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2022 Distinguished Under 40

The Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 2022 crop of exceptional young professionals.

Published in the February 2023 Issue Published online: Feb 08, 2023 Business
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The Greater Idaho Falls Chambers of Commerce (GIFCC) has announced the 2022 Distinguished Under 40 honorees. Distinguished Under 40 is an annual awards program exclusive to East Idaho. It honors 12 young professionals who have gone above and beyond to accomplish great things in their careers, community and education. To be considered for this award, young professionals are nominated by co-workers, managers and business associates. Winners are selected by a panel of GIFCC past and present members.

The 2022 honorees are: Amanda Logan, Ashley Jo Winters-Glenn, Brady Bloxham, Carissa Coats, Dakota Roberson, Dallin Draney, Dusty Johns, Emily FitzPatrick Harris, Jake Davis, Kristina Buchan, Nicole Keller and Whitney Pond.

Amanda Logan, the Director of External Affairs for College of Eastern Idaho (CEI), is an accomplished public affairs leader with extensive experience in outreach and engagement as well as policy research, analysis and implementation at the national and local levels. Born and raised in Idaho Falls, Amanda moved back East for her undergraduate education and first dozen years of her public service career. Prior to returning to her hometown, Amanda held advisory, leadership and policy analyst roles at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the US Department of the Treasury and nonprofits in Washington, DC.

Amanda earned a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School and graduated summa cum laude from Moravian University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science. She is a member of several community organizations, including Idaho Falls Rotary, Civitan and the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce Young Professional Network. She also serves as the Mayor’s Representative and Chair of the Idaho Falls Sister Cities Advisory Committee.

Whether she is writing a communication to Idaho National Laboratory to help them understand complicated technical information or helping you find your favorite book, Ashley Jo Winters-Glenn is passionate about helping others. She started at INL as an administrative assistant at the Advanced Test Reactor and now works as Stakeholder Communications for Information Management, working for INL for over six years. Her second job is as a bookseller at Barnes & Noble, where she has served in many roles during her 16-year tenure. Ashley Jo also worked for EICAP and SEICAA where she helped many in the community with financial and energy assistance. After losing her brother to suicide in 2015, mental health and suicide awareness and prevention became her life’s mission.

Ashley Jo is a strong advocate for inclusion and diversity, having served on ATR’s Inclusion Council as an Inclusion Champion and as a member of the Women in Technology leadership council. She also serves her fellow employees on the CARE Committee and is a United Way Ambassador. Ashley Jo has helped Habitat for Humanity, served as a pod leader at Night at the Museum and works closely with Community Suicide Prevention as one of their biggest advocates.

Ashley Jo has a bachelor’s degree in English from Idaho State University where she served on a professor’s tenure committee and completed a service project for Housing Works in New York City. She is a single mom of two beautiful children and can always be found in Jackson Hole or close to her favorite mountains, the Tetons.

Brady Bloxham is a cybersecurity executive, entrepreneur and venture capital investor. His technical prowess proved indispensable while beginning his career developing offensive tools and capabilities and conducting covert network operations for the National Security Agency and Department of Defense. His passion for quality and attention to detail was essential to starting his first two companies, Silent Break Security in 2011 and PhishThreat in 2015.

As a cybersecurity executive, he built world-class teams to develop industry-leading platforms and provide cybersecurity training to companies and governments across more than 30 countries. He eventually led both companies through successful acquisitions. PhishThreat was acquired first by United Kingdom based Sophos in 2016. More recently, Silent Break Security was acquired by Minneapolis-based NetSPI in 2020. Brady’s passion for education and training led to his latest venture, CourseOps, a platform providing hands-on lab and lesson instruction of the latest in real-world cyber threats.

Brady is also staying involved in the cybersecurity and technology startup industry through venture capital and start-up advising roles with Wunder Entertainment and RiseUp Capital. In his spare time, Brady enjoys working on his small ranch with his family, boating and playing sports.

Carissa Coats has been a realtor for nearly a decade and is currently an associate broker with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Voigt Davis. She not only loves helping her clients navigate through the process of buying and selling homes, but helps to manage the brokerage, trains and assists other agents and fights with ever changing technology daily. Carissa is a member of the Greater Idaho Falls Association of Realtors Board of Directors where she has served as the social chair since 2020 and is slated to be president of the association in 2024. She was appointed to the Bonneville Joint School District #93 Board of Trustees in 2021 and won re-election shortly after.

