Welcome to the Business Plus Newsletter!

February 2022

2022 Board of Directors

Announcing our Business Plus Board of Directors for 2022. We look forward to working with this group of distinguished business leaders!

2022 Executive Committee

Jim Evans, D.L. Evans Bank - President

Neil Christensen, D. L. Evans Bank - Past President

Todd Wadsworth, Cooper Norman, CPAs - Treasurer

Rudy Ashenbrener, TitleFact, Inc. - Secretary

Con Paulos, Con Paulos Chevrolet

Shane Jenkins, First Federal

Jim Capps, Intermountain Gas

Matt Sandberg, Times-News/Amplified Digital Agency

Jim Lynch, Mr. Gas

2022 Full Board

Elsje Johnson, Blue Cross of Idaho

Brandon Williams, Goode Motor

Jeff May, Idaho Central Credit Union

Nathan Murray, Idaho Power

Rick Naerebout, Idaho Dairymen’s Association

Dan Olmstead, Legacy Leader

Nick Lynch, Mr. Gas/Lynch Oil

Mason Harper, NuVu Glass

Dan Hoover, PMT

Michael Arrington, Starr Corporation

Jody Tremblay, St. Luke’s Magic Valley

Chris Seibold, United Electric Co-op

Dr. Brian Ward, Ward Orthodontics

Mitch Watkins, Watkins Distributing

Jerry Olson, Zions Bank

Join our Leaders!

Network with the most influential leaders in the valley while growing your business and the local economy. Business Plus leverages growth by focusing on economic activity that results in job creation and talent attraction. We support a strong regional workforce, employment security and diversity.

Business Plus is a unique network of local business leaders that are solely committed to growing business in the Magic Valley. Join our leaders now!

Rebecca Wildman, Executive Director



Learn More!

Remembering Stephen Hartgen

Last month we said goodbye to someone who helped weave the fabric of our organization. Stephen Hartgen served on the Business Plus Board, was a founder of Southern Idaho Economic Development, was the first Business Plus Executive Director, and was one of our first Legacy Leaders. Steve's legacy is reflected in recent words from U.S. Senator Mike Crapo, Idaho Governor Brad Little, Jim Jones, Chuck Malloy, Mychel Matthews, and in Steve's obituary. All these words share a common theme of Steve as an intellectual, a historian, a business leader, and public servant.

I knew Steve for 20 years, working under him on the Business Plus Board and as our first Executive Director. We shared ideas on challenges and opportunities; Steve even helped me plan our last meeting. I will miss him.

In Steve's memory, Business Plus has made a contribution to the College of Southern Idaho Foundation, to pass onto a new generation his love of learning. Our condolences to Linda Hartgen and their family.

Welcome Jan Rogers as Interim Director for SIED

Join me in welcoming Jan Rogers as Interim Director for Southern Idaho Economic Development. Jan served as the founding executive director from 2001 to 2015. During that time she worked with city and county officials to bring in more than 30 companies and numerous business expansions.

“Southern Idaho Economic Development is excited to welcome Jan Rogers as our interim director,” said Dan Olmstead, SIED board chair, in a press release. “Jan’s broad economic development experience, regional relationships, and her 15-year previous history with SIED will serve our economic development efforts in the region very well.”

Rural Specialist Ervina Covcic Leaving

Ervina Covcic, Rural Economic Development Specialist for REDS, announced she has taken a position with Jerome City's Planning Department. Covcic served as Director since February 2020, and was administrative support for SIED since June 2016. The REDS program serves rural areas in Camas, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln and Twin Falls counties and is funded in part by a grant from the Idaho Department of Commerce, member communities, and business support through Business Plus.

Covcic has served our rural communities well. In fact, she knocked it out of the park! We wish her well in her next chapter. The REDS Board will seek to fill her position.

