Past Forums – 2012

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Idaho’s Endowment Lands Provide Value to State Beneficiaries
Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Lawrence Wasden, Idaho Attorney General

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, one of the five members of the Idaho Land Board, will talk to City Club about how Idaho’s endowment lands are managed and how they contribute financially to state endowment beneficiaries. He'll also discuss some of the Land Board's most controversial activities, such as the leases of cabins and commercial property, and the legal actions he's initiated. He'll also take questions from the audience.

The Idaho Land Board oversees the state’s endowment trust, which includes more than 2.6 million acres of land and more than $1 billion in financial assets. The trust provides additional funding for 14 public beneficiaries, primarily Idaho's public schools. Revenues come from timber sales, mining projects, grazing leases and cabin leases on Payette Lake and Priest Lake.

The Idaho Land Board is a constitutionally created board composed of the state's top executive officers. In addition to the attorney general, the Land Board includes Gov. Butch Otter, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, Controller Brandon Woolf and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna. The Idaho Constitution requires the Land Board to obtain the maximum long-term financial return for the beneficiaries of the endowments.

A native of Caldwell, Wasden is Idaho's longest-serving attorney general. He is currently serving his third term. He has worked for 23 years in the attorney general's office, including as chief of staff. Wasden earned a bachelor's degree in political science at Brigham Young University in 1982 and graduated from the University of Idaho College of Law in 1985. In 2010, he received a "Courage in Public Service" award from the Conference of Western Attorneys General.

Chair: Sue Reents
Moderator: Marty Peterson
Underwriters: Northwest Nazarene University
Increasing the Pace of Restoring our National Forests
Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Tom Tidwell, Chief of the U.S. Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service owns and manages 20.4 million acres of national forest land in Idaho. Boise native Tom Tidwell, chief of the agency, says approximately 15 million acres, or roughly 75 percent of these lands, are overgrown and vulnerable to the risk of wildfire. This will come as no surprise to Idahoans who coped with a long, hot and smoky summer in which 1.7 million acres were charred by wildfires across the state, mostly on federal lands. Wildfires caused multiple road closures, disrupted business, harmed tourism and affected public health in Idaho.

Tidwell will talk to City Club about national Forest Service initiatives designed to address the backlog of ecosystem restoration activities, and the challenges associated with picking up the pace. Tidwell will also take questions from the audience.

When Tidwell visited Idaho last spring, he said the Forest Service needs to restore about 65 million to 82 million acres out of the agency's total land base of 193 million acres. At the current pace, the agency is treating 3.5 million acres per year. Global warming increases the pressure for accelerating restoration projects, the chief says. Tidwell also will touch on the agency's "collaborative" approach to bridging conflicts among user groups.

A 37-year employee with the Forest Service, Tidwell attended Capital High School in Boise before his family moved to Spokane, Wash. He earned a bachelor's degree in range science  from Washington State University. He has served as a district ranger, forest supervisor, deputy regional forester and legislative affairs specialist in Washington D.C. He and his wife, Kim, have a daughter, MacKenzie. 

Idaho Environmental Forum members who would like to attend this forum can do so at the City Club member price. 

Chair: Steve Stuebner
Moderator: Marty Peterson
Underwriters: Perkins Coie
Norco Inc.
A Health Care Exchange: How Will it Affect Idaho?
Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Bill Deal, Director, Idaho Department of Insurance, Kevin Settles, owner, Bardenay Restaurants and Distilleries

In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a federal law requiring individuals to purchase health insurance no later than Jan. 1, 2014  or face penalties. To assist in this process, Idaho is expected to develop some sort of health care exchange by January 2014. Through the exchange, individuals and small businesses will be able to compare health care insurance benefits and costs and make a choice. Federal support will be available for low-income people to buy health insurance. The exchange may be state-run, a federal program, or a federal-state partnership, depending on what Idaho state government officials decide by Nov. 16, 2012.
How will the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act affect businesses and the estimated 294,000 uninsured individuals in Idaho, and how will it work? In this forum, Bill Deal, director of the Idaho Department of Insurance, and Kevin Settles, owner of Bardenay Restaurants and Distilleries, will discuss those issues and take questions from the audience.

Bill Deal, a former eight-term legislator who's worked in the insurance industry for 40 years, has been director of the Idaho Department of Insurance since 2007. Kevin Settles owns the popular Bardenay Restaurant & Distillery operations in Boise, Eagle and Coeur d’Alene. In 2011, Settles was named Idaho Restaurateur of the year by the Idaho Restaurant and Lodging Association.  He is a member of the Governor’s Working Group on a health insurance exchange.

