Tuesday, October 27, 2020

INL small business subcontracting, purchasing hit new high in FY 2020

Despite being an incredibly challenging year, FY 2020, which ended Sept. 30, saw Idaho National Laboratory’s highest-ever levels of small business subcontracting and purchasing.

The lab spent around $352.5 million with small businesses, which made up over 66% of the spend on goods and services. INL also exceeded all five of its specific small business spending goals, including small disadvantaged, HUBZone, women-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, and Idaho-based businesses.

This unusually high spend for goods and services occurred in large part due to the success of INL’s growing missions, including a thriving construction portfolio, expanding cybersecurity research and a heightened business need generated by the advanced nuclear projects slated for the INL desert site.

Along with these exciting new mission developments, the lab’s high attainment is especially impressive in light of the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic presented to businesses. Standard spending habits decreased significantly during the beginning phases of the pandemic, and efforts instead shifted toward purchasing items necessary to keep the lab safe, including hand sanitizer, disinfectants and cleaning supplies, and masks, in addition to filling consistent PPE needs not related to COVID-19.

This shifted focus allowed the lab to support several local small businesses in their extraordinary efforts to provide innovative solutions to overwhelming need during the pandemic. Even as COVID-19-related needs die down, these lasting partnerships will continue to benefit INL and the southeastern Idaho community.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Moms Supporting Moms | Chynna Hansen, Little Mama Shirt Shop

Chynna Hansen, her husband, Tyler, and their three sons, owners of the eBusinees Little Mama Shirt Shop

On an initial investment of $400, Chynna Hansen started an online shirt shop as a way to make extra income to help pay household bills while her husband, Tyler, went to school. “I think I didn't know I was an entrepreneur, maybe even when I was,” she says now about the decision.

Chynna saw that graphic tees were gaining popularity but that most of them did not have a flattering fit. “It struck me one day. The name came to me first,” she said. She started with seven designs and worked with a local screen-printer. Starting on Etsy and then announcing it on Facebook live, the idea was a success. “It was a lot of hustle. We dumped everything into the business for the first seven months,” she said.

 Chynna is known for the saying "Bringing Up Boys" and has trademarked the saying as her design.
“I was meant to be my own boss -- even if that came with a lot of heartache and a lot of struggle, it was what I was meant to do,” she said. She admits that she hadn't really accepted that she has a business until last year. There wasn't a ton of pressure on the business and Chynna was able to focus on the LMSS community, which has since changed as her husband has left his full-time job and joined the company.

LMSS has a VIP group of around 8,000 members. Considering the group, Chynna admits that she's scared to grow it because she likes the intimacy of the group as it currently is. The VIP group provides early access to sales, advice, and general mom “stuff.” It's important to Chynna to be active in the group every day, and she feels the personal touch has made all the difference. She likes showing that they are truly a family business and look just like their customers.

“We have worked hard to build a reputation of always moms supporting moms,” she said. “We always say it's more than shirts.”

A lot of the moms resonate with the need for community. Looking back, Chynna recognizes that she was lonely as a mom raising her kids. It took courage to say to the world, but she knew she needed to do it for herself and for others who felt the same way. That made her want to create a place where mothers could share information and lift each other up with without judging each other.

Although followers and customers don't see everything that is happening behind the scenes, Chynna works hard to show her business model is pretty transparent. She came from an entrepreneurial family, but never really understood the impact that had on her. She admits she has had good mentors in her parents, and they have always been there to answer her questions based on their own experiences. Still, a lot of what she has learned has been by trial and error and by just diving in.

When asked about working with a spouse, Chynna admitted it can be difficult but said she loves it. “He has a lot of good ideas and has phrases for shirts too,” she said. When her husband recently left his full-time job it was a risk but she admitted she needed him to help grow the business.

Chynna said that they have a supportive community but it has not come without some critics. “With eCommerce, people forget that there is a person operating behind the screen. You can't please every person, but you can try,” she said. She has worked through it by just figuring it out, knowing she's not alone because she has the whole community of LMSS behind her. “We have to choose every day to go in the positive direction that works,” she said.

Scaling was more difficult than starting, she said. She and her team are working hard to find resources to solve the problems that arise, and even though that can be intimidating their team is committed to LMSS success.

