About Us

Idaho Business for Education (IBE) is a not-for-profit organization, comprising Idaho's CEOs and company Presidents, who share a common goal -- Better Education in Idaho.  The members of IBE are passionate about improving Idaho's educational system in all aspects.


The concept for the IBE (formerly Idaho Business Coalition for Education Excellence, or IBCEE) came from several corporate executives, including:  Skip Oppenheimer (Oppenheimer Companies, Inc), and Craig Olson (then Executive Director of the Albertson's Foundation) after Skip Oppenheimer formed an exploratory committee that lead to the creation of the IBE. Skip Oppenheimer later became the founding Chair. The goals and purpose of the IBE were encouraged by the Governor's office and other officials as well.

The effort commenced with meetings to assess interest and form priorities in 2002. The group recognized that Idaho was one of the few states that did not have a business community group advocating for education. As in numerous other states, the original members recognized a disparity between workforce and societal needs and the supply of qualified people graduating from public education in Idaho.

The membership embraced a philosophy of working closely with education professionals to support, in a constructive manner, selected education initiatives. The IBE developed resource partners to help frame direction and to get continuing, ongoing key input and advice.

In 2003, a planning committee was organized to test the viability and further develop the idea. Key issues were identified and developed by the membership during the initial meetings. Committees of the IBE were developed around these key issue areas, focusing specifically on:

  • Early Childhood Education,
  • Student Achievement,
  • Education Leadership,
  • Teacher Quality, Retention, & Professional Development , and
  • Higher Education.

IBE officially organized in 2003 and incorporated as a 501 (c) 3 in 2005.

Since the IBE’s initial concept in 2002, the enthusiasm and the dedication of its founders and members have provided a consistent, powerful voice to improve education in Idaho. IBE puts business leaders in an instrumental long-term position to influence education policy and encourage reforms that will support Idaho's next generation of leaders.


An Idaho education system that produces graduates prepared for personal success and societal contribution in tomorrow’s dynamic workforce.


IBE is a driving force in the development of an Idaho education system that results in graduates who have postsecondary credentials and who are workforce ready.


By 2020, 60% of Idaho’s 25-34 year olds will have a degree or certification of value that they utilize in the workplace environment.

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© 2009 Idaho Business Coalition for Education Excellence.