DU40 Spotlight: Lezhai Gulbransen

The Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce celebrates a fresh crop of standout young professionals

Published online: Mar 02, 2020 Articles, Best of IF, East Idaho Business
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IDAHO FALLS -- The Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce (GIFCC) has announced its annual Distinguished Under 40 honorees. Distinguished Under 40 is an awards program exclusive to the eastern Idaho area that honors 10 young professionals who have gone above and beyond to accomplish great things in their careers, community and education. To be considered for the award, young professionals are nominated by co-workers, managers and business associates. Winners are selected by a panel of GIFCC past and present board members. Fifty nominations were received this year.

This Week's Spotlight: Lezhai Gulbransen

Lezhai was born and raised in Rigby, Idaho with an abnormally large family -- nine brothers, three sisters, and countless step-siblings.

After completing her first marathon at age 30, she had a strong desire to provide others with the same opportunity. Idaho Falls didn’t have a marathon, so she decided to produce one. She pitched her plan to Donny Osmond for backing through his charitable program, “Making A Difference” (M.A.D.). With Donny’s support, she launched the M.A.D. Marathon, which became the Idaho Falls Marathon that welcomed thousands of people worldwide and raised almost $250,000 benefiting local deaf children and Westside Elementary.

She went on to serve as Executive Director and then Chief Operations Officer of the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund (OOHF), a charity founded by the world-renowned Osmond Family to benefit the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Under Lezhai’s leadership, the OOHF raised nearly a million dollars through significant fundraising events. 

In 2015 she launched ZCreated, a small-business and nonprofit consulting company supporting local entrepreneurs to build and grow their organizations. In 2018 Lezhai accepted the position as Executive Director of the Bonneville Youth Development Council (BYDC).

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