The future of the business is always on Chynna's mind, and she and her husband are looking to bigger plans for the future. She says she's not looking for giant warehouses and hundreds of employees, but anything is possible.


For more information on Little Mama Shirt Shop, visit their website at https://littlemamashirtshop.com/. You can find LMSS on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/littlemamashirtshop and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/littlemamashirtshop/.

Business Leadership Moment

Job descriptions and role clarity. Are you experiencing a different role than what your job description says? Does it say leader and yet you are acting like a job support staff? Time to self examine!

Monday, October 19, 2020

Lindstedt earns Credentialed Cooperative Director certificate

Anna Lindstedt
Fall River Electric board member Anna Lindstedt of Driggs recently earned her Credentialed Cooperative Director certificate (CCD) from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), which represents over 900 consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric providers in the United States.

This first part of NRECA’s three-part Director Education Program, the Credentialed Cooperative Director program, consists of five courses that focus on basic governance knowledge and the essential skills required of cooperative directors. The CCD prepares directors to fulfill their fiduciary duty as elected officials serving on behalf of their membership. Now that Lindstedt has completed her CCD, she can pursue the Board Leadership Certificate available through NRECA.

Fall River Electric’s by-laws require all board directors to complete certification as a cooperative
director which provides them with the essential skills required of co-op directors. “Our board has been impressed with Anna’s knowledge and at how dedicated she has been in accomplishing the training that is beneficial to the entire board,” said Dede Draper, president of Fall River’s board of directors.

Lindstedt is employed by Friends of the Teton River and has been in Teton Valley since 2004. She was elected last year from District 4, which includes the northeastern portion of Driggs, including the Alta area and then north along Highway 33 and east of N 500 W.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Idaho Women's Business Center to open office in Idaho Falls

The Idaho Women’s Business Center will be opening an office in at the Idaho Innovation Center in Idaho Falls, with a ceremonial kickoff event scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. Due to social distancing, a limited number of attendees will be able to participate live, but anyone interested in participating virtually can do so at www.IdahoWomen.org.

Launched by the U.S. Small Business Administration in July 2019, IWBC's mission is to support innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic empowerment for women across the state. Since its inception it has intended to have a statewide presence. In addition to the Idaho Falls office, another office will be opening in Moscow. The Idaho Falls office comes as a result of an technology innovation grant from Idaho National Laboratory. "After several meetings with INL, we knew that even though the pandemic has delayed our projections to open, we needed to push forward to be closer to our clients, said Megan Bryant, IWBC Director of Communication & Connections.

Cheryl O’Brien, a former INL senior executive, is the IWBC associate director for eastern Idaho. She brings a variety of experience to the position and her community connectivity to stakeholders locally will enhance IWBC's ability to leverage the existing ecosystem of resources.

Located at 2300 N. Yellowstone, the Idaho Innovation Center is a business incubator providing resources to small, fledgling companies, where entrepreneurs can confidently and aggressively start and grow their small businesses through collaboration, education, mentoring and shared resources. Resources onsite include the IIC, the Idaho Small Business Development Center, the Service Corp of Retired Executives, the Idaho Manufacturing Alliance, the University of Idaho, and Idaho State University.

Local, state and national leaders have been invited to the ceremony Tuesday, including Governor Brad
Little, U.S. Sen. James E. Risch, U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper and Ammon Mayor Sean Coletti.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

DOE picks two companies for advanced reactor demonstration funding

The Natrium system from TerraPower and GE-Hitachi features a 345-MWe reactor and can be optimized for specific markets. For instance, its thermal storage has the potential to boost the system’s output to 500-MWe of power for more than five and a half hours when needed.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced Tuesday it has selected two U.S.-based teams to receive $160 million in initial funding under the new Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP). ARDP, announced in May, is designed to help domestic private industry demonstrate advanced nuclear reactors in the United States.
DOE is awarding TerraPower LLC of Bellevue, Wash., and X-energy of Rockville, Md., $80 million each in initial funding to build two advanced nuclear reactors that can be operational within seven years. The awards are cost-shared partnerships with industry that will deliver two first-of-a-kind advanced reactors to be licensed for commercial operations. The department will invest a total of $3.2 billion over seven years, subject to the availability of future appropriations, with industry partners providing matching funds.
“The awards are the first step of a new program that will strengthen American leadership in the next generation of nuclear technologies,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “These partnerships will help maximize DOE’s investment in advanced reactors, which play a vital role in our clean energy strategy.”

