Idaho’s ‘candyman’ doubles as a school trustee

Dave Wagers likes to call himself “The Candyman” — though his more formal title is president of the Idaho Candy Company. Wagers recently earned another title — trustee for the Boise School District.

Wagers was selected to serve on the board during a January vote by the six other trustees. Wagers was selected over five other finalists and about 15 applicants. Wagers will complete Joan Boren’s term, which ends in 2016. Boren resigned on Oct. 31, 2014.

Wagers has his hands full these days. He and his wife have four teenagers, he is the president of the company that created the famous Idaho Spud Bar, and he now helps lead the second largest school district in Idaho with 25,939 students. He serves on the board with six other members and applied for the position because he wants things to run well at the district.

“I found I have a lot to learn and I spend a lot of my time learning about the business of education and how well the school district is doing,” said Wagers, a life-long Idahoan who was educated in Boise schools and graduated from the University of Idaho. “I want the public to feel like their interests are taken care of.”

Board President Nancy Gregory has enjoyed interactions with Dave on the board along with his sense a humor.

“We welcome his accounting background and his previous experience on boards,” Gregory said.

Wagers inherited the family company after college. His dad bought the Idaho Candy Company in 1984. When Dave was in college, he would help his dad with the family business. After college, Dave spent a few years in the corporate world before joining the family business in 1991.

Homecoming Pic 1
Wagers family photo before the 2014 Boise High School homecoming dance.

“Every day is different at work and we are a small company,” Wagers said. “I do the finances, I’m fixing machines, schedule production, dealing with customers and just a variety of things that I get to do on a daily basis.”

When Dave isn’t making chocolate, he volunteers. He spent eight years on the Anser Charter board, 10 years on the Buy Idaho board and he has served stints on the Boise High lacrosse and Rotary Club boards.

Longtime friend and colleague on the Anser Charter School Board Pat Madigan describes Dave as a bright guy with a great personality.

“My favorite thing about Dave is he’s always looking out for the kids and parents,” Madigan said. “Dave once said ‘leave things better than you found them.’ That shows he’s a great asset to Boise schools.”

Dave was appointed to the Boise School Board just five months ago yet he already plans to run in the 2016 election.

“The district has been great and I have challenged them on some issues,” Dave said. “I think it’s important as a trustee to ask questions and influence the district in a positive matter.”

Dave and his wife have four kids, including a son who was adopted at age 13. All are teenagers who attend Boise High. His wife is a dentist. On recent family vacations, the six traveled to Peru for a dental mission and built a house in Tijuana.

“My kids are growing up, I have a senior and three juniors,” Dave said. “My wife and I did adopt, I think it’s so important to advocate for your kids and get involved.”

FUN FACTS ABOUT DAVE WAGERS:

  • Hometown? Boise, ID
  • What is your favorite Starbucks drink? Medium roast
  • What are the first 3 songs on your current music playlist? I don’t do a lot of music listening, I love podcast – This American Life, Car Talk, The Moth
  • You just got a free plane ticket to go anywhere. Where are you going to go? I would choose an adventure vacation like hiking through a jungle 
  • What are some words of encouragement you can offer? I think you can impact anything you want to do and you just have to make the call – don’t be afraid, advocate for yourself and your children
  • Who has been the biggest influence on your life? My parents
  • If you could have any other profession besides your current one, what would you do? I’m having a great time serving on boards and enjoy helping organizations run better. As my wife and I get older we would like to do health travels for dentistry
Dave Wagers 1
Idaho Candy Company owners – Dave Wagers with his two brothers and mom.

FUN FACTS ABOUT DAVE WAGERS:

  • Hometown? Boise, ID
  • What is your favorite Starbucks drink? Medium roast
  • What are the first 3 songs on your current music playlist? I don’t do a lot of music listening, I love podcast – This American Life, Car Talk, The Moth
  • You just got a free plane ticket to go anywhere. Where are you going to go? I would choose an adventure vacation like hiking through a jungle 
  • What are some words of encouragement you can offer? I think you can impact anything you want to do and you just have to make the call – don’t be afraid, advocate for yourself and your children
  • Who has been the biggest influence on your life? My parents
  • If you could have any other profession besides your current one, what would you do? I’m having a great time serving on boards and enjoy helping organizations run better. As my wife and I get older we would like to do health travels for dentistry
Dave Wagers 1
Idaho Candy Company owners – Dave Wagers with his two brothers and mom.