Idaho Smart Women, Smart Money Conference - Idaho Everywoman's Financial Conference
Financial Conference - This FREE, extraordinary, all-day event is packed with the information and motivation you need to propel you into the world of "Smart Money"!

2017 Conference Speakers

Speakers and their bios will be added as presenters are confirmed for this year's conference. Feel free to revisit the speakers from the previous year's conference.


Ron  Crane

Ron  Crane - Boise
Idaho State Treasurer

Ron G. Crane was born in Nampa, Idaho. He is a graduate of Nampa Christian High School and later graduated from college with an Associate's Degree. He received an honorary doctorate from Ohio Christian University in 2008. He served as a member in the Idaho National Guard from 1971 -- 1977, receiving recognition as Idaho's Soldier of the Year in 1975.

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Carolyn  Holly

Carolyn  Holly - Boise
Emcee

A long time and active member of the Treasurer Valley, Carolyn Holly currently serves as Vice President of Marketing, Communication, and Public Relations for Saint Alphonsus Health System. Within the new role, Carolyn serves as a key liaison to the communities that Saint Alphonsus serves. She is an instrumental part of developing meaningful relationships with local resources and organizations, evolving a strategy for public collaboration, and advancing Saint Alphonsus' mission to be a transformative healing presence within the community.

Carolyn enjoyed a 33 year career at KTVB Channel 7 television, where she became one of Idaho's most experienced and best known television personalities. Carolyn has acted as an important representative and volunteer for many Treasurer Valley organizations including Boise Public Schools Foundation, Idaho Youth Sports Commission, the Saint Alphonsus Foundation, FUNDSY and the FACES Foundation.


Keynote Speakers

Jesse & Kelly Cottle

Jesse & Kelly Cottle - Boise
Keynote Speakers

Jesse Cottle was a Staff Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. In July 2009, during his fourth combat deployment, he stepped on an undetected IED and lost both of his legs to the explosion. During his recovery in San Diego, he met Kelly, a former Boise State swimmer, and the two were married in August of 2012. A year later a photo of the couple went "viral" and they were able to share their story with the world. Their hope now is to continue to share their story and their own challenges to encourage others who might need it.


Conference Coaches

Nicole Sherman

Nicole Sherman - Boise
Conference Coach

Nicole Sherman is a dynamic leader-builder in the financial industry with over 25 years of broad-based experience. She currently serves as Senior Vice President & Puget Sound Market Region Manager in Retail Administration for Columbia Bank.
Nicole is passionate about people and as such was nominated for the Columbia Bank “Excellence in Leadership Award”, the highly regarded W.W. Philip Award and was formerly named only 1 of 4 women to the “Top 40 Under Forty” Business Executives by Utah Business Magazine as well as being named as a “Top 20 Under Forty Rising Star” by the Inland NW Catalyst Magazine.
She currently serves as a top-rated Faculty Member for Pacific Coast Banking Graduate School at University of Washington and serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for United Way of Pierce County.



Hall of Fame Inductees

Nancy Lyle

Nancy Lyle - Moscow
Hall of Fame Inductee




Conference Speakers

Paul Agidius

Paul Agidius - Moscow
Attorney at Law

Fundamentals of Estate Planning

After serving seven years in the U. S. Navy submarine service, Paul attended the University of Idaho and graduated with a degree in accounting. He then worked for the international accounting firm of Touche, Ross and Co. out of their Boise office for three years before returning to the University of Idaho and obtaining his Juris Doctorate degree. Since 1984 he has practiced law here in Moscow. He is a member of the Taxation, Probate and Trust Law Section of the Idaho State Bar and a high percentage of his business is devoted to estate planning and probate law.Paul


Kara Besst

Kara Besst - Moscow
President and CEO, Gritman Medical Center

Being Prepared for a Medical Emergency

Kara

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Doug  Cox

Doug  Cox - Moscow
Vice Presidnet and Commercial Banking Officer, Columbia Bank

Douglas Cox graduated from Lacrosse High School and Washington State University in ’93 with a degree in Agri Business Management and minors in Real Estate and Economics.

Doug has a combined 23 years of commercial banking / lending experience with 18 years served in the Pullman and Moscow communities. Doug has assisted in a variety of projects covering agriculture, commercial real estate, SBA, Small business start-up, Bio Tech, Vineyard & Electrical Engineering sectors along with experience in the appraisal and mortgage sectors.

Doug remains active in the community serving as the Pullman Chamber Board Member/Treasurer, Pullman Civil Service Chairman, Past Pullman Chamber of Commerce President, WSU Student Athlete Mentor Program, Palouse Discovery Science Center Board Member, WSU Guest Lecturer, WSU Business Plan Competition Judge & FFA State Judge. Being involved in the community and assisting with regional change and growth has been a highlight over the past 18 years.

