For 13 years Idaho Business Review has recognized 40 accomplished men and women under the age of 40. This year, two of the winners are active members of the Basque community: Ysabel Bilbao, from the University of Idaho, and longtime friend Jill Aldape, from Saint Alphonsus Foundation, were honored on June 14 during the awards ceremony celebrated at Zoo Boise.
The selection process is not easy, as there can only be 40 winners. The young leaders are nominated and chosen by a panel of their peers. This year, out of 143 nominations, 63 completed the application process. The six-member selection panel comprised past Accomplished Under 40 recipients spanning 2003 to 2011, scoring on a 1-5 scale in four categories: professional accomplishments, leadership skills, community involvement and long term goals.
Aside from being successful at their job, both Ysabel and Jill are very involved with the Basque Community. Ysabel was on the Basque Center board for many years and also managed the schedule for the Women’s pala league. Jill is currently known for her role as lead singer in local Basque music group Amuma Says No. Additionally, they were both part of Oinkari Basque Dancers since childhood until a few years ago.
“It is nice to be awarded for your accomplishments and involvement in the community” said Ysabel when I asked how it felt to be accomplished so young. “This is a great community to want to be a part of and help make an even better place. The group of recipients are truly dedicated to their work and the community, so being a part of this group is incredible! I am happy to have received this award with my good friend Jill Aldape. Everyone should give back, get involved. It takes a village to make a great place.”
“I was flattered that my boss and co-workers went to the trouble of nominating me,” said Jill with a smile, “and I was doubly flattered when I saw the company I was in with the other honorees – there are physicians, entrepreneurs, and of course, the fabulous Ysabel Bilbao. It was cool that two Basques were in the mix this year!”
For more details on IBR’s 2012 class of ‘Accomplished Under 40’, check out their April 25 article.