July 5: The Independence Day fireworks celebrations booms over the Downtown Boise skyline.

Debra Leithauser,
President & Publisher,
Idaho Statesman

What is the first thing you would show a visitor to the Treasure Valley?

If it’s a beautiful day, Table Rock. The hike there is magnificent, and the views from the top are breathtaking. The whole experience highlights the best of the Treasure Valley. If it’s not a nice day, I would head to The Village at Meridian for a little shopping.

What is the biggest challenge or opportunity for our community in 2016?

Education. I’ve been here only a few months, but improving our system to better serve our children and our workforce is key to ensuring our state’s future. The great thing is that many people seem to be in sync in understanding this need — and that’s the first step.

What lasting impression do you hope the community will have of Together Treasure Valley?

I hope the community sees Together Treasure Valley as a resource to get some fun, needed things done for the community. I also hope it serves as strong reminders of how generous our area businesses are, and how well we work together to find creative solutions that benefit the people who live here.

Who is someone local who has influenced you?

I’ve only been here a short time, but local author Tony Doerr certainly inspired me with “All the Light You Cannot See.” “Destination Idaho” by Tim Woodward and “Idaho 100” by Randy Stapilus and Marty Peterson have helped me understand the essence of Idaho.

What is your company’s philosophy on the importance of community?

The Statesman is an essential community connector. Not only do we actively participate in so many community endeavors, we also inform people about what is going on in their neighborhoods, their schools, their government, their environment. I love living in a community that’s vibrant — and one that has a vibrant press.

What makes the Treasure Valley a great place to live?

When I was choosing whether to move here, I looked at three things: economic opportunity, affordability and livability. Boise and the Treasure Valley scored off the charts on all three. It’s a great place to live, work and play. My whole family loves it here. 

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