Chair: Jean De Luca
Moderator: Marty Peterson
Underwriters: Northwest Nazarene University
Referendum on "Students Come First"
Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Tom Luna, Idaho State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Brian Cronin, Idaho State Representative, District 19

Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna championed three major education reform measures called "Students Come First" in the 2011 legislative session.  The reforms were strongly opposed by many teachers, administrators and the Idaho Education Association, but the legislation was passed overwhelmingly by the Idaho Legislature.  

Luna's plan shifts funding priorities to reward teachers with financial bonuses for student performance, invests in technology by requiring school districts to provide laptop computers for teachers and high school students, and mandates online courses. “Through these laws, the state and local school districts will make every classroom a 21st Century classroom," Luna said.

Opponents disagree. To them, Luna's plan is a union-busting measure, because it limits collective bargaining and ends the practice of issuing renewable contracts. According to the IEA, a record 1,300 public school teachers left the state or the profession last year. There also are concerns about reduced state funding for public schools and larger class sizes. The group, known as “Idaho Parents and Teachers Together,” gathered 75,000 signatures to contest the trio of laws on Nov. 6, election day. The ballot measures are known as Propositions 1, 2 and 3.

Superintendent Luna and State Rep. Brian Cronin (D-Boise), who is a senior vice president for Strategies 360 and  a consulting strategist for “Idaho Parents and Teachers Together,” will debate the pros and cons of the ballot propositions and take questions from the audience. 

Chair: Julie Robinson
Moderator: Jim Weatherby
Underwriters: Hawley Troxell
Micron: New Leadership, New Growth
Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Mark Durcan, CEO, Micron Technology

The world of technology is changing dramatically—and memory, the core business of Micron Technology, is playing a critical role. With the explosion of data on the Internet, burgeoning growth of data centers, and increased demands on technology, Micron is a central figure, supporting the global market and providing solutions that extend well beyond the memory chip.

New Micron CEO Mark Durcan will talk to City Club about key trends related to memory systems, provide an overview of Micron's global presence, and how the company plans to remain a strong competitor through innovation, customer collaboration and strong manufacturing expertise. Durcan also will take questions from the audience.

Durcan took over as Micron's CEO following the death of longtime CEO Steve Appleton on Feb. 3. He's a longtime company employee, having joined joined Micron in 1984 as a diffusion engineer. He also has served as chief technical officer, vice president of research and development and chief operating officer. He was recently appointed chairman of the Micron Technology Foundation, Inc.  Durcan earned a master's degree in chemical engineering and a bachelor's of science degree from Rice University.


Chair: Tom Killingsworth
Moderator: Marcia Franklin
Underwriters: Wells Fargo Advisors LLC
Boise State University
Pacific Source
Moving Idaho’s Medicaid Program Toward Sustainability
Tuesday, June 19, 2012, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Leslie Clement, deputy director of the Idaho Medicaid program

The Idaho Medicaid Program serves almost one-quarter of the state's population, and costs continue to grow. In the next fiscal year, the state Medicaid Program has a $2 billion appropriation, representing 17.5 percent of Idaho’s general fund budget. Thirty percent of the program is funded with state dollars, and the rest with federal funds.  

Leslie Clement, deputy director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, will talk to City Club about the challenges associated with controlling Medicaid costs and identify strategies to sustain and improve Medicaid programs. She also take questions from the audience.

Clement is one of three deputy directors at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. She oversees Medicaid, Behavioral Health and Managed Care Services. She will address -- as Idaho slowly emerges from the economic recession -- finding solutions that are focused on patients receiving the right care at the right time.

Prior to her work on Medicaid, Clement worked for the Office of Performance Evaluations in the Idaho Legislative Services Office. Her employment background includes 30 years of project work, policy development and operations management in various health and social service organizations. She received her bachelor's degree in sociology from the College of Wooster, Ohio, and her master's degree in public administration from Portland State University. 

Chair: Julie Robinson
Moderator: Sue Reents
The 2012 Dottie and Ed Stimpson Award for Civic Engagement
Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 5 pm - 8 pm
Esther Simplot Center for the Performing Arts

Please join us for our annual social and membership event and the presentation of the Dottie and Ed Stimpson Award for Civic Engagement. This year's recipient is the 2012 Idaho Commission for Reapportionment. 

The award celebrates the spirit of our founder, Dottie Stimpson, and her late husband, Ed.  The couple believed that no problem was so great that it couldn’t be solved by people with open minds, using civil discourse. The 2011 award was presented to the members of the Owyhee Initiative. 

Idaho’s Constitution requires that every 10 years, the Idaho Commission for Reapportionment draws new congressional and legislative boundaries based on the decennial U.S. census. The work of the first 2011 Reapportionment Commission broke down amid intense partisan and regional discord. A second commission with new members met in the fall of 2011 and drew up a plan, which was ruled unconstitutional by the Idaho Supreme Court. The same group reconvened and adopted a new plan in four days in January 2012. It did so despite the efforts of a legislative leader to fire two of the commission's GOP members. 

