BUSINESS BRIEFS: Pharasi FBLA Business Person of the Year; Iowa State Bank employees complete school; Baker graduates from tourism leadership institute; Business After Hours at JC Huffman Cabinetry; IHCC adult learners sessions


Taruna Pharais, third from left, is recognized as Business Person of the Year at the recent FBLA Conference.
PHOTO SUBMITTED Taruna Pharais, third from left, is recognized as Business Person of the Year at the recent FBLA Conference.

Pharasi named FBLA Business Person of the Year at recent conference

Taruna Pharasi of Fairfield was awarded Business Person of the Year at the recent FBLA Conference.

Pharasi has been associated with FBLA’s Fairfield chapter for the last six years in various capacities and as a treasurer of the nonprofit organization Friends of Student Business Leaders for the past year. She has helped with the planning, organizing and executing of fundraisers such as pasta night. She has been very involved in FBLA State showcase, which is an event that focuses on preparing students for the actual state competition by having them present to community business leaders. It’s only one of the two state showcases in Iowa that helps prepare students for the final event. She has volunteered as a mentor, a judge and a chaperone. She has provided regular financial support by sponsoring awards and donations.

Pharasi has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in sociology and has been working as business director at Human Factors International, a user-experience design company, for 19 years. She is responsible for global sales in consulting, training and products to Fortune 1000 companies and enjoys maintaining client relations.

She lives in Fairfield with her husband and two daughters and enjoys volunteering with FBLA, Band Aides, choir and anything that needs her assistance.

Pharasi was nominated for the award by Deb Matthews, FBLA adviser and business instructor at Fairfield High School.

Iowa State Bank employees complete Consumer Credit School

Iowa State Bank & Trust Company of Fairfield, Iowa, congratulates Tami Kramer, vice president/loan administration manager, and Corinna Ackerman, personal banker, on successfully completing the Iowa Bankers Association Consumer Credit School in Ankeny.

The purpose of the IBA Consumer Credit School is to prepare consumer credit personnel to serve effectively and profitably as consumer credit officers.

Baker graduates from Iowa Tourism Leadership Institute in March

Terry Baker, assistant director of the Fairfield Convention & Visitors Bureau, is a graduate of the Iowa Tourism Leadership Institute held March 28-29 at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center in Cedar Rapids.

The institute provides Iowa tourism professionals an opportunity to expand their leadership knowledge and skills.

Institute attendees included six first-year graduates, 11 graduates who returned for a second year of training, and one graduate returning for a third year. Industry members apply to attend and as part of the application process must demonstrate their involvement in the tourism industry and leadership qualities. New this year was an alumni program and six industry members returned as alumni of the program.

Curriculum includes core courses in developing leadership influence, marketing and branding, building effective board/staff partnerships, innovation and leading in times of change. Electives featured sessions in working with volunteers, running effective meetings, problem solving, time management strategies, financial/fraud control, and social media marketing. Speakers are professionals with expertise in leadership and various disciplines related to tourism.

The Leadership Institute is a statewide partnership coordinated by the Central Iowa Tourism Region and the Eastern Iowa Tourism Association with funding from the Iowa Tourism Office.

JC Huffman Cabinetry hosting chamber’s Business After Hours Thursday

The JC Huffman Cabinetry Co. will host the Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s next Business After Hours.

JC Huffman will host the networking event from 4-7 p.m. Thursday.

Drinks and appetizers will be served.

For information, visit the chamber’s website at

Adult Learner Informational Sessions scheduled at Indian Hills

OTTUMWA -- Indian Hills Community College will offer several Adult Learner Informational Sessions at Bennett Student Services, room 100, at the main campus in Ottumwa.

The sessions are planed 5:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday and again May 9 and July 20.

Attendees will gain information on IHCC programs, cost, scholarships, and registration. Light refreshments will be provided.