Economic News and Reports

Zions Bank January 2022

Zions Bank's "2022 Economic and Market Outlook Webinar" with Senior Economist Robert Spendlove sharing economic trends, job gains and industry growth. Spendlove's 28-minute presentation is worth watching. Zions Wealth Management Portfolio Manager Rich Mebius follows with investment markets, returns and market volatility (33:00).

South Central Idaho's Unemployment Situation

Idaho Department of Labor Report January 21, 2022

The 2022 Talent Playbook

(from EMSI Burningglass, authors of the 2021 Demographic Drought)

Thank you New and Renewing Investors!




Campaign Investors


First Federal*

Blue Cross of Idaho NEW!

D.L. Evans Bank*

Idaho Central Credit Union


Project Mutual Telephone (PMT)*

Times-News/Amplified Digital Agency*+



Clif Bar

Cooper Norman, CPAs*

Dairy West

Idaho Dairymen's Association

Idaho National Lab (INL)*

Idaho Power*

Intermountain Gas Company*

McCain Foods

St. Luke's*

Woodbury Corporation - Magic Valley Mall, 

  Target, Best Buy & Dick's Shopping Centers



American Real Estate and Appraisal*

Atlas Technical Consultants

Crossroads Point

Dot Foods

EHM Engineers, Inc.*

Farmers Bank*

Mr. Gas*

NOVOLEX / Hilex Poly

Oasis Stop 'N Go / Travelers' Oasis*

PBC Petersen Brothers Construction

PCA Packaging Corporation of America*

Starr Corporation*


United Electric Co-op, Inc.*

Watkins Distributing*

WillTran, Inc.



Balanced Rock Insurance

Banner Bank


Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Idaho 

  Homes & Properties

Best Western Burley Inn

Blue Lakes Inn / Snake River Pool & Spa

Cassia Regional Hospital - Intermountain Healthcare*

Collins Connection - Kent & Cindy Collins 

  Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices*

Con Paulos Chevrolet

Desert Creative Group NEW!

First American Title Company*

Goode Motor Auto Group

Ireland Bank

K&T Steel Corp*

Lytle Signs*

MAGIC Electric, Plumbing, Heating + Air

McKinlay Klundt Appraisal Co.

Minidoka Memorial Hospital

North Canyon Medical Center

Nu-Vu Glass

Safari Hospitality - Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn

   Express & Suites, Quality Inn and Suites


Snake River Pool & Spa

TOK Commercial

True West Beef NEW!

Titlefact, Inc.*

Ward Orthodontics

Westfall & Westfall CPAs / Impact Athletic 


Wills Toyota*

Zions Bank*


Family Health Services

Gem State Welders Supply*

Moss Greenhouses

New Energy One, LLC NEW!

New Leaf Properties

Oregon Trail RV Park


Stevens Pierce & Associates CPAs*

Stratus Communications, LLC

Watco (Eastern Idaho Railroad)*



Rep. Maxine Bell (retired)

Doug Brown

Cindy Collins NEW!

Rep. Lance Clow

Jeff Harris

Rep. Linda Hartgen, and in memory of Stephen Hartgen NEW!

Alan Horner

Dave McAlindin

Gary Nelson

Dan Olmstead

Mayor Ruth Pierce

Jan Rogers

Doug Vollmer NEW!

Lee Wagner

Deb Wilson

John Wright



(past 3 years)


Best Western Burley Inn


Idaho Central Credit Union


Mr. Gas

Nu-Vu Glass

Packaging Specialties of Idaho

PCA Packaging Corporation of America

PerforMix Nutrition Systems

Minidoka Memorial Hospital

Mountain West Realty

Oregon Trail RV

Soran Restaurants, Inc.

Starr Corporation

Stone House & Co.

Stratus Communications

TOK Commercial

Watkins Distributing

Willamette Dental Group

WillTran, Inc.


*Indicates 10+ years of support since 2003

+includes additional promotional investment

Our Mission:

Private Investors Growing Southern Idaho's Economy

Our Vision:

Strong Partnerships Supporting a Vibrant Regional Economy

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