Local Businessmen Share Words of Wisdom

Article by Julie Meyer

Photography by Jonni Armani

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

With years of experience in their fields and a passion for what they do, these Boise businessmen share some of the lessons they have learned along the way. They have overcome obstacles, challenged themselves and had some fun along the way. Each has found success doing what they love.  

“The people who make it to the top—whether they’re musicians or great chefs or corporate honchos—are addicted to their calling … [they] are the ones who’d be doing whatever it is they love, even if they weren’t being paid.” –Quincy Jones

Roy Eiguren

Managing Partner, Eiguren Ellis Public Policy Firm

Words to Live By: “Just do it!”

Life Lesson: "Over the course of my career, I’ve learned numerous life lessons. Those lessons can be summarized as maintain a strong work ethic, be honest and ethical—and be patient."

What is your favorite thing about your job?

The opportunity to play a significant role in the development of public policy. I’m fortunate to represent a significant number of national and local blue-chip clients with federal and state elected and appointed officials. The result of my work has been and continues to be the development of major legislation, rules and policies.

How did a mentor influence your life?

I have had several great mentors, including my father. All have instilled in me the values of hard work, integrity and respect.

Rick Johnson

Executive Director, Idaho Conservation League

Words to Live By: “Nothing is so effective in keeping one young and full of lust as a discriminating palate thoroughly satisfied at least once a day.” –Angelo Pellegrini      

"In other words, eat well. How well you feed all aspects of your life makes a difference in how much fun life is."

Life Lesson: "One person can make a difference. This lesson, learned over and over, empowered me as a volunteer to step forward and try to help protect wild places. Later, helping empower thousands of others to make a difference led me to running Idaho’s largest conservation organization, which I’ve now done for 24 years. This lesson has helped protect the Boise Foothills and wilderness in Idaho’s Owyhee Canyonlands and Boulder-White Clouds. It’s helped protect our clean air and water. It’s taken me from catching an extended hand to cross a mountain stream to shaking hands with the president of the United States in the Oval Office of the White House."

What is your favorite thing about your job?

While I got into this work to protect special places, and I’ve had many successes, the reason I’ve stayed in this work are all the special people I have met and worked with. These range from leaders like Cecil Andrus, Bethine Church and Mike Simpson to the remarkable next generation of conservationists I get to see each day. Through this work, I’ve met presidents and become friends with people I once thought of as opponents. Love of Idaho—and doing something to protect it—brings remarkable people together. A great writer of the West, Wallace Stegner, wrote that we will not have succeeded “until we create a society to match the scenery.” My favorite thing about my job is the people.

What is the best decision you ever made?

Playing off the poet Robert Frost, I chose the path less traveled, and it has made all the difference. I chose a path based on my love of Idaho’s outdoors and the then-uncertain sense that I could meaningfully contribute to helping protect it. I didn’t seek a career, per se, but after decades, it’s clear a career in public service found me. Taking this path made all the difference. I’ve had a great career with an impact that is lasting and good and built a team bringing this work to new generations. Once I chose this path, prompted by the challenges of Idaho politics, I consciously decided I was in this work to make a difference rather than make a point. I work in politics, and too few in politics really understand there is a difference between the two.

Tyler Nimmons

CEO/Creative Director, Front Runner Films

Life Lesson: "Hard work does pay off. There's a lot of focus right now on instant gratification, shortcuts to success, etc. This feels especially prolific in younger generations just entering the workforce, but it's been my experience that if you are true in your pursuit, the daily grind will pay off. Some days are a dream, and others are like getting kicked in the teeth; either way, you must keep moving forward."

Words to Live By: “If you're going to tell people the truth, be funny or they'll kill you.” –Billy Wilder

What is your favorite thing about your job?

We have a saying around here that speaks to our culture: “It beats working for a living.” Don't get me wrong, we all work really hard—16-hour days on the set of a production are not at all uncommon. Extended periods of travel, living out of hotels, waiting for the best light of the day to get the perfect shot, all while under deadlines. It can at times be challenging to find that elusive career/life balance, but I make it work because this is more than a job for me; it's my passion. I honestly enjoy every minute of it, and I know my entire team feels exactly the same.

Who inspires you and why?

My kids. It’s a cliche answer, but it’s the truth. I want to build a company they will either chose to join or that will inspire them to follow their own passions, take the lessons I’ve learned and carve their own path. I'm also inspired by the daily commitment, hard work and creativity of my team. They say that the wise man hires people who know more than he does—I've definitely done that!

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