Tuesday, March 27, 2018

CEI names Lori Barber dean of general education

Lori Barber
Lori Barber has been named the dean of general education for College of Eastern Idaho (CEI). The college’s hiring committee chose Barber for the position, the first to be announced by CEI, after an extensive search and interview process that consisted of two interviews and a forum.

Barber comes to the job with more than 20 years in curriculum development. She earned her bachelor's degree in history from ISU in 2013, and while pursuing her master’s in history and anthropology at ISU, she worked as managing editor for the journal Peace & Change: A Journal of Peace Research. Upon graduating, she accepted a lectureship and taught the history and culture of food, the history of food and agriculture, and women in U.S. history.

She joined the CEI staff in June 2017, developing the Associate of Arts Degree program. In August, Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter appointed her to the State General Education Committee of Idaho. Barber will begin working on her doctorate at ISU this fall. She is also a freelance writer, yoga instructor, health and wellness coach, and blogger.

“I have a passion for education, social justice, health and wellness, and encouraging others to live life abundantly,” she said on her LinkedIn profile.

Monday, March 19, 2018

EIRMC names new chief operations officer

David Hoffenberg
Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center has added David Hoffenberg to its administrative team as chief operations officer. Hoffenberg comes to EIRMC from Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, in Las Vegas, Nev., where he served as the vice president of operations and ethics and compliance officer.

While at Sunrise, a two-hospital 690-bed medical center, Hoffenberg led capital improvement projects totaling more than $25 million and had responsibility for several service lines including oncology, bariatric surgery, telemedicine, imaging, laboratory, environmental services, food and nutrition, and communications.

Prior to his experience at Sunrise, Hoffenberg was the associate administrator at Wesley Medical Center, an 800-bed multi-campus health system  in Wichita, Kan. He has also held administrative roles at Skyridge Medical Center in Lone Tree, Colo., and at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System in Richmond, Va. Hoffenberg holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from University of Oregon and a Master of Health Administration degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. A native of Colorado, he is looking forward to getting back to the mountains and enjoying skiing at Grand Targhee and some of the other resorts in our region.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Goodwill Industries plans store in old Hastings location

It looks like there is going to be no shortage of second-hand stores on 17th Street. In addition to the new Deseret Industries in Ammon, due to hold its grand opening March 22, Goodwill Industries has filed with the city of Idaho Falls Building Department to remodel the old Hastings store in the Albertson’s shopping center.

The March 8 permit application was filed by Wind River Construction, which was already at work on the site Thursday, according to our faithful BizMojo scouts, Andy and Aubree Fox.

Goodwill has four stores in the Boise-Nampa area, one in Twin Falls and one in Pocatello, but this marks its entry into the Idaho Falls area. The non-profit organization dates back to 1902, when it was founded in Boston by the Rev. Edgar J. Helms. Since then, it has expanded into 17 countries, and in 2012 it posted $3.53 billion in revenue. In addition to second-hand goods, Goodwill provides vocational rehabilitation for disabled persons.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Broadway underground parking garage being capped this week

An artist's rendition of what the Broadway project in Idaho Falls will look like.
Sometimes, the direction of progress is down.

This morning around 6:30, construction crews began capping first underground public parking garage in Idaho Falls. When completed, the work will mark completion of the underpinnings of The Broadway, the development project currently under way at the corner of Broadway and Memorial. With a scheduled October opening, the facility will be home to 49 below-ground parking spaces.

“We’re really excited to get this first phase completed,” said Oppenheimer Development Corp. Vice President Jeremy Malone. “It won’t look like much from the surface, but to the people who use it, this parking garage will be a huge step forward in downtown parking.”

During the excavation phase more than 25 million pounds of rock were removed. They were replaced with 150 mixer-truck loads of concrete and 18 miles of steel rebar and reinforcement cable.

The Broadway will also offer 24 above-ground public spaces.

This is the Boise-based Oppenheimer Development’s first project in Idaho Falls. The project incorporates nearly 40,000 square feet of retail and commercial business space; a public plaza featuring a fountain in the summer and planned skating rink in the winter.

Approximately two-thirds of the rental space in The Broadway has already been leased. The list of tenants includes Bank of Idaho, Lucy’s Pizzeria, Smokin Fins, and Parsons Behle & Latimer.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Sweeto Burrito files for permit to remodel old Dickey's Barbecue store

I’ve been asked a number of times what’s happening where Dickey’s Barbecue Pit used to be, 2090 East 17th St., and can now answer that a building permit has been filed by Sweeto Burrito, a chain with locations in Washington, Idaho, Utah, North Dakota and Virginia. It also operates food trucks, one of which has been in Idaho Falls.

The company dates back to November 2011, when it opened its first food truck in the Bakken Oil Fields of western North Dakota. That winter was rough, but they survived and on a whim the summer that followed they took the truck to Sturgis, S.D., where they were able to serve their fare to motorcyclists there for the annual rally. It announced franchising plans in 2013, an opened its first brick-and-mortar restaurant in Fargo, N.D.

