly misused phrases that will make you sound unprofessional

As someone who has read press releases and business communications for more than 35 years, I can tell you what words and phrases make me groan. For example, I don't need to be told you are "excited" or "thrilled" about the business you are opening or the person you are hiring. I assume you are those things. It would be news if you were apathetic or tentative.

Likewise, the word "robust" is becoming so overused that it's hard not to shut down whenever I see it.

As far as misuse of the English language, any person who writes "tow the line" rather than the correct "toe the line" is immediately docked. I can think of other examples, but it turns out I don't have to since I found this link on Twitter this morning:

I found some of the examples laughable, but others were close enough to home that they made me cringe. This is safe for work. You will be a better communicator if you review it.

I hope I have piqued (and not "peeked" or "peaked") your interest. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Executive director named for Idaho Falls Mayor's Scholarship Fund

Leslie Pincock
Leslie Pincock has been selected as the new executive director of the Mayor’s Scholarship Fund. Started by former Idaho Falls Mayor Jared Fuhriman, the Mayor’s Scholarship Fund annually awards scholarships to Idaho Falls area students in grades 8-12. The program has awarded more than 375 scholarships, worth more than $375,000, to help Idaho Falls area students attend colleges in Idaho.

“Leslie has a genuine passion for this program and the benefits that accrue to the recipients of these scholarships,” said Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper, in a press release.

Pincock has been a volunteer of the Mayor’s Scholarship Fund since 2013. In those years 180 scholarships have been awarded. An important criterion for students receiving these scholarships is that they did not think a college education was within their reach. The scholarship provides the student with support and belief in themselves and their future.

“I know the impact this program has on students and families and it goes well beyond the monetary
investment,” Pincock said. “The Mayor’s Scholarship Fund empowers students to believe in themselves because we, as a community are demonstrating that we believe in them.”

Pincock received a degree in Literary Criticism from Brigham Young University in Provo. She and her husband, Layne, have four children and one daughter in-law and live in Idaho Falls. In her spare time, Pincock is a fitness instructor at Gold’s Gym in Ammon.

Applications for the Mayor’s Scholarship Fund will be available Monday, Dec. 4. Interested students can pick-up an application from their school’s counselors, or from School District 91 and District 93 offices. Scholarship applications will be due Feb. 7, 2018. The 2018 Mayor’s Scholarship Fund will present students with scholarships on March 28, 2018.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Idaho Falls to host discussion on 'brownfield' revitalization

This comes from the city of Toledo, Ohio, whose brownfield program has leveraged $14 million in grant money from federal, state, local and private funding sources for aiding development in five different locations.
The city of Idaho Falls is seeking to obtain a $600K grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to establish a brownfield revitalization program. Residents, business owners, and community organization members are invited to attend a presentation this afternoon from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Idaho Falls Public Library. 

Brownfields are vacant, abandoned or underutilized properties that have real or perceived environmental complications. Remediation and reinvesting in these properties takes development pressures off of undeveloped open land (“greenfields”) and protects human health and the environment as well as prevents urban sprawl.

In a request for proposals dated Sept. 22, Idaho Falls describes a plan to team up with the Idaho Falls Redevelopment Agency and Bonneville Metropolitan Planning Organization, to address brownfield development opportunities.

The number and location of brownfields sites in Bonneville County is presently undetermined,
as well as the economic impact of these sites in depressing property values and hindering
redevelopment of high priority areas. One outcome of the U.S. EPA assessment grants, if
secured, will be to develop an inventory and other information related to these sites to allow
for more effective planning by the city and the coalition in furthering their assessment,
cleanup if necessary, and redevelopment.

EPA offers a sample analysis of a brownfield cleanup proposal that gives gives an "Anytown, U.S.A." example at this link: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-01/documents/abca_example_for_cleanup_proposals.pdf. Here's an excerpt:

b. Previous Site Use(s) and any previous cleanup/remediation

The Site was the former location of an automotive repair facility and scrap metal yard. The automotive repair facility was owned by Arnie’s Auto Repair and operated between 1957 to 1989 from an onsite 600 square foot, one story concrete building. Following the closure of the repair facility, the new owner, Marty’s Metals, used the northwest corner of the Site, an estimated ¼ acre area, as a scrap metal yard. Marty’s Metals operated until 1997, when it went bankrupt. All scrap metal was removed by Marty’s Metals at that time. In 2001, the Town of Smalltown (“the Town”) took ownership of the parcel due to unpaid taxes. The Town demolished the onsite building and secured the perimeter of the Site with 6-foot chain link fence in early 2003. An underground hydraulic lift used by the automotive repair facility was left in place at that time.

One small underground storage tank (UST), which previously housed hydraulic oil used to operate a hydraulic automobile lift, and the hydraulic lift were removed in fall of 2003 by the Town under state cleanup funds. The underground storage tank and hydraulic lift were steam cleaned and sent offsite for recycling at that time. Soils immediately surrounding the tank and lift were also excavated and transported offsite for disposal. At this time, the Site was entered into the state’s voluntary cleanup program and is tracked under State Tracking Number 123456. 

Discussion topics include:

  • What is a brownfield and where are they in Idaho Falls?
  • The impact brownfield sites have on the livelihood, health and welfare of our community.
  • Plans to transform blighted areas into healthy, viable spaces that enhance our neighborhoods and provide new employment opportunities.
  • How public involvement is key to the success of this program.
For more information, contact the Idaho Falls economic development coordinator, Dana Briggs, at (208) 612-8777 or email her at dbriggs@idahofallsidaho.gov.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Reinke named to bank board

Chris Reinke
Chris Reinke of Ashton has been named to the board of directors of the Bank of Idaho and Bank of Idaho Holding Co. Reinke is a third-generation owner and vice president of Reinke Grain, in Ashton.

“Chris’s years of quality experience as a business owner and his knowledge of local agriculture make him a great addition to the Bank of Idaho team,” said Jeff Newgard, the bank’s president and CEO.

Reinke is a graduate of the University of Memphis with a degree in business management. While there, he was captain and a four-year letterman in golf.

Other Bank of Idaho board members will welcome Reinke at their next regular meeting, Nov. 14.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Blasting to continue this week on Broadway excavation

An artist's rendition of what the Broadway will look like facing west.
Downtown Idaho Falls is going to be punctuated with the sound of blasting today through Thursday, as excavation work continues on The Broadway, the construction project under way at the corner of Broadway and Memorial.

Over the past couple of weeks, downtowners have heard – and felt – a number of explosions. This week's should be the last ones needed to facilitate groundwork on the development, according to Jeremy Malone, vice president of Oppenhemier Development Corp.

"We're shaking things up both literally and figuratively," he said. "We hope this will be a real catalyst project, something that will help energize the great things already happening in downtown Idaho Falls."

The Broadway is the Boise-based Oppenheimer Development’s first project in Idaho Falls. When finished, the project will be the site of two buildings housing approximately 35,000 square feet of retail and commercial business space; a public plaza featuring a fountain in the summer and potentially a skating rink in the winter; and approximately 71 public parking spaces with 49 below-ground and 22 ground-level spaces. Blasting was called for primarily because the below-ground parking spaces need to be hewed out of lava rock.

The list of new tenants currently includes Bank of Idaho, Lucy’s Pizzeria, Smokin Fins and Parsons Behle & Latimer. Currently, approximately two thirds of the rental space is spoken for.

From the project's inception, Oppenheimer Development has been working closely with the Idaho Falls Redevelopment Agency, the mayor's office and numerous city agencies to be certain that the finished site will be in keeping with the city's needs and vision.