As DOE's lead laboratory for nuclear research and home of the National Reactor Innovation Center, Idaho National Laboratory will play a role in the projects' development.

"I congratulate TerraPower’s Natrium reactor and X-energy’s xe100 reactor for receiving the DOE's advanced reactor demonstration pathway awards," said INL Director Mark Peters. "Today marks a tremendous step forward in bringing advanced fission systems from concept to reality."
“Congratulations to all the innovators selected for their Advanced Reactor Demonstration Proposals,” said Ashley Finan, director of the National Reactor Innovation Center. “NRIC looks forward to working with each of you to deliver successful outcomes. These projects contribute to a diversity of designs, which will help achieve our commitment to demonstrating advanced reactors.”

GE Hitachi, TerraPower Team on Nuclear-Storage Hybrid SMR (Powermag.com, Sept. 3, 2020)

Specifically, TerraPower will demonstrate the Natrium reactor, a sodium‐cooled fast reactor that leverages decades of development and design undertaken by TerraPower and its partner, GE‐Hitachi. The high-operating temperature of the Natrium reactor, coupled with thermal energy storage, will allow the plant to provide flexible electricity output that complements variable renewable generation such as wind a solar. In addition, this project will establish a new metal fuel fabrication facility that is scaled to meet the needs of this demonstration program.
X-energy will deliver a commercial four-unit nuclear power plant based on its Xe-100 reactor design. The Xe-100 is a high temperature gas-cooled reactor that is ideally suited to provide flexible electricity output as well as process heat for a wide range of industrial heat applications, such as desalination and hydrogen production. The project will also deliver a commercial scale TRi-structural ISOtropic particle fuel (TRISO) fuel fabrication facility, leveraging DOE’s substantial investment in development of this highly robust fuel form.

The Xe-100 high temperature gas-cooled pebble bed modular nuclear power plant has a small physical footprint, only 200 meters by 100 meters with a small emergency planning zone, and a reduced water requirement which means it can be installed in a much wider range of potential locations compared to other clean energy solutions.

Both projects incorporate a range of design features that will not only enhance safety, but make them affordable to construct and operate, paving the way for the United States to deploy highly competitive advanced reactors domestically and globally.
“DOE and U.S. industry are extremely well-equipped to develop and demonstrate nuclear reactors with the requisite sense of urgency, which is important not only to our economy, but to our environment, because nuclear energy is clean energy,” said Dr. Rita Baranwal, Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy.

X-Energy Steps Into The Ring With Its Advanced Pebble Bed Modular Nuclear Reactor (Forbes, March 27, 2017)

Congress appropriated $160 million for the Fiscal Year 2020 budget as initial funding for these demonstration projects. Funding beyond the near-term is contingent on additional future appropriations, evaluations of satisfactory progress and DOE approval of continuation applications. In addition, the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriation also provided initial year funding of $30 million for two to five Risk Reduction for Future Demonstrations projects and $20 million initial year funding for at least two Advanced Reactor Concepts-20 (ARC-20) projects. Awards for these projects are expected to be announced in December 2020. 
More information on the Office of Nuclear Energy and its programs can be found here.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Abracadabra's owner plans French restaurant for old Cellar location

At left is the property at 3520 East 17th as it appeared in the early 20th century, and at right, the building as it appears today.

For years it was The Cellar and regarded as one of the more upscale places to eat in the Idaho Falls/Ammon area. For a brief stint this year it was Rustic Vine, specializing in Mediterranean cuisine. And now, the property at 3520 East 17th Street is being refashioned into Cast Iron, with an opening set for November.

East Idaho News reports that co-owner Josh Swain plans to open sometime around Thanksgiving. “It’s going to be French cuisine with a rotating menu,” he said. “There’ll be a staple of six or seven items, but we’re going to have daily specials. It’s peasant food reinvented for (modern) times.”

