Dennis L. Johnson has been appointed to the Idacorp and Idaho Power Co. boards of directors.
Johnson has been president and CEO of United Heritage Mutual Holding Co. since 2001. He also been president and CEO of United Heritage Life Insurance Co. and United Heritage Financial Group since 1999. He brings financial, risk management and legal experience.
"Dennis Johnson is an excellent addition to our boards, with his extensive executive experience in the insurance industry and his former role as his companies' general counsel," said J. LaMont Keen, Idacorp's president and CEO and the CEO of Idaho Power. "Dennis's long-standing ties to Idaho also provide an important connection to Idaho Power's service territory, allowing him to provide valuable insight into local, state, and regional issues where Idaho Power conducts business."
Johnson previously served as president and CEO of United Heritage Financial Services, a broker-dealer, from 1994 to 1998. He joined Grange Mutual, now United Heritage, as general counsel in 1983 after having served several years as a deputy prosecuting attorney for Ada County. Johnson was also a trustee of the Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho from 1995 to 2005, and a board member of Idaho Banking Co. from 1996 to 2003.
Johnson holds other directorships in addition to Idaho Power: United Heritage Mutual Holding Co., United Heritage Financial Group, United Heritage Life Insurance Co., and Sublimity Insurance Co.
Johnson is a cum laude graduate of Northwest Nazarene University, with a double major in history and social science with an economics concentration. He earned his law degree from the University of Idaho College of Law, is a member of the Idaho Bar Association and is admitted to practice law in the state and federal courts of Idaho and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Chris Blanchard has been appointed to the Ada County Waterways Advisory Committee by the Ada County commissioners. He will provide direction to the commissioners on issues related to waterway maintenance and improvement.
Blanchard earned a bachelor's degree from the Honors College at Boise State and his master's degree at Boise State University before completing his Ph.D. coursework in urban studies at Portland State University. He is associate director of the Environmental Finance Center at Boise State University.
Paul Kjellander, president of the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, has been named one of two co-chairs of a national telecommunications committee.
The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, which includes commissioners and staffs from all 50 state utility commissions, says Kjellander will co-chair its Committee on Telecommunications. The committee provides a venue to analyze trends in the telecom sector and share best regulatory practices. The committee works with the Federal Communications Commission, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the FBI. In addition, the committee passes resolutions on issues that set NARUC policy.
Kjellander was re-appointed to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission in April 2011 by Gov. Butch Otter, after serving as administrator of the state Office of Energy Resources. He previously served on the Idaho commission from January 1999 until October 2007.
Within NARUC, Kjellander has served on the Telecommunications, Consumer Affairs and Electricity committees. He was also appointed by the chairman of the FCC to the Federal/State Board of Jurisdictional Separations and served as chair.
Hospitality & tourism
John Cohen has been named executive director of the Boise Convention and Visitor's Bureau. The announcement came after a nationwide search returned more than 70 applicants.
A 20-year veteran of the travel industry, most recently Cohen served as the executive director of the Durango Area Tourism Office in Colorado, where he was responsible for expanding the tourism and convention industry by developing and executing marketing and sales strategies. During his six-year tenure, Cohen expanded the overall revenue of the organization by 30 percent. From 2006 to 2011, he increased bookings through Durango Central Reservations by 85 percent.
"John brings a history of proven results in collaborating with partners to increase publicity and revenue stream in a market," said John Beacham, chairman of the Boise Convention and Visitor's Bureau. "We're looking forward to John leading the way in renewing our strategic partnerships with the Boise Metro Chamber, the Boise Centre, the city of Boise, and the Boise Valley as a whole."
The bureau is embarking on a new strategic direction, which also includes a new board of directors and a new home in the offices of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce. The bureau recently formed a partnership with the chamber, and both entities are housed on the same floor, along with the Boise Valley Economic Partnership.
Cohen will be asked to renew positive relationships with organizations like the Boise Centre, the Greater Boise Auditorium District, the city of Boise and the Idaho Travel Council, the chamber said in a news release.
Cohen succeeds Bobbie Paterson, who retired in December. He will start April 1.
Jim Manion, of Boise, has been appointed to serve as the Region III representative on the Idaho Travel Council by Gov. Butch Otter. Manion succeeds John May, general manager of the Owyhee Plaza Hotel, who served two three-year terms.
Since 1992, Manion has been the president of AAA Idaho, the state unit of AAA, the largest publisher of travel related materials in the world and largest travel agency network in the United States. He served as president of Skal, an international organization to advance the travel and tourism industry. Manion now serves on the boards of Skal Idaho and the Boise Sunrise Rotary Club.
Manion served as president for two terms on the Idaho Society of Association Directors. In 1997 the society named him executive of the year. He also served as chairman of the Western Conference of Association Directors and as a president of the Idaho Highway User Federation.
Manion graduated from Carroll College in Helena, Mont., in 1973.
The Idaho Travel Council's main purpose is to advise the Department of Commerce's Division of Tourism. The council also awards grants to applicants of the Idaho Regional Travel and Convention Grant Program. Council members work closely with tourism organizations and businesses on marketing opportunities and represent their interests to state government.
The council has eight members, appointed by the governor, with one member from each of Idaho's seven tourism development regions and one member at-large.
Karen Vauk, president and CEO of The Idaho Foodbank, was among the women honored at the Women's and Children's Alliance annual Tribute to Women and Industry luncheon March 13.
Vauk was nominated by Mike Jung, publisher and president of the Idaho Statesman. Jung also serves on The Idaho Foodbank's board of directors.
"Karen is a perfect example of a TWIN," Jung says. "She is a woman who has excelled in her field and has made significant contributions to industry in a professional role. Her career is one of fundraising and philanthropy, and as the CEO is of the Idaho Foodbank, Karen is committed to the vision of a hunger-free Idaho."
Vauk has been president and CEO since 2009. Previously, she served as development director of university advancement at Boise State University, raising money for the university's capital campaign. That followed nearly two decades with Micron Technology Inc. where she led the building and expansion of the workforce education and organizational development programs. She also served as executive director of the Micron Technology Foundation, where she established corporate giving programs across the U.S. and in many international communities.
In 2012, Vauk was honored as the Woman of the Year by the Idaho Business Review in recognition of her "work ethic, innovation, future thinking and balance."
Angela Pable has joined Sloan Security Group as the human resources/office manager, says Bruce Sloan, president of Sloan Security Technologies Inc. Pable came from St. Luke's Health System.
Sloan Security Group designs, installs and maintains infrastructure for security.