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Adrian Wengert promoted to Vice President of Supply Chain at St. Luke’s Health System

Congratulations to Adrian Wengert, who was recently promoted to Vice President of Supply Chain at St. Luke’s Health System after serving as the Senior Director for two years and Interim Vice President for six months. Adrian graduated from the University of Phoenix in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in operations & supply chain and later received his Executive MBA in 2015 from Boise State University. Before joining St. Luke’s, Adrian worked at St. Alphonsus Health System, Kowallis & Richards, and All-West Components & Fasteners. Outside of his work, Adrian has been a member of The Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials Management and The Association for Operations Management.


EMBA 1 Student leads the way and assumes a new role at Idaho Power

Congratulations to EMBA 1 alumna Lisa Grow on a recent promotion to Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Idaho Power.  Read about her new position in a press release recently published by Idaho Power.

Lisa Grow assumed the role of Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Idaho Power on March 1, 2017. Prior to this position, she was Senior Vice President of Operations for Idaho Power since January 2016.

Grow has also served as Senior Vice President of Power Supply, overseeing operations and maintenance of the generation fleet, power plant engineering and construction, environmental affairs, water management, power supply planning, sustainability and wholesale electricity and gas operations.

She began her career at Idaho Power in 1987 and held many engineering positions before moving into management. This broad background allowed her to gain valuable experience in many areas of the company. In 2005, Grow was named Vice President of Delivery Engineering and Operations, and she assumed the role of Vice President of Power Supply in 2009.

Grow graduated from the University of Idaho in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and received a Master of Business Administration degree from Boise State University in 2008.

Grow is involved in a number of industry groups, currently or previously serving on various committees and boards associated with the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC), Northwest Power Pool (NWPP), National Hydro Association, and Pacific Northwest Utilities Conference Committee. She is also a current member of the University of Idaho Foundation Board and the College of Engineering Advisory Board at the University of Idaho and past member of the Advisory Board of the College of Engineering at Boise State University. She also serves on the Board of the Idaho Chapter of the American Heart Association.

Carolyn Hennen to speak at February Executive MBA Informational Session

Founder and Owner of The Rag Company, Carolyn Hennen, will speak at the Executive MBA Informational Session on February 22.

Carolyn had a twenty-year career in healthcare and was the Manager of St. Luke’s Treasure Valley Echocardiography Lab.  Then, after careful consideration and driven by the strong entrepreneurial spirit, Carolyn and her husband purchased a business they thought would be an interesting “side-gig”.  They have now owned The Rag Company since October 2012 and the business has grown so substantially that Carolyn and her husband left their corporate careers to focus full-time on the business.  The Rag Company has become a global leader in providing high quality, high value microfiber products to their customers around the world.  Carolyn earned her bachelor of science from Franklin University in Ohio, and she is a recent graduate of the Boise State Executive MBA Program.

Please join us for our next informational session, February 22nd from 5:30pm-7:00pm, to get alumni perspective, speak with our faculty, and tour the facilities. Please contact us if you have any questions, or visit our website.

Executive MBA Forum- Women in Senior Leadership Roles

Erin Nuxoll from Boise Cascade Company and Jessica Flynn from Red Sky PR

We had a great time on Friday, February 3rd hosting the 2017 Executive MBA Leadership Forum.  Our panel discussion featured two prominent women leaders in Boise discussing Women in Senior Leadership Roles. We were excited to have more than 40 Executive MBA alumni, participants, faculty and many guests attend to ask thought-provoking questions so we could hear from the great minds of our two panelists, Jessica Flynn from Red Sky PR and Erin Nuxoll from Boise Cascade Company. A huge thank you to these women, and to all guests that attended our first forum. Stay tuned to our social media pages and blog for announcements of more in the future.

We will also be hosting our next informational session on Wednesday, February 22 featuring alumni guest speaker Carolyn Hennen, Founder and Owner of The Rag Company. We hope to see you then.

2016 – A great year for Executive MBA

Group of people chatWhat a terrific year Executive MBA experienced in 2016! We graduated a cohort of 21 and welcomed a new cohort of 22.  We reengaged with many of our alumni though excellent speaking events, including Marcus Buckingham, author of “Now, Discover Your Strengths”, and a bash at the new Payette Brewery to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Executive MBA.  I am also happy to announce that we have new social media sites on LinkedIn and Facebook to make it easier to follow our activities and the successes of our alumni, participants, and faculty.

We are continuing the momentum into 2017 with our first Executive MBA Leadership Forum on February 3.  This breakfast/networking event in the Boise State Business Building will feature a panel discussion with three women in senior leadership roles in Boise.  We also have our first Info Session for prospective students on January 25th at 5:30, featuring EMBA alum, Mike Zeigler, Vice President of Global Human Resources at Micron Technology.  We are looking forward to seeing you in 2017!


Mike Zeigler, Vice President of Global HR for Micron Technology, to speak at next EMBA Informational Session

DSC_0348As a reminder, we will be holding our January Informational Session about the Boise State University Executive MBA Program on Wednesday, January 25th from 5:30-7 PM.  We are pleased to announce that Mike Zeigler, Vice President of Global Human Resources for Micron Technology, will be the Alumni Guest Speaker.  He is featured on our Executive MBA Program Overview video on our website.

For more information and to register for the session, please visit:

Zoo Boise Director Steve Burns Stops by EMBA to Discuss Animal Conservation

Executive MBA was pleased to have Steve Burns, Director of the Zoo Boise meet with us today. While the zoo itself is awesome, the work that is being done on Steve Burnsanimal conservation is even more impressive.  Steve is a gifted, successful leader and we are very fortunate to have him here in the Boise community. Check out Zoo Boise and the work being done in Gorongosa Park in Africa if you haven’t heard about it already.