Swain owns Abracadabra’s in Idaho Falls, Pocatello and Twin Falls, and is the former owner of Stockman’s Restaurant. He said he and his partners felt inspired to purchase the property last month when Rustic Vine, the previous occupant, closed after six months of operation.

“I didn’t want to open another restaurant, but I’ve always been in love with this place,” he said. “I think I have a concept that’s going to make people fall in love with it the way that I did.”

He said it will be a standalone location and that his goal is to open without fanfare this November. “We’re just going to turn the lights on and say, ‘We’re open,'” he said.

Wind River Construction is doing the remodeling, and Launie.com is a consultant on the project.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Idaho National Laboratory plays key role in 'green hydrogen' research

Dr. Dong Ding (right) and his GEM fellow student, Joshua Gomez (left) examine a lab-made solid oxide electrolysis cell, which will be used for hydrogen production through high temperature steam electrolysis.

Idaho National Laboratory is a member of two new Department of Energy research consortia charged with exploring new methods and technologies for hydrogen production. Hydrogen can effectively store excess electricity, which can be harvested later via fuel cells. These consortia – H2NEW and HydroGEN 2.0 – were formed to discover how “green” hydrogen can be produced more efficiently and less expensively.

“DOE has a strong interest in hydrogen generation,” said INL researcher Gary Groenewold, who is leading the lab’s involvement in the H2NEW consortium. “They’ve got technology they feel can be pushed from mid-range research to the pilot plant level.”

INL and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will co-lead H2NEW, which will advance state-of-the-art hydrogen production using low temperature electrolysis and high temperature electrolysis. The program will conduct research, development and demonstration of large-scale, affordable electrolyzers — devices that use electricity to split water into oxygen and hydrogen. The end goal is to be able to produce hydrogen at a generalized cost of $2 per kilogram. Today, carbon-free hydrogen from electrolysis costs about $5 to $6/kg to make assuming electricity prices of $0.05/kWh to $0.07/kWh.

The second consortium, HydroGEN 2.0, is led by NREL. It will focus more on fundamental science questions by facilitating collaborations between national laboratories, academia and industry. The consortium’s steering committee has representatives from DOE and each of the six member labs. Dr. Richard Boardman is INL’s representative.

Both consortia are funded by DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office, within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Collectively, these efforts support EERE’s H2@Scale vision for affordable hydrogen production, distribution, storage and utilization across multiple applications.
INL is widely known for its expertise in solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOECs). For years, INL researchers have experimented with solid oxide electrolysis stacks, splitting water molecules at lower temperatures and reducing stress on SOEC materials. In 2018, INL researcher Dong Ding and his colleagues demonstrated high-performance electrochemical hydrogen production at a lower temperature than seen before. In a paper published by the journal Advanced Science, Ding reported on a highly efficient proton-conducting solid oxide electrolysis cell (P-SOEC) that incorporates a 3D ceramic steam electrode. During testing, the cells operated below 600 degrees Celsius at a highly sustained rate for days.

In 2020, Ding led a team of INL researchers to pioneer a reversible electrochemical cell that efficiently converts excess electricity and water into hydrogen but also, when called for, can convert hydrogen back into electricity for the grid. The hydrogen can be used as fuel for heat, vehicles or other applications. The results appeared in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

“The people in his group are working at a very high level,” Groenewold said.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Closings this week in the Greater Idaho Falls area

Here's a rundown of closings this week from SVN High Desert Commercial:

Odyssey Rehabilitation leased 3,645 sf of office space located at 756 Oxford Drive in Idaho Falls. Randy Waters of SVN High Desert Commercial represented the landlord and Shane Murphy of Venture One Properties represented the tenant.

Christensen Insurance agency leased 766 sf of office space located at 1820 E 17th Street in Idaho Falls. Randy Waters of SVN High Desert Commercial represented the landlord and Tina Miller of Assist to Sell represented the tenant.

Boomers Audio leased 3600 sf warehouse in Ucon. Randy Waters represented the landlord and tenant.

Mi Casa Properties LLC purchased a 1,960 sf medical condo at 2065 E 17th street. Randy Waters of SVN High Desert Commercial represented the seller and Jason Grider of Morgan Grider Peterson represented the buyer.