The second Reapportionment Commission consistently put the needs of the state and its voters ahead of the desires of political parties and individual legislators. Their efforts represent civic engagement at its best.

The commissioners who served on the 2012 Reapportionment Commission are:
• Commissioner Ron Beitelspacher, co-chair
• Commissioner Dolores Crow, co-chair
• Commissioner Shauneen Grange
• Commissioner Randy Hansen
• Commissioner Elmer Martinez
• Commissioner Sheila Olsen

This event is open to City Club members and non-members. Hors d’oeuvres will served, and there will be jazz piano by Terri Eberlein and a no-host bar. The cost is $25 per person. Please note: There are no 'listen only' tickets for this event.   

Chair: Cheryl Haas
Moderator: Marty Peterson
Tapping the Full Potential of Idaho's Energy Resources
Thursday, May 31, 2012, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
J.W. Bill Rogers Jr., Director, Center for Advanced Energy Studies

Idaho and the Intermountain West have abundant natural resources like solar, wind, water, geothermal and biomass, but some of them are not being fully utilized for energy development, and others have yet to be harnessed. The Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) in Idaho Falls helps research the technology needed to develop those energy resources. Bill Rogers, director of CAES, will talk to City Club about promising energy projects at CAES and how those research initiatives may impact Idaho's energy future. He also will take questions from the audience.

Research at CAES is focused on nuclear science and engineering, advanced materials science, bioenergy, carbon management, geothermal energy, energy policy, modeling and simulation and energy efficiency. CAES is a partnership between the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), the state of Idaho, Boise State University, Idaho State University and University of Idaho.  

Bill Rogers has a Ph.D. in physical chemistry and a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin. He has been at INL since 2005. Prior to directing CAES, he managed INL's Energy and Environment Science & Technology Directorate. Rogers also has been chief research officer at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the director of the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory in Richland, Wash. Bill and his wife Lee live in Idaho Falls.

Chair: Jane Suggs
Moderator: Dick Gardner
Underwriters: Hawley Troxell
Pioneering the use of Social Media in Boise
Wednesday, April 4, 2012, 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
The Grove Hotel
Jessica Flynn, Don Day, Lisa McGrath

The social media phenomenon has revolutionized the way people communicate, how businesses court customers, how political campaigns hook voters, how the news media do business, and how products or companies can get harmed or destroyed with one bad move. Facebook, twitter, YouTube, Linked In and many other social media platforms have shifted the communications paradigm. Instead of big business and news media controlling the message, now the people and consumers are in control.

How is the social media revolution playing out in the Boise Valley? Three experts will present an overview of how social media are causing a sea-change in our community: Jessica Flynn, CEO of Red Sky Public Relations; Don Day, Internet Sales & Product Manager for KTVB-TV Channel 7; and Lisa McGrath, new media attorney with Lisa McGrath LLC. They’ll also take questions from the audience.

Flynn, a former communications manager for Tamarack Resort, Emmy-winning television producer and journalist, counsels clients on the use social media as part of overall communications strategies. She is a co-founder of Ignite Boise, an entertaining forum for ideas/presentations that sells out by advertising on social media. Day, who oversees KTVB.COM, has been a pioneer in the realm of the Internet, blogging and social media for 12 years. The KTVB.COM team received the 2011 National Edward R. Murrow award for best website. McGrath, former counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, runs a law firm that focuses on solving legal problems related to new media, the Internet, advertising, technology and E-commerce. McGrath also lectures frequently on social media law and is co-founder of Social Media Club Boise.

The City Club social media forum will feature a live twitter feed on screen with several twitter veterans "tweeting" and commenting during the forum.

Chair: Steve Stuebner
Moderator: Marcia Franklin
Underwriters: Northwest Nazarene University
The Portland Timbers: It takes an army to raise a (soccer) club
Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
The Riverside Hotel
Portland Timbers President Merritt Paulson

When Merritt Paulson said he wanted to bring Major League Soccer club to Portland, a lot of folks were skeptical. They’re believers now. Not only did the 39-year-old Paulson secure a MLS franchise for Portland, Ore., but the Timbers also had a phenomenal first season, selling out all 17 home games. The team currently has a 6,500-person waiting list for season tickets and the Timbers’ fan base extends to Boise and beyond. Paulson will talk to City Club about the power of sports and entertainment and how they can assist in a community’s economic development.