Steve Burns is the director of Zoo Boise and also in line to be the Chair of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. After meeting with Greg Carr and visiting Gorongosa National Park, Burns began steering Zoo Boise in the direction of helping wildlife in places like Gorongosa. This has meant a radical shift in the mission of Zoo Boise. In interviews conducted in Africa and in Boise in 2014, Burns talks about how he views the role of zoos in the modern world and what he thinks of working closely with Gorongosa National Park.

Read more of the Steve Burns interview on the Idaho Public Television website.

Gonzales Taps EMBA Community in CEO Role

curtis-gonzales2When William “Bill” Ziegert, retired recently as Smoke Guard president and general manager, the company’s business leaders chose Boise State EMBA alumnus Curtis Gonzales as Ziegert’s successor and asked him to take on an even larger role and as CEO.  In this role Gonzales has led enormous amounts of change for both his leadership team and the company as a whole. “We [have been] in a growth transition from a one product garage-type company to a sophisticated market leader with a large portfolio of products servicing Passive Smoke & Fire Protection Industry.”curtis-gonzales

Gonzales’ knowledge and experience in implementing change were reinforced and strengthened while attending the Boise State Executive MBA Program.

“EMBA taught me the importance of maintaining our customer intimacy as a competitive advantage though these changes,” Gonzales shares. “EMBA also taught me many things fundamental to business success; finance, economics, marketing, and creating a winning strategy. Luckily, I am not in this alone. I get great support from my team and reaching out to my EMBA network.”

Hennen Goes from Rags to Retail


A company that began in a garage in 1999 has now opened its doors — and its rags — to the public.logobannerclear_1436227399__15743

For any kind of microfiber towel need, chances are The Rag Co, founded by Boise State EMBA alumna Carolyn Hennen, has a solution. So Hennen recently opened The Rag Co’s first retail store in Boise—the place to go for “all things towel.”

The Rag Co develops and sells microfiber towels to businesses and individuals. Its customers generally include hotels, spas, beauty supply stores, auto detailers, cleaning services, outdoor outfitters, restaurants, bars, and electronics manufacturers.

In its how-to videos, the company also provides advice on window cleaning, aviation and automobile detailing, paint correcting and drying, and related topics. And while her EMBA background has equipped Hennen with many of the essentials of running this successful business, some of the company’s secrets come down to its lighthearted approach to the business.

“While microfiber towels may not seem like the most exciting business to be in, we’ve actually made a strong name for ourselves online and around the world by having fun and not taking ourselves too seriously,” said Dane Hennen, creative director.

Quote and background info courtesy The Idaho Statesman.


We chatted with Carolyn and asked a couple of questions about her business and her EMBA experience, below is our conversation.

What were some of the biggest challenges you had when you decided to leave your career in health care and lead your business full time?

The first big challenge was….Fear of the unknown!  My husband and I both took a big leap of faith, thinking that we could support ourselves and our team long term, with our new business.  I’d been in healthcare for 20 years and felt confident with my expertise in echocardiography and management.  I’d worked my way up to a good position with very solid pay and benefits. It was a big risk to make that career change at this point in our lives, but we thought the opportunities were worth it.

The second big challenge once I started to work in our business full time, was the new learning curve.  The microfiber industry doesn’t sound complicated, but it is very detailed oriented and there are many facets to it. I had the basic overall knowledge, but didn’t have time to get into all the details while I was still working and managing the large department at St. Luke’s.  There was a learning curve that was frustrating and unexpected to me. I thought to myself, “If can do echocardiography in open heart surgery, I should be able to figure out the details of microfiber and International shipping quicker!

How much has your business grown over the past two years?

Our business has doubled each year for the past two years.  We believe we have the opportunity to double again this next year too, we’ll see.  We’ve grown from being in our garage two years ago and just moved in to approximately 15,000. Sq. ft. warehouse and office space.  Our processes are becoming much more stream-lined and efficient.

What were the top three things you gained from Executive MBA that have helped you lead and grow the company?

New Perspective – I gained a new perspective through the EMBA program.  I can’t imagine any other environment where you will be exposed to and listen to so many experts in the field of business.  I loved listening to their successes and failures and how they moved forward, with real life experiences.

Innovation – I heard someone say that, “Innovation is not the result of chance, it’s the result of action.” In our small business, we’ve been able to be innovative creating new opportunities, in a fairly traditional industry.  There have been several people who thought we were a little bit crazy to leave our corporate careers and start this venture in our garage and they have been pleasantly surprised with our success.

Finances and Accounting – Even if you have experts that do your accounting and finances, you need to be able to dive into the numbers and recognize if there are any abnormalities or opportunities and what to do to stay on a positive course.

What is your next big challenge?

Greater expansion Internationally with large Distributors. We currently sell our products around the world, but are building a greater number of distributors in different countries, to mitigate risk.  Our brand is becoming more well-known and we’re excited because many of these distributors want to sell our microfiber cloths under our brand name.


Please join us: Informational Session Wednesday, January 25, 2017

We will kick off the new year with a new Informational Session about the Boise State University Executive MBA Program on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 from 5:30-7 PM.

EMBA Informational Sessions are the best place for individuals and companies to learn about this unique program from those who are directly involved. EMBA Faculty members, current EMBA participants, alumni, and program administrators will attend. The sessions will take place at the Micron Business and Economics Building, located at the corner of University and Capitol Blvd in downtown Boise. Parking and logistics information will be emailed to registrants a few days prior to the Information Session. Beverages and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

For more information and to register for the session, please visit:


People gathered at an event