Alphagraphics purchased an additional acre next door to their current location on Bentley Way in  Idaho Falls. Randy Waters of SVN High Desert represented the buyer and seller.

Boam and Associates leased 1,306 sf in the Exchange Plaza. Randy Waters represented the landlord and tenant.

Kone Properties Purchased a 1.313 acre lot in Andersen Business Development slated for a 6,000 sf warehouse. Randy Waters of SVN High Desert Commercial represented the buyer and seller.

Boost Mobile leased 1,200 sf located at 563 South Woodruff. Randy Waters of SVN High Desert Commercial represented the landlord and tenant.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

INL wins three R&D 100 Awards

Three Idaho National Laboratory technologies have won R&D 100 Awards in 2020. Since their inception in 1963, the R&D 100 Awards have celebrated research and development from across the public and private sectors and are a prestigious distinction for inventors. Laboratories and companies across the nation submit nominations, and a panel of more than 40 industry-leading experts ranks the entries based on technical significance, uniqueness, and applicability across industry, government and academia. Typically, the U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratories have dozens of finalists every year.

Including this year’s winners, INL has won 25 R&D 100 Awards since 2005.

This year, due to concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 R&D 100 Awards ceremony was held virtually.


Carbon CURE (Carbon Capture & Utilization through Reduction Electrolysis)

Researchers: Luis Diaz Aldana (principal investigator), Ningshengjie Gao, Tedd Lister, Birendra Adhikari, Aaron Wilson, Eric Dufek

Description: Decarbonizing energy production through carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is a popular idea that has been plagued by operational and economic challenges, but integrating carbon capture with reuse to make high-value products could offer an operational advantage. The Carbon CURE process provides a solution by using recyclable solvents as a carbon capture medium that can be fed directly to an electrochemical cell. The cell converts carbon dioxide to syngas, the building block for a raft of high value products. The process will help to achieve economical carbon capture at an industrial scale.

The Carbon CURE process aims to achieve economical carbon capture at an industrial scale.

CoDeAc (Colorimetric Detection of Actinides)

Researchers: Catherine Riddle (principal investigator), Rick Demmer

Description: In responding to an accident or attack, handheld detectors may provide adequate screening for some radiation sources but they lack the sensitivity to detect alpha emitters such as uranium and plutonium in dusty, outdoor environments. CoDeAc can help responders quickly detect actinides at any disaster or accident scene. CoDeAc's color change in the presence of very low concentrations of uranium and plutonium gives a go/no-go result in seconds, allowing these professionals to make decisions based on actual data instead of assumptions on-site. These decisions impact everyone and can mean the difference between evacuating hundreds of thousands of people within square miles or just 100 people within a square block during a radiological event.

Crop Artificial Intelligence Quotient (Crop AIQ)

Researchers: Mike Griffel (principal investigator), Damon Hartley (biomass analysis), M. Ross Kunz (data analytics)

Description: Crop AIQ provides a vital function: agricultural performance assessments that allow land managers to make more informed decisions about how they grow plants for food, feed, fiber and fuel. The tool gives farmers the ability to generate an accurate yield map without having to rely on harvester data, the only other way to produce such a map. A yield map is fundamental to precision agriculture and integrated land management. It is also basic to maximizing agriculture productivity and profitability, while minimizing environmental impact.

CoDeAc can help responders quickly detect actinides at any disaster or accident scene.


CellSage-KTA (Kinetic & Transient Analyses)

Researcher: Kevin Gering

Description: CellSage-KTA is an advanced computational tool that gives insight into a battery cell’s age. It employs physics, electrochemistry and thermodynamics to diagnose battery health in real time on a standard personal computer or laptop. It also can be used to predict battery performance and track aging characteristics through multiple mechanisms.

High-Moisture Pelleting Process

Researcher: Jaya Shankar Tumuluru

Description: High-Moisture Pelleting Process helps produce biofuels and biopolymers for roughly 60% less compared to the cost of current practices, making these bioproducts cost-competitive with petroleum-based alternatives. The method efficiently dries and pellets high-moisture biomass, significantly reducing energy consumption for preprocessing materials such as agriculture leftovers or municipal solid waste.