The Idaho Falls remodel is being done by Construction Solutions.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Post Register owner names regional president and publisher for eastern Idaho properties

Travis Quast
The Adams Publishing Group has named Travis Quast as regional president and publisher of the company’s eastern Idaho publications, including the Idaho Falls Post Register, the Idaho State Journal in Pocatello, the Standard Journal in Rexburg and the Teton Valley News in Driggs. Quast also will provide oversight for the Herald Journal in Logan, Utah. He assumes his new role April 2.

Prior to joining the Adams Publishing Group, Quast served as publisher of the Twin Falls Times-News, The Voice and the Elko Daily Free Press in Nevada for five years. He also has served as the vice president of sales and marketing at the Idaho Statesman and held management positions at the Bellingham (Wash.) Herald and Newspaper Agency Corp. — agents for the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News in Salt Lake City.

Quast currently serves on the Newspaper Association of Idaho's board of directors and is a member of the University of Idaho Journalism and Mass Media Advisory Committee. He has been involved in numerous community leadership roles, such as the Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization.

“Travis is a proven champion for local community news and a thoughtful strategic leader,” said Eric Johnston, APG's Western Division president. “His wide range of experience, passion for our industry and creative leadership style will surely be invaluable as we continue to serve our communities in the eastern Idaho region.”

Recognized for his efforts to protect First Amendment rights and advocacy for transparency in local and state government, Quast won a landmark case against the University of Idaho for access to teacher evaluations. He continues to lead efforts to shape local government public records and open meeting policies. Quast, who was born in Burley, is a graduate of the University of Idaho, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in public communication.

Since 2014, Minneapolis-based APG has bought more than 100 small dailies, weeklies and shoppers in at least 15 separate transactions. The Post Register was acquired in 2015. In October 2017, it bought Seattle-based Pioneer News Group Co., which owned nine Idaho newspapers, including the Teton Valley News in Driggs, the Idaho State Journal in Pocatello, and the Rexburg Standard Journal.

In contrast to other big consolidators, they often leave existing management in place, do not impose cookie-cutter content templates, and do not start by stripping down newsrooms of editors and reporters. Here is a link to an October 2017 story about the company from the Poynter website: Who are the Adams family, and why are they buying newspapers by the dozen? 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Deseret Industries' new Ammon store set to open March 22

An artist's rendering of the new Deseret Industries store in Ammon, which opens March 22.
Deseret Industries will be closing its store in downtown Idaho Falls on March 17 in preparation for the opening of its new store in Ammon, at 2885 E. 17th Street.

"DI," a non-profit chain of thrift stores operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has been operating in Idaho Falls since 1974. In addition to offering merchandise, it has provided employment and vocational training to hundreds of community residents over four decades.

The new thrift store opens March 22 with a three-day grand opening celebration, including a ribbon cutting with city leaders, music, a balloon artist, and giveaways.

“We believe our customers will enjoy the greater merchandise offerings and easier donation process, but most importantly, the larger store allows us to hire more associates and provide training and educational resources to more area residents," said store manager Aaron Kelley. "We exist to change lives and with the help of the community, we’re doing just that.”

The new Ammon location is approximately 48,000-square-feet and will employ 14 full-time employees and 105 store associates as part of its career-training program. Associates develop skills and obtain certifications enabling them to advance to permanent, full-time employment in a variety of fields and careers. The location will also include an LDS Family Services facility.

There are 43 Deseret Industries stores throughout the western U.S. As a thrift store, Deseret Industries offers tens of thousands of gently used items, with thousands of new goods placed on store shelves each day.  Affordable, quality secondhand merchandise includes everything from clothing and shoes to furniture, home d├ęcor, toys and games, sports equipment and much more.

“We receive donations covering every possible household need,” said Deseret Industries marketing manager Brooke Yates. “And with thousands of items added to the inventory daily, it’s a treasure hunt each time our customers visit. We often have people lined up outside our stores as we open each morning.”

The new Ammon store includes a multi-lane, covered drive-thru donation bay. Donations are received daily, except on Sundays, and all donations are tax-deductible. Items not sold in the store may be recycled or used for humanitarian relief.

Deseret Industries also provides some newly manufactured, low-priced merchandise for its shoppers, including new suits and dress shirts for men, new coats for adults and children, new mattresses and bedding, and solid wood furniture including bed frames, dressers, tables and chairs.

The Ammon store offers extended operating hours, opening daily at 10 a.m. and closing Mondays at 6 p.m. and Tuesdays through Saturdays at 9 p.m. The store is closed Sundays. The donation bay opens daily at 8 a.m., also closing Mondays at 6 p.m. and Tuesdays through Saturdays at 9 p.m. It is closed Sundays.