Bill Connors, President & CEO of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, Idaho’s largest business association and only five-star accredited Chamber in Idaho, has announced his intention to retire after a 15-year career with the Chamber. Connors will retire as the longest serving CEO in the organization‘s 146-year history. He began his tenure with the Chamber in 2009 and will end his very successful leadership career with the Chamber on December 31, 2023. During his fourteen-year tenure, he has positioned the Chamber to be a very influential advocacy organization for business and which boasts a 30-person Board of Directors and is largely made up of CEOs of some of the biggest employers in Idaho.
Over the last few years, under Connors’ leadership, the Chamber successfully weathered inflation and its effects along with COVID pandemic. In addition, he has effectively managed the financial operations of the Chamber over the last 14 years. Under Connors’ watch, the Chamber began its very successful Annual Gala, introduced Industry Sector Boards, started New Member and New Valley CEO receptions, merged the Boise Convention & Visitors Bureau into the organization, rebuilt the Boise Valley Economic Partnership structure, expanded the Boise Young Professionals network into one of the largest in the USA, started a Hall of Fame Program, founded a 501(c)3 Foundation, designed, built and paid for its new headquarters building in Downtown Boise, and recently added a Boise Gift Shop and Visitor Information Center.
In addition to the Boise Chamber becoming an influential voice in advocacy and community, the Chamber’s successful legislative agenda included lowering Idaho’s business and personal income tax rates from 8.2% to 5.9% over the years, while supporting record investments in education. The Chamber’s advocacy also helped pass legislative incentives to attract aerospace companies, data centers, microchip production and advanced manufacturing, bringing thousands of highly paid jobs and scores of businesses to Idaho, making the Boise Valley the envy of the nation.
Connors has long been a champion for expanded transportation, air service to and from Boise, and currently is working on bringing Amtrak service back to the Treasure Valley. He has also been a champion of small business, travel and tourism industries, sports teams, and arts organizations.
Connors has been working with the executive board for the past three years on a succession plan and retirement strategy. He attributes his successful run as the President & CEO of the Chamber to his partnership with the Boards, his incredible staff, members, volunteers, pro-business elected officials, Chamber CEOs across the state and nation, his colleagues at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S. Travel Association, to name a few.
Under the chairmanship of Odette Bolano, CEO of Saint Alphonsus Health System, a search committee has been established of which Connors will be an active contributor to the process of identifying a successor. The Committee has selected SearchWide Global to assist with a national search. Bolano shared, “While it is bittersweet to announce Bill’s retirement, we are forever grateful for all that Bill has accomplished over this tenure. He leaves legacy which will not be forgotten and a very successful and effective business advocacy organization for his successor.”
The first Start-Ups and Suds event of 2023 was a great success with over 50 people in attendance! Start-Ups and Suds gives local startup companies exposure and the ability to promote their company with the help of our sponsors and a host brewery.
At the March 6th event, Boise Metro Chamber member Karmik Outdoors was the featured startup and Woodland Empire Brewery hosted the event (and bought everyone in attendance their first beer!).
Owner Dave Krick spoke about the event host, Chamber member Woodland Empire Brewery. Krick holds a brewing science degree and has been working on brewing for several years. He said it took a while to find a location for a brewery. The solution they found is where Start-Ups and Suds was hosted: at the Woodland Empire location at 1114 W Front Street. This facility is a co-production facility with Lost Grove Brewing. The facility plans to expand production in the next few weeks and expects to produce about 5,000 of beer this year.
Karmik Outdoors is a “lost and found” service for outdoor gear founded by Robert Gillingham. Its name is an adaptation of the word “karma,” signaling that good karma will come to those who return others’ lost outdoor gear. Karmik Outdoors’ staple product is a durable QR code sticker, which can be applied to any outdoor gear (or any product, for that matter). If the item is lost, it is typically returned to the owner with a 78-90% return rate. The owner’s information remains confidential. Contact information of the person who found the item is sent to the item’s owner to initiate contact. Through Karmik Outdoors’ website, the owner can then send the finder a “reward,” (available rewards are new gear items donated by outdoor companies). However, of all their cases so far, not one person has taken the reward. Since founding the company, Gillingham’s belief in the goodness of the community has only grown.
This successful event would not be possible without the support of Boise Metro Chamber’s sponsors. The presenting sponsor of Start-Ups and Suds is Perkins Coie. Michael Carr, an attorney at the firm, spoke at the event about how Perkins Coie opened their first location in Boise in 1997 and recently celebrated their 25th anniversary in the Treasure Valley. Perkins Coie offers an array of legal services, including mergers & acquisitions, real estate, and general business needs.
The event co-sponsor is Zion’s Bank and the exclusive airline sponsor of this event series is Delta Airlines. This event series occurs once per quarter. Keep an eye on the Boise Metro Chamber events calendar so you don’t miss the next one!
Inside Fred Meyer, located at 5425 W Chinden Blvd in Garden City, you'll find a beautiful new credit union next to Fred Meyer Jewelers: P1FCU!
P1FCU, a federal credit union, was founded in Lewiston, ID in 1938, when 12 employees of Potlatch Forest Incorporated pooled their hard-earned money to provide loans and other financial services for those not served by the big banks of the time.
Today, P1FCU is all about convenience. They offer a wide range of checking accounts, savings tools, and affordable loans for individuals, families, and businesses. The credit union is known for their cutting-edge digital banking services that help members manage their money.
P1FCU's mission is to be a catalyst in educating and empowering, one experience at a time. The Boise Metro Chamber was thrilled to help P1FCU break into the local community with this new location so they can continue their great mission!
The ribbon cutting had a big crowd, including the mayor of Garden City, John Evans. Police Chief Rick Allen was also in attendance. The Garden City branch manager of P1FCU, Matthew Colmar, cut the ribbon.
P1FCU also has an Adventure Giveaway to celebrate their grand opening! You can enter to win the YETI cooler and all that’s inside. The giveaway ends on March 4th, 2023, so enter right away! (Membership at P1FCU is not required to enter the giveaway, but we certainly encourage you to consider becoming a member of the credit union!) Enter HERE through March 4th!
Ribbon cuttings are a great place to network, create relationships and talk business. These events give companies an opportunity to announce their new locations, anniversaries, or their new membership to the Boise Metro Chamber. It's a great way to gain visibility, as our 1900+ member businesses and organizations see the announcements as well as those who follow us on social media! Boise Metro Chamber Ambassadors often attend these and other Chamber events. Ambassadors really bring the energy and ensure events are a success! If you're not already a member, please consider joining the Boise Metro Chamber today by filling out the membership application!