Smart Women, Smart Money presents free 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!"

BOISE - The 18th Annual Smart Women, Smart Money financial conference is on held Friday, February 16 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Boise Centre.

This free, extraordinary, all-day event is packed with the information and motivation you need to propel you into the world of “Smart Money!"

Join host, State Treasurer Ron Crane, Conference Coach, Nicole Sherman, and Keynote Speaker Candace Payne at this financial conference which will feature sessions where women can learn about budgeting, debt reduction, starting a business, investing, retirement, and more.

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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.

Prior to his election as Treasurer in 1998, Mr. Crane served 16 years in the Idaho House of Representatives. While there, he chaired the House State Affairs Committee for 4 years and the Business Committee for 7 years. He also served as co-chairman of the Interim Committee on Electrical Restructuring. During his public service, he received the Guardian of Small Business Award from NFIB and the Legislative Champion of the Family Award.

Mr. Crane started his own successful business, Crane Alarm Service, in 1979. Today, Crane Alarm is one of the oldest and largest alarm companies in Idaho. He is a member of the Nampa and Caldwell, Idaho Chambers of Commerce, was a founding member of the Lifeline Crisis Pregnancy Center, and served on the board of trustees for Nampa Christian Schools.

Mr. Crane has been married to his wife, Cheryl, since 1969. They have six children, four girls and two boys, and twelve grandchildren. The Cranes reside in Nampa, Idaho.

Carolyn Holly - Boise


A long time and active member of the Treasure 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.

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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.

Candace Payne - Boise

Author, Speaker & Viral Sensation

Candace Payne is an author, speaker and viral sensation whose video of trying on a Chewbacca Mask became the most-viewed Facebook Live video to date (175+ million views). She shares her message of joy and laughter through media appearances and a robust speaking and appearances schedule that includes women’s groups, churches, festivals, conferences, and organizations around the country. Candace's first book, Laugh It Up: Embrace Freedom and Experience Defiant Joy, and the accompanying small-group curriculum, Defiant Joy: What Happens When You’re Full Of It (both Zondervan), is available now. Candace lives in Texas with her husband, two children, and ornery pugs. Connect with her online at

Conference Coaches

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.

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Karen Appelgren - Boise

Director, Zions Bank Business Resource Center

From Idea to Action: How to Start a Business, Planning for Profits: How to Make Money in Business

Karen Appelgren is Director of Zions Bank’s Business Resource Center at Eighth & Main in downtown Boise. She provides one-on-one business consulting, workshops and referrals to help aspiring or established small business owners start, grow and finance their ventures while navigating the regulatory environment and an ever-changing marketplace.

Appelgren brings to the role an extensive background in small business consulting, SBA loan packaging, marketing and public relations, sales, organizational leadership, teaching and career services.

She is an advisory board member and mentor for Boise State University’s Venture College and was selected as a 2016 Idaho Business Review Excellence in Finance Honoree as well as an Idaho Business Review Women of the Year Honoree.

Karen enjoys volunteering with Dress for Success Boise Valley and spending time with her family. She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

Doug Armstrong - Boise

President and General Manager, KTVB

Since 1996 Doug has been the President and General Manager of the KTVB News Group. The KTVB News Group is a subsidiary of TEGNA and consists of KTVB-Boise, KTFT-Twin Falls, KTVB’s 24/7,, and KTVB Mobile.

In the early 90’s Armstrong was President and General Manager for KHNL and KFVE in Honolulu Hawaii. While at KHNL/KFVE he switched affiliations, built studio facilities, grew staffing, and launched local-news from the first all-digital newsroom in America.

Armstrong has served the following community organizations: Chairman of the Board for Boise Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Board for Boise Valley Economic Partnership, 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games, Northwest Nazarene University Foundation Board of Directors, founder of Drug Free Idaho, Boise Public Schools Education Foundation, YMCA, Caring Foundation for Children, and board member for Honolulu Chamber of Commerce.

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Armstrong was named “general manager of the year” by B&C magazine in 2014, and inducted into the Boise Chamber of Commerce “hall of fame” in 2013. He has a degree in Business Administration from Whitworth University, and he claims the role of husband and father as the top priorities of his time. He is happily married to Amber (29 years) and they have 3 children.

Kumi Baruffi - Boise

EVP & General Counsel, Columbia Bank

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.

Sarah Chenven - Boise

Deputy Director, Credit Builders Alliance

Sarah joined CBA in October 2011. As Deputy Director she focuses on organizational and programmatic development -- helping CBA meet its mission by strengthening internal systems and identifying innovations in the field in order to best support CBA's hundreds of members in order to help their clients gain access to responsible credit- and asset-building financial products and services.

