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3 Successful Business Owners on Why They Call Boise Home

"There are endless possibilities to create a great life here."

By Brooke Preston on June 18, 2020

Boise ID

Boise isn’t just the Best Place to Live in America (according to Livability’s 2019 list), it’s also an amazing place to work. In fact, Boise’s outstanding work life balance–fostered by a hip downtown and extensive outdoor activities–is drawing professionals away from larger West Coast Cities. The region’s accessibility, relative affordability and community-centric way of life has helped Boise emerge as a modern tech and diverse business hub. This trend is only anticipated to continue as millennial professionals in a post-COVID world seek out a place to put down roots and build their careers that feels safer, cleaner and less congested than the nation’s largest cities.

As the capital of a business-friendly state, Boise’s entrepreneurial, DIY spirit shines in the wide range of businesses that are founded and grown here. We interviewed three local business leaders to ask why Boise is the perfect place to build a business.

George Mulhern

Chairman & CEO, Cradlepoint, Inc.

Established: 2006

Employees: 650

Cradlepoint, Inc. is a technology company that develops and markets “cloud-delivered, wireless wide-area networking solutions for Enterprise, Public Sector and First Responder customers globally.â€

What do you love about doing business in Boise?

“Boise provides a wonderful combination of community support for growing businesses, access to great talent, along with a quality of life for our employees that is unique in my experience.”

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Why did you choose to build your business here?

“The company was founded in Boise and we wouldn’t consider moving it anywhere else. In many ways the culture of our company is reflective of the culture of the Boise community – friendly, innovative and community-oriented. Combining the pioneering, innovative spirit of the West along with the community support where we are all pulling for each other to succeed.”

What do your employees like to do around town when not working?

“Boise provides easy access to activities in some of the most beautiful country in the world. Skiing, river rafting, cycling, mountain biking, hiking, fishing and hunting. Our employees are also very involved in volunteer activities supporting those in need, cultural organizations (music, theater, etc.), STEM education and helping to promote high-tech opportunities.â€

What’s next for your business?

“Continued growth, global expansion, hiring great people and building great products for our customers.â€

Andrew C. (Andy) Erstad, AIA

Principal, erstad ARCHITECTS (eA)

Established: 1998

Employees: 20

erstad ARCHITECTS (eA), is a classic generalist firm whose motto – “different is good†– reinforces quality design as the product of unique applications of materials, simple and honest detailing, and responsiveness to the client’s programmatic needs. From individual buildings to comprehensive master plans, eA’s core mission is to “design projects that enrich the quality of life and improve the surrounding environment through thoughtful, responsible, and sustainable design.”  

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What do you love about doing business in Boise?

“We can have an impact in this great community, having a hand in everything from built projects and realized master plans, to grassroots involvement in the services, arts and city. Life is larger than work.”

Why did you choose to build your business here?

“Born and raised in Boise, it was my desire to be a constructive part of the development the valley will inevitably continue to see, influence the community we are inextricably involved in, and help enhance the quality of life that draws so many here.â€

What do your employees like to do around town when not working?

“The quality of life we are so focused on preserving also inspires our team members to serve the community through involvement on boards and committees. Our team members enjoy a ride on the greenbelt or in the foothills, hiking the trails that frame the city, Shakespeare in the summer, and winter sports – plus the symphony, ballet, and theater in the fall and winter. Zoo Boise, Boise Art Museum, and the Idaho Historical Museum are lunchtime escapes.†

What’s next for your business?

“My team is remarkable, and they challenge me to aim higher every day. We intend to stay on the cutting edge of design and construction technologies, with an eye toward economically viable sustainability. We strive to be innovative stewards of our clients’ resources. We’re inspired by our clients in the Treasure Valley, as well as those who take us with them into other regions and locales. At the end of the day Boise is home, and from here we can do things with passion all over the country.”  

Nick Schlekeway

Founder & CEO of Amherst Madison

Established: 2013

Employees: 8, and 120 independent contractors 

Amherst Madison is a full-service independent real estate brokerage with agents serving customers and clients throughout the state of Idaho, with a strong presence in the Treasure Valley. Headquartered and founded in Boise, Amherst Madison provides a working hub that hosts client meetings, REALTOR® trainings, classes, industry seminars and community events. 

What do you love about doing business in Boise?

“I love doing business in Boise for the same reasons the city is in every ‘Top 10 in the Country’ list: the lifestyle, community, weather, recreation and endless possibilities to create a great life here.â€

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What’s your favorite local spot for a meeting?

“We’ve just finished building a spectacular new office. Having recently moved in, I look forward to holding meetings here, and showing agents and clients around our space. For public meeting places, my standby favorites are Goldie’s Breakfast Bistro, Chandler’s Steakhouse or Java Coffee.â€

What trends are you seeing in Boise-area real estate? 

“The Boise housing market is as hot as it’s ever been. We have extremely low inventory and very high demand. Buyers are coming from Oregon, Washington and California primarily. They’re coming here because Boise’s overall value is the strongest in the Northwest, especially for families or people who telecommute and don’t need to live in a large metro area. It’s also a great spot for retirees. And if you don’t have to live somewhere because of proximity of employment Boise is a wonderful choice.”  

What’s next for your business?

“We are going to continue to expand the value proposition for our current agents, as well as to attract top talent. I’m also looking forward to our ribbon cutting ceremony for our new office with the Boise Chamber this summer.

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