Doug’s hobbies include golf, skiing, boating, fishing, hiking, scuba diving and following the sun and Jimmy Buffett wherever they may be.

Doug has two kids; Daughter, Reagan, is a sophomore at Pullman High School and son, Hunter, will be a freshman at Washington State University this fall.



Beth Davidson Carroll

Beth Davidson Carroll - Moscow
Senior Vice President, EVERFI

Beth

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Mandi  Denning

Mandi  Denning - Moscow
Owner & Founder of Healing Hands Maasage Therapy and the Altura Massage College

Mandi Denning, Owner and Founder of Healing Hands Massage Clinic and Co-Owner/Founder of Altura College of Massage.
Mandi Denning relocated to Pullman, WA 20 years ago prior to starting high school and has mostly remained there since. In 2003, Mandi graduated with honors from Ashmead College of Massage's Everett campus and shortly after opened her own massage business, Healing Hands. In November 2012 she started hiring employees. Now Healing Hands Massage Clinic has 2 locations (Pullman and Moscow) and 10 employees. Mandi manages company finances, marketing, and staff. She also continues to evaluate and treat approximately 18 massage patients each week.
Mandi's passion for massage therapy lead her to open Altura College of Massage in 2015 with co-founder David Osborne where she is an instructor and the Program Director. They have graduated 8 successful students into the massage therapy field. Altura College is currently in the accreditation process with the Commission On Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) and will be the second school in Washington to gain their accreditation.
Mandi is married to Jason Denning (who graduated from the U of I College of Business and Economics) and has two children. She is active in her profession as the Financial Administrator for the Washington Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). She is active in her community through volunteering for Pullman Regional Hospital Auxiliary’s Have-a-Heart fundraiser, chairing the Sunnyside Elementary PTO organized Career Day, as well as teaching Sunday school weekly to 10 year olds.



Tecla Druffel

Tecla Druffel - Moscow
Bankruptcy Attorney

Tecla is a bankruptcy lawyer focused on resolving clients’ financial problems efficiently and favorably, both inside and outside of the courtroom. She has served both individual and business clients in the areas of debtor bankruptcy, creditors’ rights, debt settlement and other commercial disputes. Tecla also advises clients and other attorneys on bankruptcy and debt collection compliance issues.
Tecla’s legal experience includes four years as a bankruptcy attorney in Lewiston, Idaho. Prior to that she worked in general civil practice in Moscow, Idaho. Tecla attended law school at the University of Idaho College of Law, where she served as a research assistant in the areas of media and first amendment law.
Tecla serves as a board member for the Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section of the Idaho State Bar. She is also employed as a lecturer at the University of Idaho College of Law and teaches a bankruptcy law lab course to the students.
Tecla is married to a fifth generation Palouse farmer. She enjoys traveling, gardening, volunteering with her local 4-H Club and spending time with her husband and young daughter.


Casey Holcomb

Casey Holcomb - Moscow
District Manager, Wells Fargo Bank

What Women Want: Small Business Success

Casey Holcomb is a District Manager for Wells Fargo Community Banking. She is responsible for 10 branches and more than 60 team members, comprising the North Central District. A 17 year veteran of Wells Fargo, Casey began her career in college as a teller, earning positions with increasing responsibility.

A big believer in giving back to our communities, Casey actively participates and represents Wells Fargo in various community, civic, and professional organizations. Currently, Casey serves on the City of Moscow Fair and Affordable Housing Commission, is on the board of directors for Community Action Partnership as the Latah County representative, is on the board for Palouse Prairie Charter School, and mentors a second grade student through Moscow Mentors. She partnered with Palouse Habitat for Humanity on the three most recent Team Member Volunteer Program builds, and also represents Wells Fargo as the sponsor of the annual Boys and Girls Club Breakfast for Kids. Previously, Casey served four years as the Treasurer for Sojourners’ Alliance, for five years on the board for the Stockton Shelter for the Homeless, and as a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters in California.

Casey is no stranger to leadership, having spent 15 of the last 17 years in management positions with Wells Fargo, which taught her the importance of teams, people as a competitive advantage, and embracing diversity. Casey has a strong track record of building engaged teams; reflecting her passion for ensuring each team member feels valued and successful. With a diverse background of volunteer work and a passion for building strong teams, Casey’s involvement in non-profits over the years has led to many successful fundraising events, grant opportunities, community growth and development, and professional relationships.

