Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Intermountain Packing plans $20 million meatpacking plant on Idaho Falls' north side

The plant will be on Iona Road between Holmes Ave and North 15 East.

Intermountain Packing, an offshoot of Intermountain Bison, is negotiating with the city of Idaho Falls over incentives to build on the south side of Iona Road between Holmes Ave and North 15 East. The project calls for a 50,000-square-foot plant on nine acres of land with a total capital investment of $20 million. 

Construction is currently projected to begin in September and is expected to take one year to complete. The company says it will create approximately 200 full-time jobs with wages of at least $15 per hour and medical, dental and vacation benefits.

Intermountain Bison is an Idaho Falls-based company founded by Roger Ball, whose business history in the area dates back decades and includes Ball Packing in Idaho Falls 1969, Golden Valley Natural and King B Jerky.

For the full story, read Sally Krutzig's story in the Post Register: $20M meatpacking plant looks at Idaho Falls, bringing 200 jobs


Monday, August 17, 2020

Agriculture for Entertainment | Ryan Searle, Wild Adventure Corn Maze

Ryan Searle of Wild Adventure Corn Maze (Renae Oswald photo)
 

Ryan Searle was determined not to be a farmer like his family before him. He went to school and studied business because he knew he wanted to be a business owner. Loving motorsports, he had planned to own and operate a motorsports business. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, that goal did not pan out. What he learned is that although he couldn't control the weather to be a successful farmer he found out that the same applied to other businesses. “Reality is nobody really has control,” Ryan said. That realization brought him back to the farm.
 
As the third owner of the Wild Adventure Corn Maze, Searle has big ideas for what he wants to accomplish and all of it surrounds family fun. Last year the corn maze was designed around honoring veterans. Designs are decided at the end of the previous season and this year's theme has yet to be announced. New to the Maze last year was the sunflower patch and it's back again this year, bigger and better.
 

Sunflower Days are happening through Aug. 29. Last year they were only able to be open for 10 days. “It's five months of work that we got 10 days out of,” Searle said. He admits that it was a great learning experience and this year they have done things differently. “Let's go big and better, we want this to last a month. We had multiple plantings to extend the season,” he explained. Along with that, he planted several different varieties of sunflowers for people to enjoy. This year they are also allowing individuals to pick flowers and fill a pail. “It's a crazy killer deal,” he said.
 
The corn maze is open for seven weeks and will be opened starting September 14th. In the corn maze, he grows short-growing corn so that it can be harvested after the maze is over.

The previous owner had been looking for a new piece of ground and knew of Searle and that he had property along the highway. He'd run it that year and did much of the work, but decided that he couldn't do the corn maze any longer and so he offered the opportunity to Searle.

When asked about why he decided to do the corn maze he explained, “It was the right place, right time, fell in our lap. In our area, we can't do this full time to support a family. It's something new and challenging. You've got to diversify to afford to farm.”
 
Searle's advice for anyone considering self-employment is, “Who do you trust the most? I trust me to do the work that needs to be done,” he said. Most people aren't willing to put in long days and dedicate themselves to their business, and those individuals are not made for owning their own business. He also feels that business owners require an optimistic attitude.
 
The future for the corn maze is to continue to grow the sunflowers and provide the corn maze at the current location. Some investments are dependent on owning the ground, which Searle does not currently. Other announcements are yet to be shared on growth, events and supporting partners that will improve the experience.
Information
For more information on the Wild Adventure Corn Maze go to their website at https://wildadventurecornmaze.com/. You can also find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WildAdventureCornMaze/.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Toyota, Blue Cross sponsor Harry Potter double feature

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho is officially halfway done with its first Summer Drive-In Movie Series, presented by Blue Cross of Idaho, at the Idaho Falls Motor Vu Drive-In. The Harry Potter marathon will continue this Saturday and Saturday, Sept. 19. Toyota is the movie sponsor for this Saturday’s double feature.
 
Throughout the summer, Motor Vu Drive-In has been showing Harry Potter double features for some socially distanced fun. Concessions are available from 7:30 p.m. until the start of the second movie. In addition to amazing sponsors, 15% of all concessions will support Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho.
 
This event is intended as a great way for the community to get out of the house while staying safe, having fun, and supporting local families in need. This Saturday’s double feature is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrincePotter. In addition to the Harry Potter movies, Toyota will be providing collapsible coolers to the first 100 cars. There will also be some pre-show trivia for moviegoers with the opportunity to win fun prizes. Trivia will begin at 8:45 p.m.
 
Gates will open at 7:30 p.m. and the first show will begin 30 minutes after sunset.  Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate.
 
For those unable to attend, you can still help local families with sick children by donating here or texting the amount you want to give to 208-261-4441.

RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho is an Idaho-based non-profit 501 (c) (3) that supports families of ill or injured children by keeping them together in times of medical need. RMHC of Idaho operates the Idaho Ronald McDonald House in Boise, the Ronald McDonald Family Room in Idaho Falls and the Happy Wheels Hospitality Carts in Boise and Twin Falls. Through its programs, RMHC of Idaho provides families with a safe and secure place for healing filled with hope and comfort while also investing and strengthening healthcare partnerships to meet families’ growing and changing needs. Learn more at rmhcidaho.org.

ABOUT MOTOR VU DRIVE-IN

Archives of the Idaho Falls Post Register say that Hugo Jorgensen built the 612-car Motor-Vu Drive-In in 1947. Later listings in the International Motion Picture Almanac gave the car count as 500 with other accounts listing even fewer spaces as the years went by. In 2019 Linda & Ryan Rumsey saved the Motor Vu from being torn down. The COVID-19 pandemic brought the Rumseys, Andy Johnson and his company ANDX Entertainment together. They, with the help of Jeremy Barry and others, are breathing new life into this drive-in, working to preserve its history and value to the community. Learn more at motorvu.us/

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Call center company announces expansion into Idaho Falls

First Call Resolution, a Portland, Ore.-based call center company, has announced it intends to expand its operations to Idaho Falls, possibly bringing more than 300 new jobs to the area.

With domestic customer experience centers across the U.S. and international locations in Mexico and Poland, FCR  serves clients in industries that include high tech, startups, e-commerce, gaming, healthcare, retail, travel and hospitality, and many other sectors of the digitally-enabled economy.

“FCR is growing at an incredible rate. We feel that Idaho Falls presents us with a great opportunity to help with that expansion,” company president and founder Matthew Achak said in an Aug. 5 press release. “Idaho Falls is the ideal city that matches our business model of offering customer service and technical support jobs in a work-from-home environment. It is a community filled with hard-working and talented people who have the skill set we are looking for. Idaho Falls is a city that needs good jobs and a company that is willing to work with the community, and we think we can offer that and much more.”

Founded in 2005, FCR currently supports more than 80 clients and employs more than 2,000 colleagues across nine customer experience centers in the United States.

During the COVID-19 pandemic FCR has been able to pivot to a work-from-home business model, preserving every job during a challenging economic period. FCR will immediately offer work-from-home positions for more than 300 customer service representative positions in the Idaho Falls area, the release said. New jobs include leadership and entry-level positions. The company is currently recruiting to support two of its largest clients who are expanding their business.

FCR made similar announcements earlier this year in Butte and Helena, Mont.

“Idaho Falls is very pleased to welcome FCR to our community,” said Dana Briggs, economic development director for Idaho Falls. “We are fortunate to have such an innovative and adaptive company provide jobs to our market that will offer flexible opportunities to those seeking employment. We look forward to supporting FCR in their efforts and thank them for the contribution to our local economy and workforce.”

For more information, visit the company's website -- https://www.gofcr.com/ -- or Facebook page -- https://www.facebook.com/gofcr/ -- for more information.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Forbes ranks top Idaho credit unions for customer service


By Catie Clark, Idaho Business Review

According to Forbes, the top five credit unions in Idaho for customer satisfaction range from small to large and local to multi-state. The youngest is a mere six and a half decades old. Only one is headquartered in the Treasure Valley while three are based out of Eastern Idaho. One is not even chartered in Idaho.


The rankings were issued during the last week of June by Forbes, one of the country’s three leading weekly business magazines. Forbes hired market research firm Statista to survey customer satisfaction across the country for both banks and credit unions. This is the third year that Forbes has ranked financial institutions that provide consumer banking services.


The survey sample size was more than 25,000 bank and credit union customers in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. Customers were asked to rank their financial institutions on their overall recommendation, satisfaction, trust, terms and conditions, branch services, digital services and financial advice. Out of the country’s 5,236 credit unions, only 3.5% received rankings. Idaho has 45 credit unions registered with Idaho Department of Finance; one-ninth of these were included in the Forbes top five.
 

Starting with the highest-ranked, the top five Idaho credit unions in 2020 were: Connections Credit Union, Idaho Central Credit Union, Westmark Credit Union, CapEd Credit Union and Mountain American Credit Union.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Business group seeks computer donations for students in need


Idaho Business for Education, a non-profit organization of nearly 250 businesses across Idaho, is launching a new phase of its Close the Divide campaign to get computers and internet service to students who do not have these learning tools at home.

“If we do not close the divide these students who don’t have these learning tools will not have an equal opportunity to learn should the COVID-19 virus force students to learn part of the time or all of the time at home,” said IBE President Rod Gramer. “It is imperative that we get these resources to students for the 2020-21 school year.”

IBE is calling on communities around the state to see if they have spare computers that can be provided to students who do not have devices at home. On Aug. 5, IBE is hosting Close the Divide Day, an effort aimed at collecting spare laptops from the community to donate to the nearly 200,000 Idaho students without devices.

