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College of Business and Economics News

Karl Knapp Joining COBE as Professor of the Practice

Karl KnappKarl Knapp, a Boise State alumnus, will come back to campus as a Professor of the Practice. Knapp is a partner at PJT Partners, a global investment bank, based in New York. Knapp has nearly 30 years of experience working in the financial services sector. He will join the College of Business and Economics and the Honors College beginning this August.

“Karl has had a long and successful career in the investment banking industry and is an excellent role model for our students in the Department of Finance,” said Ken Petersen, dean of the College of Business and Economics. “Karl brings a breadth and depth of knowledge and experience to campus that is highly valuable for our faculty and students. We are fortunate to have him joining us as a Professor of the Practice.”

Andrew Finstuen, dean of the Honors College echoed those sentiments adding that he’s thrilled Knapp has been named a professor of the practice.

“For several years, Karl has been mentoring Honors students from afar and served as a counselor to the college as it has grown. I am so pleased to see that his wonderful track record of sharing his expertise with Boise State will be further recognized by this well-deserved appointment,” said Finstuen.

Knapp graduated magna cum laude from Boise State in 1981 with a bachelor of arts degree. While at Boise State, Knapp was named as the University’s second Rhodes Scholar and went on to receive a master’s degree with honours from Oxford University. Knapp is also a graduate of Harvard Business School, receiving a Masters of Business Administration in 1988. Knapp lives in New York City with his wife, Luisa, and has four children.

Students Had One-on-one Networking at Annual CFOs Exposed Event

COBE StudentsApproximately 250 students registered for the 8th annual CFOs Exposed event on March 7 in the Stueckle Sky Center. The event was co-hosted by the Beta Alpha Psi student organization and the Treasure Valley CFO Forum.

The event was kicked off with a keynote speech from J.T. Jones, a TVCFO Forum member. His speech highlighted his nontraditional work path that landed him his current CFO position. “Risk taking and doing the hard work can get you where you want to be,” said Jones.

After Jones’ address, students had structured networking rotations followed by open networking where students could to speak with CFOs of their choice. Students had access to approximately 40 CFOs.

Closing remarks were provided by the current TVCFO Forum President Bachchi Omar. Many students and CFOs lingered afterward to continue engaging conversations. The event was a great success with a significant increase in participants from previous years.

The College of Business and Economics faculty, staff and students thank the Treasure Valley CFO Forum members for their time and commitment to this fantastic networking opportunity for students. We are looking forward to continuing this tradition and keeping registration strong in upcoming years.

Department of Economics Faculty Published Parks and Rec Study

Idaho State Parks Graphic

Idaho State Parks: one of Idaho’s best investments.

The Department of Economics and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation conducted a study of the economic impact of snowmobiles, power boating and state parks. Faculty that worked on this study are Geoffrey Black, Michail Fragkias, Zeynep Hansen, Don Holley and Scott Lowe.

The study found that Idaho’s state parks are a big source of income for the Gem State. Five and a half million people visited an Idaho state park in 2016 and pumped $184 million into the state’s economy. The 30 parks in the system comprise some 60,000 acres of the Gem State.

See a story on the Idaho State Parks study on the Boise State Public Radio website.

Learn more about the Idaho State Parks study on Idaho Parks and Recreation site.

Kim Sherman-Labrum Speaks to Fruitland Chamber of Commerce

Kim Sherman-Labrum


Kim Sherman-Labrum, an associate business consultant for the Idaho Small Business Development Center, recently spoke to attendees of a Fruitland Chamber of Commerce luncheon about tips and tricks to help increase their online presence. Read about her tips in the Argus Observer, “Speaker offers tips on website visibility.” Sherman-Labrum is a Certified Google Partner.



Shark Tank-like Program Held at Boise State

presenter at venture conferenceIn February, 13 teams supported by the Idaho VentureCapital.Org mentors and interns from Boise State University and Idaho State University traveled to Utah to pitch their companies to regional investors at the 34th Annual Investors Choice Venture Capital Conference.

Nine companies from Idaho shared innovative ideas that ranged from robotics and autonomous tractors to financial technology and food products. Other creative solutions include companies that will change how people can use technology for end-of-life services, enable parents peace of mind when their children leave home to attend school and will innovate how commercial lighting contracting services are done. Two companies from out of state who provide innovative solutions to rural healthcare will consider moving or expanding operations to Idaho because of the business community’s willingness to support their entrepreneurial visions.

These emerging enterprises will provide jobs of the future to Idaho graduates and opportunity within Idaho’s expanding economy. Additionally, the success of these companies will invite more investment capital to the State to further enable Idaho’s entrepreneurs. The Strategic Capital Growth Program established through the partnership between the College of Business and Economics and VentureCapital.Org brings a world-class mentor resource to aspiring entrepreneurs with the mission of enabling them greater success in raising essential growth capital from the investment community. Our student interns learn practical business strategy from these emerging innovators and draw a wealth of wisdom from over 600 professional mentors from within our program. Through this program and the efforts within Boise State University, we help entrepreneurs find both treasure and talent to grow their business and create opportunity in Idaho for Idahoans.

In January, Strategic Growth Capital Partnership hosted an investor pitch rehearsal in preparation for the conference attendance. Read the Update story on the SharkTank-like event here.

Jim Kroes and Tom Gattiker Publish Paper in the International Journal of Production Economics

tom gattikerjim kroesTom Gattiker, professor, and Jim Kroes, associate professor in the  Department of Information Technology and Supply Chain Management, recently published a paper, “Operational Leanness and Retail Firm Performance Since 1980” in the International Journal of Production Economics.

The article applies propositions from lean management to the retail industry. Kroes and Gattiker also operate Boise State’s Process Improvement Initiative which helps staff and faculty better understand and improve university processes.

Nancy Napier: Go Simpler on the Tech and Gain Pockets of Isolation

In Nancy Napier’s latest blog for the Idaho Statesman, she recommends setting aside time in your day for deep work – unplug the distractions. It will add value to your organization and your life.

Read Napier’s “Turn off Tech, Create Pockets of Isolation to Be More Productive.”

Nancy Napier is a Distinguished Professor at Boise State University.