Volume 43 | Number 2 | Spring 2013
Spring 2013 Issue | By Mark Neil Levine
Photo by ISU Photographic Services/Susan Duncan
Terry Fredrickson was a heavily-recruited and accomplished debater when he came to Idaho State University.
"I fell in love with ISU the minute I stepped foot on campus and saw the orange 'I' atop Red Hill," Fredrickson recalls. He spurned an offer from Boise State University and joined the ISU debate team. The next year he received the Sarah Partlow debate scholarship and made it to the national debate finals in California.
His attention turned to politics and in 2004 his fellow students elected him ASISU president. "I decided that instead of sitting back and complaining about things, I would work to improve the things that concerned me."
After earning a degree in political science Fredrickson's life reached a seminal moment when his older brother died of a heroin overdose.
"At that point I decided to dedicate my life to counseling so I could make a difference and perhaps help another family avoid the pain of losing a loved one to substance abuse," he said.
"I was very close to my brother — he was more like a best friend — and the pain of losing him caused me to assess my career goals. I decided to devote my life to being a full-time counselor. I began working at MK Place, a drug and alcohol rehab for adolescents, and worked there seven years. In fact, I still work as a part-time addiction counselor."
Continuing to practice his philosophy of giving back to the community, Fredrickson accepted the challenge to lead New Day Products and Resources, becoming CEO and executive director in October 2010. New Day provides employment for more than 100 people with disabilities and offers a wide range of services from car detailing to making wood products.
New Day operates The Orange and Black Store, an independent ISU school spirit shop specializing in a wide array of officially licensed Bengal merchandise. In addition to the retail operation, New Day offers an extensive line of wholesale custom screen printing.
The creation of The Orange and Black Store addressed a perceived community demand for reasonably priced ISU apparel.
"The heart of our business plan was to create a line of quality merchandise that anyone could afford. We initially took out a three-month lease hoping the concept would catch on. What happened just blew us away."
Today, The Orange and Black Store offers an extensive line of ISU merchandise from jewelry to dog apparel to souvenirs.
Under his leadership, New Day has been successful in securing several governmental grants, thus allowing the company to expand its service line and create additional opportunities to train area residents and provide them a means to be self sufficient. Fredrickson jokes that "one of the rules I have is a dress code ... every Wednesday, every employee is expected to show their Bengal pride by wearing orange and black."
When asked his personal philosophy Fredrickson quickly says, "What you have to give, people need to have." That's a philosophy that he and his wife Erica practice on a daily basis. The Fredricksons have "adopted" the ISU club baseball team and are frequent spectators and have helped with a few fundraisers. Most recently, they donated warm-ups to the team. Their interest extends beyond baseball. On the coldest of Idaho spring days you'll find him cheering on the ISU women's softball team with the same enthusiasm that marks his love for ISU.
What does the future hold for New Day and Fredrickson? "New Day has the capacity to continue to grow and provide even more services to those with disabilities. There is no better feeling than helping someone achieve their dreams. Our motto is 'Do not dis our ability.'"
As for personal future plans Fredrickson is eying a possible career in Idaho politics. "Erica and I feel strongly that we need to give back to the community because we, as well as the rest of Southeast Idaho, have benefited from the amenities provided by ISU. We want to make a difference."