Born and raised in West Jordan, Utah, Carissa came to the Idaho Falls area to work as a news producer and reporter for KIFI-TV. In 2019 She was recruited back to her broadcasting roots doing morning drive-time Radio for a short time with KUPI-FM but left in the spring of 2020 to homeschool her children because of a global pandemic. She graduated with an Associate of Science degree from the College of Eastern Utah and a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Southern Utah University.

Carissa and her husband Michael live in Ammon with their four children. She believes her children are her biggest accomplishment and is striving to help make this world a better place for them.

Dakota Roberson is Assistant Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Idaho, having recently returned from serving as a White House Fellow at the U.S. Department of Defense. He is an Associate of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies where he directs a research team focused on electrical grid security and stability, is an advisor to the Air Force Chief Scientist and recently served on the DoD Defense Science Board. He is also a Nuclear Engineering Affiliate Faculty and holds a joint appointment with the Idaho National Laboratory in National & Homeland Security.Dr. Roberson has collaborated with national laboratories, electric utilities, private stakeholders and universities to address 21st century energy system threats and his engineering courses are designed to prepare students for careers in this rapidly evolving area. To better serve his region, Dakota promotes STEM education through secondary school outreach and public speaking engagements to spark the curiosity of young scientists. He also acts as an advisor to regional energy infrastructure programs and several tech startups.

This year, Dakota started the Idaho Falls Motocross Association to bring back dirt bike racing to East Idaho. Dakota was awarded a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with a Graduate Minor in Statistics at the University of Wyoming, where he won the Fisher Innovation Challenge for contributions to energy storage control and holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Minor Mathematics, from the same institution. In his free time, he is an avid outdoorsman and motorcyclist and can be found playing guitar or painting during the winter months.

Dallin Draney was born and raised in Rexburg. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from BYU-Idaho he started his career as a design engineer at AMET in Rexburg, where he did his internship. In 2013 he started with Northwest Cosmetics, now Elevation Labs, as their Mechanical Engineer. He has helped integrate new technologies, buildings and other companies as Elevation Labs did acquisitions and grew.

He now manages a team of engineers and works with maintenance and facilities as Director of Engineering. He contributes his career growth to the excellent mentors he has at Elevation Labs. His business passion is designing and sourcing new technologies to help productivity, safety and quality. He enjoys mentoring his employees and interns and building upon the foundations his mentors have built before him.

In 2020, Dallin was diagnosed with embryonal carcinoma testicular cancer and endured two months of chemotherapy. Today he is healthy and very active biking during any season with friends and family. Dallin and his wife Clarissa have four wonderful children. The family enjoys gardening, being outdoors, and being active.

Dusty Johns, the Community Marketing Manager for Just 4 Kids Urgent Care, is an accomplished marketing and public relations professional in East Idaho. At the start of his career, Dusty was an on-air radio DJ with Z103. After spending 15 years in radio, Dusty hung up his headphones to pursue a career in marketing. Throughout his career, Dusty has been able to implement incredibly successful marketing campaigns for various businesses in East Idaho. He has helped with marketing efforts for both Melaleuca and Brad Hall Companies. Before landing in his current role at Just 4 Kids Urgent Care, Dusty was the marketing manager for Brad Hall Companies’ Good 2 Go Stores.

In 2015, Dusty suffered from a cerebrospinal fluid leak in his brain. He has survived dozens of brain surgeries since then, and still suffers from long term side effects. Dusty serves as the vice chair of the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors and as a committee member for the Hall Foundation.

He also owns and operates Bee the DJ Event DJs, as well as Ignite Marketing & Consulting, a freelance marketing representation for local businesses. Dusty’s ‘Bee Kind Movement’ is an active, give-back initiative that aims to motivate and inspire in word and action. This movement focuses largely on helping single mothers and people who fall through the cracks of the system. Dusty has two sons, 11 and 10. They love to spend their time traveling, bicycling and serving their community

Emily FitzPatrick Harris fell in love with Idaho Falls in 2018 when she joined Harris Publishing. During her time as Assistant Editor, she wrote articles for Houseboat, Great Lakes Boating and Pontoon & Deck Boat magazines. At just 25 years old, Emily became Editor of Idaho Falls Magazine. During her time at the helm of the magazine, she participated in a redesign, honed her eye for photography and wrote numerous stories articulating the wonderful places and people found in East Idaho.

Earlier this year, she joined the Idaho Falls Regional Airport as the Business Development Manager. During her short time with the airport, she has revolutionized their social media channels, commenced the airport arts program and restarted internal advertising operations. Originally from Florida, Emily spent her early years volunteering at the Sanford Florida Zoo and participating in band. After graduating high school, Emily served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Huancayo, Peru and earned her bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University-Idaho.