Paulson is the owner and president of the Portland Timbers, one of 19 teams in the league. The Timbers are now in their second season at JELD-WEN Field. Paulson has had an impressive career in marketing and business since graduating with an MBA from Harvard. Prior to assuming ownership of the Timbers, Paulson was the senior director of marketing and business development at NBA Entertainment in New York. He also served as the manager of HBO on Demand and helped launch the first premium subscription video on-demand service. Last year, Paulson was named to Sports Business Journal’s exclusive “Forty Under 40” class.

Paulson, his wife, and two daughters love the outdoor lifestyle in Portland. He is on the boards of the Oregon Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, the Oregon Sports Authority and Panthera.

*Please note the change from  our normal location - the Riverside Hotel.  

Chair: Rachel Winer
Moderator: Marty Peterson
Underwriters: Pollo Rey
Boise Rising: A Conversation with Mayor David Bieter
Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, 11:45 a.m. -1:15 p.m.
The Grove Hotel
Boise Mayor David Bieter

After three years of recession, the city of Boise appears to be positioned for a comeback. The Brookings Institution says the city, among the hardest hit by the downturn in the Intermountain West, is now showing signs of a sustained recovery, ranking 11th among the nation's 100 largest metro areas in employment growth in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2011. The new Whole Foods store and JUMP projects are moving forward in the construction phase; the Ray Neef M.D. Boise River Recreation Park is under construction, with the adjacent Esther Simplot Park not far behind; and even the long-lamented "hole in the ground" is on its way to being filled by a 15-story building anchored by Zions Bank. As Mayor Bieter enters his third term as the city's CEO, he will talk about Boise's greatest opportunities and challenges on the road to becoming the most livable city in the country, and take questions from the audience.

Dave Bieter was born in Boise, and for as long as he can remember, he says he wanted to serve as mayor of his hometown. That goal was realized in 2003, when he won election to City Hall on the first ballot. Voters re-elected him in 2007 and again in 2011, making him one of only a handful of mayors in Boise’s history to win the office three or more times. Bieter is a graduate of Bishop Kelly High School, the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., and the University of Idaho College of Law. Prior to becoming mayor, he worked as a municipal attorney for several Idaho jurisdictions and in private practice. He also served five sessions in the Idaho House of Representatives.


Chair: Rachel Winer
Moderator: Jim Weatherby
Underwriters: Boise Weekly
Concordia University School of Law
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
The Role of Higher Education in Growing Idaho's Economy
Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012, 11:45 am to 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
University of Idaho President M. Duane Nellis

Idaho is at a crossroads, with new and developing business opportunities and potentially tens of thousands of new jobs that require skills gained through higher education. But state support for higher education has been shrinking as a percentage of the general fund, especially during challenging economic times. Can Idaho's universities help grow our economy even with less financial support? University of Idaho President M. Duane Nellis will talk to City Club about these topics and take questions from the audience.

President Nellis began serving as the University of Idaho’s 17th president on July 1, 2009. During his first year in office, he led U-Idaho to record student enrollments and bolstered the university’s research mission. Previously, Nellis served as provost and senior vice president at Kansas State University and dean of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at West Virginia University. President Nellis is recognized nationally and internationally for his research that utilizes satellite data and GIS mapping technology to analyze the earth’s land surface. His research has led to more than 100 articles and 15 books.

A native of Spokane, Wash., Nellis met and married his wife, Ruthie, while pursuing his bachelor’s degree in earth sciences/geography at Montana State University. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees in geography at Oregon State University.

Chair: Sue Reents
Moderator: Dick Gardner
Underwriters: Lemley International
Gallatin Public Affairs
What's in store for the 2012 Legislature?
Wednesday, January 11, 2012, 11:45 am - 1:15 pm
The Grove Hotel
Betsy Russell, Dan Popkey, John Miller

The 2012 Idaho Legislature will convene in January, facing a full agenda that is likely to include big debates over the budget, a potential health insurance exchange and, if some get their way, action to address the federal government’s role in Idaho. Because 2012 is an election year for each of the 105 members of the legislature, the action will inevitably involve a good deal of political positioning.

Once again, the City Club of Boise will host its popular annual pundits forum, featuring three of Idaho’s most experienced and engaging journalists – Betsy Russell of the Spokesman-Review, Dan Popkey of the Idaho Statesman and John Miller of the Associated Press, and then we'll take questions from the audience. The trio of political reporters will provide the best possible insight on what Idaho lawmakers have in store during the next legislative session, and how the session might affect our lives, taxes, schools and health care.

Russell, the Spokesman-Review's reporter in Boise, pens "Eye on Boise," a blog on Idaho politics. Popkey, the Statesman's political columnist, has been covering the Idaho Legislature since the mid-1980s. Miller has been covering the legislature for AP for almost a decade.

Be sure to sign up soon! The pundits forum often sells out early.

Chair: Marc Johnson
Moderator: Marc Johnson
Underwriters: Regence Blue Shield