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Idaho Business Leader of the Year

       The Alpha Kappa Psi Idaho Business Leader of the Year (IBLOY) award annually recognizes an Idaho business leader who has demonstrated outstanding business and professional ethics while contributing significant support that is worthwhile to the community, civic, and educational activities. The Delta Upsilon chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi hosts the recipient for a week, culminating with a banquet in their honor at the end.

       This award is distinctive at Idaho State University and throughout the Alpha Kappa Psi national fraternity because the solicitation of nominations, the selection of the honoree, planning of the IBLOY week-long events, and presentation of the award are completely student-driven by the brothers of the Delta Upsilon chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi and have been since 1959. Since its inception, more than fifty elite Idaho business leaders have been recognized. Previous honorees have included a congressman, former governors, entrepreneurs, and leaders of some of Idaho’s largest companies. The recognition program is the longest-standing of its kind in Idaho.

 

How Recipients are Chosen

       Student Brothers are soliciting nominations for consideration throughout the entire year before the event takes place. People from around Idaho nominate someone whom they feel best fits the criteria for the Idaho Business Leader of the Year award. The person writing the nomination fills out the online submission form or emails a copy of the document to our IBLOY Chair.

       After the nomination period is over, the Brothers complete the selection process. They are allowed the use of the Simplot Room on the ISU campus to conduct a non-biased discussion about the nominations, with identifying information removed to ensure the decision remains unbiased. They then vote on each of the nominations based on the presented criteria from the nomination, the discussion, and the Alpha Kappa Psi core values.

       Once the voting has finished, the Brothers plan a trip to the winner's workplace to announce to the winner that they have been chosen for the Idaho Business Leader of the Year award. The planning for the week-long event continues with the Brothers announcing the winner to the public, as well as planning visits to classes in the recipient’s areas of work and interest and events to hold throughout the week with the recipient and up to two business partners of his/her choice. The week ends with a banquet, traditionally on a Thursday night, honoring the recipient and awarding them as the Idaho Business Leader of the Year.

 

2023 Idaho Business Leader of the Year 

Amy Kawahara Rhoads named 63rd Idaho Business Leader of the Year

President and CEO of Citizens Community Bank 

Amy Kawahara Rhoads is a pioneer in professional leadership and demonstrates this through her work ethic, compassion, integrity and honesty. Her career path started over 40 years ago as a loan secretary in the banking industry. Unselfishly, Rhoads has served as Senior Vice President and Branch Administrator throughout her early career.  In 2015, Rhoads earned the title of President and CEO of Citizens Community Bank (CCB) with honor. 

 

18 years prior, Rhoads helped start CCB in June 1997 as a de novo bank. She is one of the three original employees of CCB. Rhoads was recruited by the board of the directors to start the first CCB and be the first branch administrator. For the CCB board of directors, it was vital to find a leader that would recruit and nurture talent while molding a customer-focused, community bank. Ever since her recruitment in 97’, Rhoads has been the backbone of CCB and a critical asset throughout its continued growth over the last two decades. After the first 9 months in business CCB was profitable and has been ever since - thanks to the efforts of Amy, her predecessors, a visionary board of directors and an amazing staff. 

 

 Amy’s accomplishments throughout her career have been monumental.  She has overseen the opening of 6 branches throughout southeast Idaho, and has been instrumental to the growth of CCB that is now over $875 million in assets. Rhoads has expanded her leadership role beyond the walls of Citizens Community Bank, and found a passion for being an active member of the community, focused on making a difference in the lives of her neighbors and colleagues alike. Currently, she is chair for Bannock Development Corporation and the Pocatello Housing Authority. She is a member of Fort Hall Business Advisory, REDI, College of Business Leadership Committee, College of Eastern Idaho, and the Pocatello Chiefs. These are many, but not all of the community organizations Rhoads has been actively impacting over the years. Last but not least, this past year, Amy coordinated the effort with ISU College of Business and ISU Foundation to create the first endowment that will fund financial literacy classes for current students. 

 

As a business leader, Amy emulates the “You Matter Most” employee culture. She embodies this mantra by taking time to get to know each of her employees personally. This is not just as simple as learning their names, but rather she goes out of her way to get to know them on a more personal level. As just one example of this level of dedication to her employees, Amy goes out of her way on hiring anniversaries to bring a homemade dessert and words of congratulations to the person being celebrated. With 108 employees, you can imagine what kind of time, effort and commitment this requires. 

 

Amy Kawahara Rhoads is a true example of the Alpha Kappa Psi values of brotherhood, knowledge, service, integrity, and unity. We are humbly honored to present her with this award, and we would like to invite you to spend an evening with us, celebrating all of her monumental accomplishments and contributions to our community. To support Amy and Alpha Kappa Psi you can Buy tickets here.

Tickets and Sponsorships can be purchased January 16, 2023