Casey has been awarded numerous times for her leadership, receiving the Management Excellence Award from Wells Fargo in 2014, and attending the Leadership and Learning Conference reserved for the top ten percent of leaders in the Wells Fargo footprint. Most recently she was honored as one of Idaho Business Review’s Women of the Year for 2017, and nominated for the “Accomplished Under 40” award. This is in part due to strides made involving her teams in community service, increasing North Central Idaho volunteerism from 400 to almost 900 hours within the last two years. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies from California State University, Channel Islands, and relocated to Idaho in 2011 after the birth of her daughter. Casey married a Latah County Sheriff in September of 2015, and has three children together with her husband, ranging from 4 to 14, all active participants in many athletic, artistic and community activities on the Palouse.


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Carolyn  Holly

Carolyn  Holly - Boise
SWSM Board Member

What's My Personal Brand & Why Should I Care?

A long time and active member of the Treasurer Valley, Carolyn Holly currently serves as Vice President of Marketing, Communication, and Public Relations for Saint Alphonsus Health System. Within the new role, Carolyn serves as a key liaison to the communities that Saint Alphonsus serves. She is an instrumental part of developing meaningful relationships with local resources and organizations, evolving a strategy for public collaboration, and advancing Saint Alphonsus' mission to be a transformative healing presence within the community.

Carolyn enjoyed a 33 year career at KTVB Channel 7 television, where she became one of Idaho's most experience and best known television personalities. Carolyn has acted as an important representative and volunteer for many Treasurer Valley organizations including Boise Public Schools Foundation, Idaho Youth Sports Commission, the Saint Alphonsus Foundation, FUNDSY and the FACES Foundation.


Daniel Kline

Daniel Kline - Moscow
Certified Senior Mortgage Examiner, Idaho Department of Finance

Mortgage 101: Processes and Pitfalls!

Daniel Kline works for the Idaho Department of Finance Consumer Finance Bureau as a Certified Senior Mortgage Examiner. Responsibilities include examiner training, field examination, licensing, and investigations of licensees regulated by the Department. Over 24 years’ experience in consumer finance ranging from mortgage, consumer lending, credit, credit cards, credit bureau reporting and scoring, ID Theft, and collections.


Chris Loseth

Chris Loseth - Moscow
President & CEO, Potlatch No. 1 Federal Credit Union

Real Life on a Budget: An Interactive Workshop

Chris is in his 29th year as President & CEO of Potlatch No. 1 Federal Credit Union. P1FCU has a 12 city operation with 17 branches, 230 employees and 77,000 members with $875,000,000 in assets.

Chris is a Texas A&M University graduate with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Accounting. He serves on numerous local and national boards of directors for non-profit organizations, is the Chairman of the Asotin School Board, a Distinguished Life Trustee of the St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, and founding board member of ROC Rescue Mission. Chris' family pioneered in Clearwater County and he is a true Orofino Maniac.

Chris has been named the "Idaho Credit Union Professional of the Year" by the Idaho Credit Union League and was named the "2012 Business Person of the Year" for Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington by the Lewiston Morning Tribune.

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Aziz Makhani

Aziz Makhani - Moscow
Certified Business Advisor and Certified Technology Consultant, Small Business Development Center

Aziz joined the SBDC network in 2015 with over 35 years’ experience in various high technology disciplines and companies. Additionally, he has created three successful startups. He recently brought a board game to market. In his latest endeavor, Aziz gained invaluable experience leveraging social media to stimulate business growth. Aziz has an M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and an MBA.
The Pullman area WSBDC office serves a wide community spanning Whitman, Garfield and Asotin counties in Washington. In the true spirit of collaboration, Aziz advocates peer-to-peer support. He brings his experience in product development, marketing and sales worldwide, quality assurance and on and offshore production to stimulate new business growth. Aziz has traveled extensively on business to Europe and Asia.
Additionally, utilizing the resources of the two universities in the area, Aziz maintains close collaboration with the academia. He regularly sponsors undergraduate projects on campus and teaches classes.



Kurt Merritt

Kurt Merritt - Moscow
LIcensed Attorney, Securities Analyst, Idaho Department of FInance

ROBO Advisors- Passing Fancy, Financial Revolution

Kurt Merritt is an Idaho licensed attorney working as a Securities Analyst for the Idaho Department of Finance. He has more than 18 years of securities regulation and securities compliance related experience. As an analyst, he regularly conducts examinations of Idaho registered investment advisors and reviews applications to register stock and other securities. He has also investigated numerous cases of investment fraud as an analyst and as an enforcement attorney for the Arizona Corporation Commission. Kurt has also had experience in the private sector working as a senior compliance analyst for Charles Schwab's institutional compliance department. Kurt is originally from Arizona but has been happily living in Idaho for 12 years.