Researchers: Briam Johnson (principal investigator), Michael McCarty, Rishi Chatterjee, Kristopher Watts (Gravwell Group)

Description: The OpDefender, an intelligent software-defined networking switch, protects electric utilities, oil and gas infrastructure, water systems, and other critical infrastructure from cyberattack. OpDefender uniquely monitors and protects industrial control systems at the application protocol layers, reducing the cyberattack surface by as much as 99% compared to standard industrial switches.

Route Operable Unmanned Navigation of Drones (ROUNDS)

Researchers: Ahmad Al Rashdan (principal investigator), Michael L. Wheeler, Dakota Roberson (University of Idaho), Roger Lew (University of Idaho)

Description: ROUNDS is a cost-effective method for drones to navigate a course inside a building or structure where a strong GPS signal is absent. Self-navigation is achieved by determining the drone’s location from the visual angle of QR codes placed along a desired course, then dynamically adjusting trajectory accordingly. Self-navigating drones using ROUNDS could gather instrument data, check inventory, perform security rounds or do other tedious tasks, saving time and money while increasing operational efficiency across a range of industries. Likewise, automated movement of drones could improve safety by eliminating the need for people to enter areas that are hazardous due to elevation or the presence of chemicals or radiation.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Chicken and donuts and subs, oh my! Three new food options coming to Ammon

Who knows when things will ever get back to normal, but regardless of that lunchtime options for students at Hillcrest High School are about to become more varied with the developments at 2671 E. Sunnyside Road.

This is Hillcrest Plaza, the strip mall near the new Dutch Bros, and this week’s list of real estate transactions from TOK Commercial shows three transactions: Super Chix Idaho, LLC has leased 3,044 square feet; Hole Foods, LLC has leased 1,200 square feet; and Snake River Restaurant Group, LLC has leased 1,646 square feet.

Word is the latter two will be home to Duck Donuts and Jersey Mike's Subs.

No opening dates have been announced. Bonnie Wetsel, who is opening Duck Donuts with her husband, Wyatt, told EastIdahoNews.com in September that the buildout will depend on availability of materials. Likewise, Bill Hawes, who is opening Super Chix, said an opening won’t be for several months.

Duck Donuts was founded in North Carolina in 2007. Since then, it has expanded to more than 200 stores, mainly on the East Coast, with scattered locations in Utah, Arizona and California. The Ammon store will be the first in Idaho.

Super Chix is owned by Yum! Brands, the parent company of Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut. The first restaurant opened in Texas in 2014. It bills itself as “a premium, fast-casual dining experience devoted to fresh, high-quality offerings and a great customer experience.” Besides chicken sandwiches and fries, the menu also features hand-dipped frozen custard, served in cones, cups, milkshakes and fusions (concretes). Two franchises opened in Utah earlier this year.

Jersey Mike’s
dates back to 1956, when 17-year-old Pete Cancro, with help from his high school football coach (also a banker) opened a shop in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. Since then, the chain has expanded to more than 1,600 locations, with major expansion in California and the Western United States.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Sara Prentice selected to chair Chamber of Commerce board

Sara Prentice
The Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors has selected Sara Prentice as its new chair.

In addition to having served on the board since 2016, Prentice is manager of Mission Enabling Communication Services at Idaho National Laboratory. In that role, she oversees a staff of communications professionals focused on supporting the INL laboratory director and deputy laboratory directors with executive communications. Her organization also includes employee communications, visual communications, digital media, and protocol and hospitality. Prentice was previously the protocol officer for INL and enjoyed showcasing the eastern Idaho community to VIP visitors.

“Sara is a great connection between the business community and the INL," said Chamber CEO Chip Schwarze. "Her leadership, event planning, tourism, and community awareness make her an ideal representative of our diverse business community. I am eager to work with her and serve our great business community.”

Since it started as the Idaho Falls Club of Commerce in 1904, the chamber has grown to include 656 member businesses representing more than 27,000 employees in the greater Idaho Falls region. Member businesses represent more than 30 different business sectors. The chamber works to create and protect competitive advantage for business in the region.