Prior to joining CBA Sarah was the Founding Executive Director of Innovative Changes, one of the few CDFI nonprofit loan funds in the country dedicated specifically to consumer lending, financial education, and credit building as a responsible alternative to payday lenders. Prior to Innovative Changes, Sarah was with Mercy Corps where she advised low-income entrepreneurs in the Portland Metropolitan area on the development of their small businesses; she also directed the organization’s Hurricane Katrina recovery program in New Orleans.

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Sarah has over a decade of experience in nonprofit and public sector organizations whose missions are to help disadvantaged groups create systemic change. She has managed numerous programs with sizeable budgets and staff and has worked in diverse and challenging contexts, including post-war Bosnia. Sarah has a Master's Degree in Public Administration, a J.D. from the University of Texas, and is a member of the Oregon State Bar.

Todd Christensen - Boise

Director of Education

Kicking Debt to the Curb: 5 Options for Getting Rid of Excessive Consumer Debt

Author and Accredited Financial Counselor®, Todd R. Christensen, MIM, MA, is Director of Education at Debt Reduction Services, Inc., a nationwide nonprofit credit counseling agency. Todd develops educational programs and produces materials that teach personal financial skills and responsibilities to all ages. Having facilitated nearly two thousand workshops since 2004 on the fundamentals of effective money management, he based his first book, Everyday Money for Everyday People (2014), on the discussions, tips, stories and ideas shared by the tens of thousands of individuals and couples in attendance.

Britteny Gardner - Boise

Program Manager, Wells Fargo

What Women Want: Let's Talk Credit!

Britteny Gardner is the proud wife of Kasey Gardner and mother of three amazing boys, Ashton (14), Krew (5) and Miles (2). Her family gives her so much joy. If they are not playing a sport (basketball, football, t-ball, golf), they are out exploring the world, as they all have a passion for travel. She is an Idaho native, graduated from the West Ada School District and received her B.S. in Marketing from Boise State University.

She works for Wells Fargo as a Program Manager, the Wells Fargo at Work Program. Wells Fargo at work or “WFAW” is a program designed to educate individuals on money management skills. The ultimate goal for this program is to enhance employee’s benefits by offering a comprehensive financial wellness package. This program also reaches out to specific markets; Students / Military / Community and employers. Today, the WFAW program is recognized throughout all business lines with Wells Fargo and in the community as a tremendous value.

Connecting with people is second nature to Britteny and she gets especially excited to help those who are working towards financial success. Smart Women Smart Money Financial Conference is a conference Britteny presents at and this will be her 5th year in a row as a presenter.

She currently serves as the Co-Chair for Wells Fargo’s Women’s Team Member Network. The mission of the Women’s Team Member Network is to connect and empower members. This is accomplished through education, encouragement, and influence.

Britteny also serves as the President of the Board for The Education Foundation for West Ada Schools. The mission of the foundation is to provide supplemental funding and support for educational programs and projects in classroom innovation for the benefit of students in the West Ada School Districts.

Lori Gull - Boise

Assistant Vice President, Idaho Central Credit Union

Lori provides branch operations leadership for ICCU locations throughout Idaho and has been a leader with them for almost 17 years. She is responsible for all aspects of her region’s operations, including culture, staffing, team member development and training, operations, service standards, production and sales. She has been a leader/member of multiple strategic committees/projects, helping propel ICCU to be recognized as the top-performing credit union in the nation for the past five years in a row.

Lori serves on the Boise Chamber Financial Advisory Board and on the US Attorney’s White Collar Crime Task Force. She is a public speaker and trainer on topics such as developing a world-class company culture, achieving financial success, and leadership development. She was a recipient of the Tribute to Women and Industry award in 2016. She also served on the board of directors for NV Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

Lori is a graduate of BYU-Idaho and is a high-honors graduate of Western CUNA Management School. She lives in Kuna with her husband Ken. They have five children and enjoy hiking, bicycling and travel. Her greatest accomplishment is her large, happy family, who are all each other’s very best friends.

Alex Kincaid - Boise


Plan Now and Save Your Ass(ets) Later

Alexandria Kincaid is a former prosecutor and elected District Attorney with over 19 years experience as a successful trial attorney and strategic planner. She is a nationally renowned public speaker and legal analyst for radio and television shows, and is an author and regular contributor to national magazines. Alex made her mark as a respected and tenacious prosecutor by successfully trying hundreds of cases involving all manner of crimes (including sexual assaults and aggravated murders). Relying on her success and experience as a trial attorney, she uses her knowledge of the legal system and the predatory mind to help others avoid the publicity and delays of the government-controlled court system and to deter frivolous lawsuits through proper planning. Alex routinely helps seniors, veterans, gun owners, business owners, farmers and ranchers, and many others with their legal issues. Alex has drafted thousands of estate and business plans, in addition to successfully trying over 150 cases in the courtroom.

