Wednesday, April 23, 2014
8:00am – 12:00pm

Key Note Speakers:
US Senator Risch (Idaho)
SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet

Idaho Department of Transportation
Main Auditorium, 3311 W. State St. Boise, ID 83707

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), and American Express OPEN (OPEN) have partnered to host women business owners for this special contracting event. Join the ChallengeHER movement to help empower the success of the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program!

WOSB federal contractors can have a unique opportunity to:

  • Participate in Federal Contracting 101 and WOSB program workshops
  • Get contracting advice and learn about resources in your local community
  • Receive updates on current Procurement Policy and the WOSB Program
  • Hear insightful real-life success stories from women business owners
  • Network with peer mentors and other WOSB and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) firms working in your field

This event is free to attend; seating is limited.  Please register here.

For any registration or event inquiries, please email Erika Wilhelm at ChallengeHER(at) or our local contact Catie Bennett at catherine.bennett(at) or 208-334-9004 ext 327.

Serve Idaho Commission

The Serve Idaho Commission is looking for applicants in regions 2, 4 and 6. Commissioners are needed in one of the following categories: an elected official, youth commissioner, education, human services and environmental. Hurry! Applicant review begins in 3 weeks. The commissioner job description and region map are available here and included below.

A-8 Commission Member Job Description
Region Map

Go Lead Idaho Presents a Night of Inspiration and Celebration

Go Lead Idaho Presents a Night of Inspiration and Celebration  

March 13 event features national speaker Kathy Groob & Inaugural Leadership Awards

BOISE, Idaho –  Go Lead Idaho is proud to present a night of inspiration and celebration at its annual spring event Leading In on March 13 at the Riverside Hotel.


Founded in 2010, Go Lead Idaho ( is committed to engaging women in leadership and civic participation through active involvement in the private, public and non-profit sectors.

The night features Kathy Groob, businesswoman, former elected official, political consultant, author, speaker and advocate for women’s issues. Groob inspires and motivates with stories of successful women creating and building their legacies while lending a hand to other women. She is the founder of ElectWomen ( and author of Pink Politics.

In recognition of the impact of involvement, Go Lead Idaho will also present its inaugural awards:

The Brenda Maynard Walters Award
Honoring those who keep their elbows down and reach their hands out. Those good sisters who lead with collaborative spirit over divisiveness; who see the good in the hard task and the hard work; who are leaning in while letting others lean on them for support.

Go Lead Early
Recognizing the emerging voices, the school-aged young women who don’t let age define the impact they can have by being vocal and visible and leading early.

The Idaho Woman Citizen
In the spirit of the state that was one of the first to adopt suffrage, honoring a woman who has worked towards the advancement of a public issue for the betterment of the state and its people.

The evening is possible thanks to the generous support of Platinum Sponsor Wells Fargo and Gold Sponsor Perkins Coie.

“Wells Fargo’s commitment to helping women succeed financially is longstanding, and women are an invaluable part of our company’s culture and leadership. About two-thirds of Wells Fargo team members are women, which includes regional, area and market presidents, as well as top-ranking senior executives,” said Don Melendez, Wells Fargo Idaho Regional Banking president. “Our commitment also includes supporting women as business owners and working with organizations that share our vision. Go Lead Idaho’s effort to get women more involved in leadership and civic roles goes nicely with our focus on women as critical members of our organization and community.”


Leading In – A Night of Inspiration and Celebration

When: March 13, 2014
5:30 pm Reception
6:30 – 8:30 pm Dinner & Program
Where: The Riverside Hotel (2900 W Chinden Blvd, Boise, ID 83714)
$45 (includes dinner and drink ticket)
To Register:
Registration Deadline: March 9

About Go Lead Idaho
Go Lead Idaho is an organization comprised of professional volunteers from various industries believing that adding women to leadership and policy-making roles in public office, board and commissions, private industry and non-profits will enhance the long-term health and wealth of the State of Idaho and our communities.  We are committed to engaging women in leadership and civic participation through active participation in the political process, public office, public policy or advocacy. For more information visit


Women & Leadership: Idaho Women Pacesetters

While the Andrus Center’s Women & Leadership conference has primarily packed the stage with national women leaders at the podium from business, non-profits and media, the final panel of the event featured a collection of Idaho Women Pacesetters.

Among them:

Cherie Buckner Webb | Idaho State Senator

Linda Copple-Trout | Former Chief Justice, Idaho Supreme Court

Nancy Lemas |  President and CEO, Lemas Investment Group

Dee Sarton | KTVB Anchor

Luci Willits | Chief of Staff, Superintendent Tom Luna

How do you define your success?

Justice Copple-Trout – Being the first Chief Justice, it demonstrated to women and especially female law students, that it was indeed possible. I encourage all of you to do what you think would be important to accomplish.

Dee Sarton – Being able to be in an industry where I was able to do important work, and to be part of telling the story. I started out trying to be a man-woman in the media and then became a woman in the media with a female perspective, perhaps different, perhaps the same but important that it is at the table. The female perspective is not only valid, it’s important.

Nancy Lemas – I know I’ve made a difference in all the industries I’ve been involved in. I was often the first women in those positions in the industries I worked in. Through my success, I have opened doors. Also, how many times I’ve been knocked down over the years, picked myself up and dusted myself off and moved forward. What I was sure to do with my children growing up, was always put a mentor in front of them. With my daughters, seeing women in positions of professional leadership.

Luci Willits – Success has meant survival. For women, the days are long and the years are short. If you survive and are a survivor you are successful. If I can make a difference for my children and your children then life is a beautiful thing.

Cherie Buckner-Webb – I have this amazing heritage, an inheritance – of all the women who came before me and the sisterhood of the women empowering and supporting me by my side. Success is being here today and being able to pass that on. Success for me is that I learned some lessons. I need to show up, stand up, speak up and sometimes, shut up.  (Makes me think back on her keynote at Go Lead’s Spring Conference a few years ago)

Other insights shared:

Cherie Buckner-Webb – As women we need to learn how to have conflict. There is no term like “cat fight” for men. Let’s learn how to have conflict. Sometimes the answer is ‘no’

Nancy Lemas – We can’t take conflict personally in businesses.

Luci Willits – I never felt like I had to behave like a man. I’ve often felt pressure as a young, married mother and the choices I made. I have learned to embrace that and to make that part of me and bring that up in business and to be true to my values.

Dee Sarton: I do see myself as a role model, because I interact with so many young women who come through our station. And I think it is a wonderful thing to think I’ve been part of such a change in our society. Young women must figure out how to balance career and family, if family is important to them. As a role model now, what I hope I can impart is doing the job – but also ‘doing your life’  – and important that is. (2 degrees of separation, Luci interned with Dee while in college and through having that work/life conversation with Lee, Luci changed her career path)

Luci Willits: Idaho is a very patriarchal society and a very male dominated state. The best thing we can do is to get women in positions of hiring.