LEWISTON, Idaho – Lewis-Clark State College athletic director Brooke Henze and former director of the Small Business Development Center at LC State and retired banker Helen LeBoeuf have been selected as the recipients of the college’s 3rd annual Women Leadership Awards.
The two, along with LC State student JeaDa Lay, will be honored during the Women’s Leadership Conference held at LC State on Friday, March 6. Lay will be honored with the Rising Women’s Leadership Award, which honors an LC State student who is a role model to fellow students, a contributor to the community, and an advocate for gender equality and social justice.
Henze became athletic director at the college on July 1, 2017 and has led a strong athletic department that has featured top three national finishes by men’s basketball and men’s cross country and a sixth-place finish by baseball during the past year. During the last two years, LC State has qualified a team or a player to national competition in 11 of the school’s 12 sports. Also, last month, the LC athletic department honored 117 student-athletes who received a 3.0 grade point average or better during the 2019 fall semester, including 21 who had a perfect 4.0 GPA.
Prior to becoming athletic director, Henze served as associate athletic director for seven years and assistant athletic director for three years. She has worked at the college 14 years overall.
This past year, she was diagnosed with cancer, but has undergone successful treatment and recently returned to work full-time.
In her nomination form, it stated “Brooke has always been a very driven woman, from her playing days on the LCSC women’s basketball team to her current battle to overcome cancer. Brooke’s work ethic is remarkable. She is determined to succeed and to help those around her succeed as well by clearing whatever obstacles that may hold them back. Brooke is at every home athletic event, which means for long days and weekends, but is the first to jump in to help others.
“Brooke is successful in everything that she does. She is a hard-worker who sets the bar high but is able to reach those goals and accomplish great things. Through all of this, she is very humble, often deflecting the spotlight and accolades to others. Brooke is a great role model, leader, athletic director, mother, and woman.”
Henze also has served as the director for the Avista NAIA World Series since 2011. She plays an instrumental role in fundraising, operations, and event management at the college. She also has served as director of the Warrior Athletic Association, the college’s athletic booster club, since 2009.
Henze has earned several honors during her time at the college. In 2017, she won the Robert Ish Smith Award from the NAIA Baseball Coaches Executive Committee for “unselfish promotion of NAIA baseball.” In 2019, she won the Rising Star Young Alumna Award from the LCSC Alumni Association.
A former student-athlete, Cushman played basketball at LC State from 1997-2001 and helped the team qualify for the NAIA National Tournament all four years. During her senior year, the Warriors advanced to the final four, which at the time was the best finish in program history. She graduated from the college in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in communications.
LeBoeuf has been actively involved in economic and business development in the area, including when she was the director of the SBDC where she helped entrepreneurs transform products or service ideas into business realities during the 1990s. She also taught business classes at the college during that time. LeBoeuf spent several years working for American West and Banner Bank as a mortgage lending officer and in business banking before she recently retired. She also was a volunteer on the Clearwater Economic Development Association’s Board of Directors and served on its Business Development and Finance councils.
In one of the nomination forms, it said “Helen demonstrates her business prowess with confidence and grace. She is known to speak honestly to issues. She is visionary and takes a long view as decisions are
being considered. Helen is a consummate professional. Helen has had a direct positive impact on students, entrepreneurs, business owners, and the broader community. Her best achievements have been reflective of her ability to foster relationships and create partnerships that have a sustained positive impact. As a woman, Helen has demonstrated success in education and business. She is a wonderful example of a woman who has used her education to succeed.”
LeBoeuf is credited for being the type of woman who should be recognized for her leadership. In her nomination, it was said “Helen elevates the people around her, encourages people to reach for their dreams and to use their talents, and personifies professionalism regardless of circumstance. She knows how to walk through personal tragedy. She is compassionate and passionate. Helen is still contributing in a very positive way towards our community through her volunteer services.”
Lay is being honored in part for her involvement on campus. She attended nearby Troy High School and participated in track when she arrived at LC State. She is currently ASLCSC student body vice president, serves on the Black History Month committee that plans several campus events in February, sang in the LC State choir that performed in New York, and is an active member of the Silverthorne Theatre Club and LCSC Ambassadors. She is majoring in business with a minor in theatre.
Outside of the college, Lay has helped with events that have involved the YWCA and other area nonprofit organizations.
In her nomination form, it was said “JeaDa has sought to be a role model to young girls of color in the community, most significantly offering herself as a mentor to my daughter. In the fall of 2019, she participated in a competition where she created a business model to help foster youth gain an advantage upon graduating from high school. As a young
black woman, growing up in rural Idaho, in a single parent household, JeaDa has sustained a high level of resilience that draws people to her. She uses her gifts of compassion, perspective, and creativity to inspire others and to offer a safe place for people to learn, understand, and grow.
“Even when odds have been against her, JeaDa continues to push ahead, shine, and inspire others. In over 25 years of teaching, there have been a handful of students who have left an indelible mark on me – JeaDa is one of those students.”
Tickets are still available for the 3rd annual LC State Women’s Leadership Conference, which will run 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the college’s Center for Arts & History, located at 415 Main St. in Lewiston.
This year’s conference has the theme of “Extraordinary Women in Pursuit of Ordinary Equality: Past, Present and Future” and celebrates 100 years of a woman’s right to vote in the United States.
Registration for the event Is $55, which includes workshops throughout the day, lunch and a keynote speech by Lucienne Beard, who is the executive director for the Alice Paul Institute. She will talk on “Alice Paul: Crusader for Equality.”
For more information on the event, contact the LC State Community Education office at [email protected] or 208-792-2447.