Joan McClune - Boise

Wealth Advisor, Castlebury Finanical Advisors

Tools for Your Financial Tool Belt

Joan McClune has been a Wealth Advisor in the Boise area since 1999. She worked for several firms and now owns her own practice Castlebury Financial Advisors with her business partner Connie Eshelman. Joan feels honored to be a Dave Ramsey SmartVestor Pro in the State of Idaho and personally lives the philosophy. In her practice she enjoys working with individuals, families and business owners in aligning their financial resources with their goals and values.

Joan offers a strategy of investing wisely for growth, with a focus on risk management. She and Connie provide extensive experience in portfolio allocation, distribution planning and investment research. She is also a licensed life, LTC and disability insurance agent. Joan has taught multiple courses in financial planning at Boise State University through Successful Money Management Seminar series. She has spoken many times to large groups for the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University. Joan and Connie offer many years of experience as a wealth advisors with a holistic get-out of debt and get-it-done attitude.

Elaine Mellon - Boise

Consumer Services Bureau Chief, Idaho Department of Insurance

What! Insurance Can Help Me Do That?

Elaine began her career in insurance in 1986 with State Farm Insurance in Louisiana, working in Agency and then as an Auto Claims Adjuster. She moved to Texas and opened her own agency in 2000, then became an Agency Manager with State Farm in 2002. In 2006, Elaine moved to Boise, continuing her career as an Agency manager with State Farm until 2012.

From 2012 to 2013, she was an Agency Manager with Farm Bureau Insurance of Idaho.

In August of 2014, Elaine became a Consumer Affairs Officer with the Idaho Department of Insurance.

In June of 2015, Elaine was promoted to Consumer Services Bureau Chief. The Consumer Services Bureau includes Consumer Affairs, Investigations, and Senior Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA.)

Her professional designations include CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter and ChFC (Chartered Financial Consultant.) She was an active member and board member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA,) and a board member of the Idaho Insurance Guaranty Fund for many years.

Ryan Petrik - Boise

SVP Treasury Management Leader, Columbia Bank

Is This For Real? Recognizing & Preventing Fraud-Personal & Business

Anthony Polidori - Boise

Supervising Examiner/Investigator with the Consumer Finance Bureau of the Idaho Department of Finance

Mortgage and Credit Fraud: Scams and FlimFlams

Anthony Polidori is a Supervising Examiner/Investigator with the Consumer Finance Bureau of the Idaho Department of Finance. He has been involved in the financial services arena for over twenty years in a regulatory capacity and as a provider of financial services. Anthony frequently provides training and presentations to industry and consumer groups on topics related to debt collection, residential mortgage lending, consumer finance, and other credit services.

Brooke Ramstad - Boise

Principal Investment Advisor, Rathbone Warwick

Brooke Ramstad, CFP® Principal, Investment Advisor began her career with Rathbone Warwick in 2008 on the operations side of the business in 2008 just as the market careened toward recession. Ten years later as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional and Principal, she meets with clients to map out long term financial and legacy goals while delivering the savings discipline and diversified investment strategy that must be employed to reach those goals. Brooke is a native of Wenatchee, WA (The Apple Capitol of the World) and is a graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in Romance Linguistics.

A lifelong member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, Brooke now serves on the Chapter Council Advisory Board to the Zeta Pi chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma at the College of Idaho. When Brooke is not enjoying the Boise River Greenbelt with her husband and two young children, she assists in annual fundraising efforts for the Women and Children’s Alliance and is honored to be an Ambassador for the WCA.

Kim Sherman-Labrum - Boise

Associate Business Consultant/Training Coordinator, Idaho SBDC

Is Marketing a Mystery? Does Social Media Baffle You?

Kim started with the Idaho SBDC in 1998 and has held positions from administrative assistant to business consultant. Over that time, she has developed and developed curriculum throughout the state of Idaho and recently on a national level. As a consultant, she specializes in online marketing and social media strategies. She's worked with Google on developing a rural outreach program that Google featured in a recruitment video. She holds a B.A. in Graphic Design from Boise State University and recently received a Credential of Readiness from the Harvard Business School CORe program.

Laura Smith - Boise

Director of Public Relations, Idaho Central Credit Union

Growing Up? Four Things about Money I Wish I Would've Known Earlier

Laura is the Director of Public Relations at Idaho Central Credit Union (ICCU). Laura has been with Idaho Central since 2005. Her areas of focus are business development, social media, community involvement, event planning, and media relations.

Laura loves working with her team to grow membership and to be involved in the communities across Idaho where ICCU has branches. You can find her with the Green Team at many chamber functions, nonprofit activities and fundraisers, college sporting events, and other community events from Rexburg to Coeur d’Alene.