Emily lives in Idaho Falls with her husband David and their two miniature dachshunds (Sullivan and Atlas). In her spare time, she returns to her English major roots, reading and writing until her heart’s content. Emily also serves as a member of the Idaho Falls Rotary Club.

Jake Davis was born in Utah but moved all over the country in his youth. He attended six elementary schools, two middle schools, one junior high and then finally graduated high school from Skyline High School in Idaho Falls. After high school he went to Boise State University where he graduated cum laude with a degree in Business Administration with an entrepreneurial focus. Jake was honored by his professors by being voted as the honorary graduate.

After college, Jake took a job with Electrical Wholesale Supply Co., Inc., an Idaho based company. He worked in many aspects of the business, focusing mostly on project management. During his tenure in project management, he produced the highest sales in the company. Eventually, Jake would be named Vice President in 2012 as well as being voted onto the board. In 2020, the board unanimously named him President. The company has seen two years of record sales and profits.

Jake enjoys riding, spending time with his 11-year-old son, riding his Harley, golfing, cooking on his cast iron, dirt biking, paddle boarding, mountain biking, skiing, snowmobiling and video games. Jake boasts of nearly 20 plants and not one casualty yet. He looks forward to many years leading Electrical Wholesale.

Kristina Buchan is the City Clerk, Mayor’s Assistant and Public Information Officer for the City of Ammon. She has been with the city since January of 2020. Kristina was raised on the west side of Idaho Falls and attended Skyline High School. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and Political Science from Carroll College in Helena, Mont. During her time at Carroll, Kristina was a member of the Talking Saints Forensics (speech and debate) Team and finished her career as the 2011 Pacific Northwest MVP, a member of the National All-American Team, and in the top 16 in the nation for impromptu speaking.

She returned to East Idaho in 2014 and began working at the College of Eastern Idaho, then EITC. Kristina served in the Vice President and President’s Offices and as the Board Secretary for the newly created Community College Board of Trustees. Kristina is currently working towards a Masters of Public Administration from Idaho State University and will graduate in May of 2023.

In her free time, Kristina serves on the Board of Directors for the Community Outreach Center that oversees the Soup Kitchen, FreeMed and other local nonprofits. She enjoys hiking, paddle-boarding, traveling and cooking.

Nicole Keller was born and raised on the west side of Idaho Falls and graduated from Skyline High School in 2005. She was raised by a single mother who worked two jobs to make ends meet. This instilled in her a strong work ethic and drive to open opportunities for her future. After high school, Nicole started her prerequisite classes for mortuary school while working full time. She graduated from Arapahoe Community College in 2014 with an associate degree in Mortuary Science. She dove headfirst into her apprenticeship at Wood Funeral Home in 2015 and became a licensed mortician and funeral director in 2016.

In 2019, Nicole became the crematory manager for both Idaho Falls and Ammon locations. Death is a hard subject for a lot of people to broach and the events following the death of a loved one can often leave a lasting impact. Nicole works incredibly hard to be a comforting presence for families that are navigating their grief. To her, being the person to assist families in the final transition of their loved ones has been both a privilege and an honor.

Nicole still resides on the west side of Idaho Falls and enjoys spending time with her family, her significant other and her dogs. She loves animals of all kinds, loves to read and enjoys finding ways to be creative in her free time.

Since her teenage years, Whitney Pond knew that she wanted to create a career for herself in the world of cosmetology. After graduating high school, Whitney attended Vogue Beauty College. In 2009, she graduated from Vogue and passed her state exams to gain her cosmetology license. Shortly after, she started renting booth space from a local salon. During this time, Whitney did whatever she could to build her clientele and create a name for herself in the beauty industry.

In 2012, Whitney married her husband, Tanner, and soon after their first daughter was born. Delainee was born with seven heart defects and had four of those repaired at just five days old. Whitney’s career was put on hold as she adjusted to being a mom and caring for Delainee’s needs. A year later, their son, Silas, was born. Despite all the challenges of being a young mom of two, Whitney decided to start working again.

She became the manager of a local salon and soon after, co-owner. During this time, Whitney and her husband welcomed their third child, Madison. In February 2020, Whitney’s family experienced the greatest tragedy one could ever face when they lost their oldest daughter, Delainee, to a heart surgery complication. Whitney stepped away from the beauty industry again, this time to focus on her family and her mental health. In August of 2021, Whitney created BLVSH Salon in memory of her daughter. BLVSH Salon’s goal is to create a space where everyone who comes in feels loved, listened to and supported.


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