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Brooke Ramstad

Brooke Ramstad - Boise
Investment Advisor, Principal - Rathbone Warwick Investment Management

Brooke Ramstad is an Investment Advisor, Principal who began working at Rathbone Warwick in 2008. She meets with clients on a regular basis to map out long term plans that allow them to achieve comfortable stability, whether in growing their assets or successfully navigating life’s twists and turns. “If I can help one family feel secure during a moment of financial upheaval during their life, I have done my job.” Brooke is a member of the firm’s investment and leadership committees, managing the firm’s portfolio and business respectively. As Chapter Council Adviser to the Zeta Pi chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma at the College of Idaho, Brooke works to pass on the knowledge she has attained working with Rathbone Warwick and mentors college students to spearhead their own successful careers as future businesswomen. When Brooke is not running or walking the beautiful Boise River Greenbelt with her husband and two young children, she assists in fundraising efforts for the Women and Children’s Alliance.

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Karen Richel

Karen Richel - Moscow
Associate Professor and Extension Educator in Family and Consumer Sciences for Latah County

Who Gets Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate?

Karen Richel is an Associate Professor and Extension Educator in Family and Consumer Sciences for Latah County and is the Family Finance educator in the ten North Idaho counties. Providing the communities that she serves with research-based information, Karen specializes in providing basic financial education for every age and socioeconomic group including low-income families, soon-to-be-released prisoners, and students. She offer classes, workshops and simulations on topics ranging from goal setting and tracking expenses to retirement and end-of-life planning. In addition, she is an Accredited Financial Counselor and a Certified Money Coach. These designations allow her to provide free, one-on-one counseling sessions to help community members build strong financial foundations and secure balanced financial lives.


Rusty  Schatz

Rusty  Schatz - Moscow
Vice President, Financial Advisor, D.A. Davidson

Rusty was raised on a ranch in Wyoming where he developed a passion for hard work and the satisfaction that comes from helping others. He earned his Bachelor's degree from the University of Idaho in Business Management. After working for companies in Portland and Southern Oregon he returned to the Palouse in 2008 to join D.A. Davidson & Co. He is Vice-President, Financial Advisor at D.A. Davidson with designations as a Certified Wealth Strategist and a Portfolio Manager. He focuses on the following areas of wealth management with his clients: Simplification of complex financial issues with a roadmap designed to achieve their goals while enjoying the lifestyle they desire, development of a plan aimed at allowing their money to continue to work for them throughout their lifetime, wealth protection, and straightforward advice and personalized solutions. He is active in the community participating in the Lions Club, Boy Scouts, and other local charitable organizations. His passion is spending time in the outdoors with his wife and four daughters.


Nicole  Sherman

Nicole  Sherman - Moscow
SVP, Market Region Manager, Columbia Bank

Don't Call It A Budget!

Nicole Sherman is a dynamic leader-builder in the financial industry with over 25 years of broad-based experience. She currently serves as Senior Vice President & Puget Sound Market Region Manager in Retail Administration for Columbia Bank.
Nicole is passionate about people and as such was nominated for the Columbia Bank “Excellence in Leadership Award”, the highly regarded W.W. Philip Award and was formerly named only 1 of 4 women to the “Top 40 Under Forty” Business Executives by Utah Business Magazine as well as being named as a “Top 20 Under Forty Rising Star” by the Inland NW Catalyst Magazine.
She currently serves as a top-rated Faculty Member for Pacific Coast Banking Graduate School at University of Washington and serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for United Way of Pierce County.



Rob Stewart

Rob Stewart - Moscow
Vice President and SBA Loan Officer, Columbia Bank

Ah, So You Want to Start a Business?

Rob began working in the banking industry over 30 years ago, before ATM’s. He’s seen a lot of change and a lot of what makes businesses highly successful. Rob’s married to an entrepreneur who, with the help of her brothers, started Sella’s pizza in Pullman in 1987. They have 3 grown sons and are life-long residents of the Inland Northwest. Rob currently serves as the Columbia Bank SBA Loan Officer for the State of Idaho, Eastern Washington and Eastern Oregon.


Kumi Yamamoto Baruffi

Kumi Yamamoto Baruffi - Moscow
Executive Vice President and General Counsel

Kumi Yamamoto Baruffi joined Columbia Banking System ad Columbia Bank in September 2014 as Executive Vice President and General Counsel. Ms. Baruffi oversees Columbia's legal services, including providing legal support for the company's board of directors, and legal oversight of corporate and regulatory matters.

Prior to joining Columbia, Ms. Baruffi was a partner with the Seattle-based law firm of Graham & Dunn, serving on its board of directors and financial services team. Her practice focused on mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and regulatory compliance.

She holds a law degree from Boston University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Wellesley College. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Tokyo, Japan, Ms. Baruffi has made the Northwest her home for the past 20 years. She has served on the board of directors for the Japanese American Chamber of Commerce, is a trustee of ArtsFund, and in 2014 was named one of "Washington's Super Lawyers" in Banking.

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