Volunteers will be at the College of Eastern Idaho, in the parking lot, accepting computers from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

If you cannot make it on Aug. 5, you can drop computers off at Citizens Community Bank in the following locations throughout the month of August:
  • Rexburg Office, 452 N 2nd East, Rexburg
  • Ammon Office, 2797 South 25th East, Ammon
  • Taylor Crossing Office, 900 South Utah Ave, Idaho Falls
Another way you can help is by donating at https://www.idahobe.org/close.

For more information on how you can donate a computer or make a donation, contact IBE's eastern Idaho chair, Rae Moss at rae.moss@inl.gov.

The Close the Divide campaign media sponsors are IBE Members the Spokane Teachers Credit Union; the Innovia Foundation; The Garrigan Lyman Group; KTVB; KREM; and the Idaho Press. Intermountain Gas and Idaho Central Credit Union are IBE members supporting the effort.

Monday, August 3, 2020

A Mindset of Abundance | Kristopher Walton, Kristopher L. Walton Associates

Kristopher Walton
Considering himself an entrepreneurial social worker sets Kristopher Walton apart from other mental health professionals. “I use a lot of business ideas in order to create an outcome. I measure outcomes,” he said. He feels this approach helps his clients to work toward the future and limits their time in mental health counseling with a growth mentality. “My belief is the world has abundance, there's enough for everybody,” he said.

Most therapists don't end up being in private practice. Social work is usually focused on community mental health. Walton agrees that he doesn't fit into that mold, but he's been working with clients for 30 years. “I'm an entrepreneur, I live my life in the entrepreneur business perspective with business ideas mixed with therapy ideas and that's fun,” he explained.

Walton showed his entrepreneurial spirit early in his life when he became an inventor. When he was 15 years old and in 9th grade, he invented the candy pen. On his own, he found a patent attorney, and with $1,000 in a bag, he hired him. The patent attorney told him, “There's nothing like that out there do you want to put something together?" He went ahead and had drawings created with the mock-up of the pen. Once this was complete he took a bus to Salt Lake City and met the investor, alone, at the library. The investor said he had $100,000 in cash to invest. Based on advice his father had given him, Walton demanded 51% of the company. The investor wasn't too excited about that and said, “Young man you are 15 years old. There's no way I'm going to give you 51%.” Walton held to the advice from his dad and kept replying that “my dad said”. Believing that he'd get nothing without having 51%, he walked away from the deal and his invention didn't go anywhere.

“Life is an opportunity versus a missed opportunity and we have to figure out how to innovate and create ourselves from the opportunities we miss out on,” he said.


As a therapist, Walton said he really loves his career. “I love being able to maneuver in life versus being stuck,” he said. “I see business owners being afraid, especially in the world of COVID. If you look at it through the lens of fear, it's going to cause negative reactions,” he explained, “What is the opportunity of COVID?” He advises looking at your business through a lens of opportunity. He believes that envisioning your future and creating the system will get you to your goals. “The biggest part is to have faith, hope, and belief that it will happen,” he said.

Understanding that receiving therapy can have a negative stigma, Walton works with his clients to make sure he's the right fit and works hard to work on helping clients grow rather than focus on the past. He gives a one-hour free consult to make sure his potential clients feel that working with him is the right decision.

Walton is a published author and the name of his book is Navigating Your Mind – Achieving a Life of Peace, Joy, and Happiness. “When we reach out and tell people how we think, feel and believe, a lot of times those people don't necessarily understand how we feel and so we pull inside of ourselves and we internalize a lot of fear, and that creates disconnection,” he says about his book. He teaches in the book how to overcome embarrassment and shame so individuals can deal with their pain and heal. “My main demographic is 14 years old to 45 years old,” he said.

Walton has also started a podcast called What We Don't Talk About. This show is focused on the complexities of young adult life. “I talk about helping women and teenage girls how to be strong independent people. Outside sources do not have women in mind in order for them to be valued,” he said. He explained that this is seen in all aspects of life and he is using the format to educate and to help women create happy lives with boundaries and healthy relationships.

Having anxiety himself, the training that he has had has helped him be able to manage that himself. “We have to learn how to get rid of our stinky thinking,” he said, “I'm a huge person on facing fear.” One of his fears is skydiving, so to overcome that he has skydived several times. “Once you face your fear there's so much less to be afraid of and you can become what you want to be,” he said.

Navigating life can be difficult on your own. Walton recommends creating a support system and consider utilizing professional help if you are feeling overwhelmed. We all have the power within us to live lives of abundance and joy.

Information

For more information on Kristopher Walton and his services, visit his website at https://navigatingyourmind.com/. You can find information about the podcast on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/whatwedonttalkabout/.