Meet the Idaho Broadband Advisory Board

The Idaho Broadband Advisory Board was created by the Idaho Legislature through House Bill 127. The board consists of three members from the Idaho House of Representatives, three from the Idaho Senate and three appointed by the Governor.

The board creates a statewide plan for structuring, prioritizing and dispersing grants from the Idaho Broadband Fund, which will provide financial assistance for broadband infrastructure in Idaho which addresses equal access to economic development, public safety, telehealth and education. Click on the photos below to see each board members’ bio.

View the Idaho Broadband Strategic Plan.

Representative John Vander Woude
Chairman

Representative John Vanderwoude is on his 6th term, he has also served 16 years on the Nampa Christian School Board. Furthermore, he is a former board member of the United Dairymen of Idaho, Milk Producers of Idaho and the Idaho Dairy Herd Improvement Association.

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Senator Carl Crabtree
Vice Chairman

Senator Carl Crabtree is a rancher and an owner of a registered beef cattle business and small livestock trucking business. Carl is a former University of Idaho extension agent and former Idaho County weed supervisor. Carl managed the Idaho County 4-H program for 27 years and is a past president, Idaho Cattle Association, Idaho Beef Council and served National Cattlemen’s Beef Association board. In 2007 he was awarded Beef Magazine’s “Trailblazer of the Year for 2007,” an award that recognizes leadership accomplishments in the beef industry.

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Representative Barbara Ehardt

Appointed in 2017, Representative Barbara Ehardt was born and raised in Idaho Falls. She attended North Idaho College and Idaho State University on a basketball scholarship. Now, she owns and operates Coach E’s Camps and Clinics and runs a highly successful travel basketball program for high school boys (with five players to play collegiately). Barbara spent 15 years as a NCAA Division I women’s basketball coach at UC Santa Barbara, Brigham Young University (Provo), Washington State University, and Cal State Fullerton as the head coach. She also served as president of the Bonneville County Republican Women.

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Representative Megan Blanksma

Representative Megan Blanksma is a graduate of Nampa High School. She has a B.S. in economics from the University of Idaho and is on her 3rd term.

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Senator David Nelson

Senator David Nelson is a fourth-generation Idahoan who grew up on a Genesee wheat ranch. He is a graduate of the University of Idaho and pursued a career outside of Idaho in the oil and gas industry by writing software for companies to help them manage their energy more efficiently. 20 years ago, he returned to Idaho and started a flourishing business with his boss, after the two left Chevron to work together, growing the company to more than 50 employees working in Idaho, Texas, and Argentina. David has been involved in Rotary for the last 15 years, including running the regional high school youth exchange program and impacting the lives of more than 300 students around the world. He enjoys rafting in Idaho’s rivers, lives in Moscow with wife, Nancy and two daughters, both graduates of Moscow High School.

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Senator Doug Ricks

Senator Doug RIcks is a fifth-generation Rexburg resident. He is a graduate of Madison High School, Ricks College, and BYU-Idaho. Doug is a retired university administrator, small business owner, precinct committeeman and former Madison County GOP chairman. He has been married to his spouse Melissa for 37 years and has five children and four grandchildren.

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Margie Watson
JC Watson & Company

Bio coming soon.

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Andy Emerson
MH Solutions

Bio coming soon.

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Mitch Watkins
Watkins Distributing

Bio coming soon.

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Board Meetings