Laura has had the chance to make presentations to a variety of people, from preschoolers to professionals in networking groups, about ways they can achieve financial success and millennials in the workplace.

Laura grew up in Idaho Falls and is the oldest of three girls in her family. She attended BSU and ISU, and completed her Mass Communications degree with an emphasis in Public Relations and Advertising at ISU. She also minored in Marketing and Music.

Laura and her husband Ryan live in Pocatello and have two young boys, ages 4 and 6. She describes her family life as busy, loving and fun. Laura enjoys spending time with her family, golfing, watching sports, singing, cooking and entertaining.

Tympra Stein - Boise

Business Relationship Manager, Chase Bank

Tympra Stein is a Business Relationship Manager for Chase in Boise, Idaho. She has over 16 years of experience in financial services and over 10 years with Chase Bank. She is active in the community, having been involved with local Habitat for Humanity organizations and the local Animal Shelters. Prior to joining Chase, she worked for large bank SBA team covering the Southeast United States. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee.

Brain Stewart - Boise

Vice President, Community Relations Officer, JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Strong Credit: A Passport to Financial Success

Brian Stewart is Vice President and Community Relations Officer for JPMorgan Chase & Co. and responsible for overseeing civic engagement activities in the Northwest Region including Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Utah. He joined JPMorgan Chase through their acquisition of Washington Mutual Bank and has over 30 years in the banking sector.

Working within the Office of Nonprofit Engagement (ONE), Stewart works with partners targeting the low- and moderate-income and under-served communities in the Pacific Northwest, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Utah.

Mr. Stewart has worked as a business development officer in the community development field and was instrumental in implementing a number of wealth-building programs through asset accumulation. He currently serves on the board of directors of Neighborhood Partnerships, Network for Oregon Affordable Housing (NOAH) and participates on the steering committee for Portland’s Cradle-to-Career educational initiative and Governing Board for the Portland Metro STEM Collaborative.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Oregon.

Rhonda VanOrder - Boise

VP Treasury Management Sales Officer, Columbia Bank

Rhonda currently serves as VP / Treasury Management Officer for Columbia Bank, and covers all of Idaho and Eastern Washington. Rhonda has been working with this same group of awesome bankers for 19 years. She loves the people she works with and the clients she serves.

Rhonda is a native Idahoan, graduating from Cambridge High School and Boise State University.

Rhonda has been an active member of the Nampa Rotary Club for several years, where she has served as Secretary, Programs Chair, and Coats For Kids Chair. She was honored with the Rotarian of the Year award from her Nampa Rotary Club in the 2015-2016 year. She was also proud to be chosen as an Idaho Business Review Women of the Year Honoree in 2017.

Rhonda’s favorite pastime is spending time with her family. Whether playing with her grandson, enjoying a delicious family potluck or getting together for a rousing game of Phase 10, being with her family is extremely important to Rhonda. She is also an avid reader and can often be found curled up on the couch with a cup of hot coffee and a good book.

Melissa Warwick - Boise

Investment Advisor & Operations Manager, Rathbone Warwick Investment Management

All-Weather Vehicle: Navigating your Long Term Financial Plan no Matter the Forecast, You Are Here: An Interactive Map of Your Financial Life

Melissa Warwick is an Investment Advisor and Operations Manager at Rathbone Warwick and has been with the firm since 2007. Overseeing everything from firm administration, portfolio trading, and human resources. Melissa is an active member in her church where she serves as youth pastor, board member, leads financial stewardship courses, and volunteers annually as a camp counselor for her church’s summer camp.

A lifelong resident of the Treasure Valley, Melissa was honored in 2009 as an outstanding graduate in the Finance Department and received a degree in Business Administration in Accountancy and Finance from Boise State University. In 2011, Melissa completed the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam (non-practicing) and earned her Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) designation in 2014. Melissa is a member of both the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Idaho. Melissa cherishes time spent with her friends and family, and she enjoys cheering on the Boise State Broncos.

Lupe Wissel - Boise

State Director, AARP Idaho

Secure Choice: Saving for Retirement in Idaho

Lupe Wissel joined AARP Idaho as State Director on October 2015. Prior to joining AARP, Lupe served over 10 years as Staff Director for the United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs where she led the work for the Committee Chairman on policies impacting our nation's veterans and 4 years as Staff Director for the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging where she focused on aging policies.

Lupe has a long-standing record working on policy issues as the state and national level. Prior to her work on Capitol Hill, she served as State Director for the Idaho Commission on Aging, a cabinet level position to which she was nominated by the Idaho Governor and confirmed by the Idaho State Senate. Additionally, she has strong ties to the disability community through her 20 years professional work with the Idaho Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

The conference will also include a free breakfast and lunch.

For more information, click here.