NEWS RELEASE: For Immediate Release
Contact: Megan Hill
Governor Otter Appoints New Members to Idaho Travel Council and Economic Advisory Council
Idaho Travel Council (ITC) Advises Idaho Commerce on tourism policy and grant awards and the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) advises the Governor and Idaho Commerce on economic development policies, incentive and grant awards
BOISE, Idaho—January 25, 2016—Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter has appointed two new members to the Idaho Travel Council (ITC) and two new members to the Idaho Economic Advisory Council (EAC). The new ITC representatives are Mike Fitzpatrick of Sun Valley from Region 7, and Twin Falls Mayor Shawn Barigar from Region 4. The new EAC representatives are John Craner of Burley for Region 4, and Mick Wiskerchen of Boise for Region 3.
In addition to these new appointments, Lara Smith of Lowell (Region 2), and Jim Manion, formerly with AAA Idaho in Boise (Region 3), both were reappointed for new three-year terms on ITC.
Fitzpatrick has an impressive resume centered on the ski and hospitality industry. Now serving as marketing manager for the Sun Valley Resort, he previously managed the Sports Center, Ticket Sales and Food Services departments and handled public relations projects at Sun Valley. Fitzpatrick also was the Program Director for the Mt. Hood Meadows ski racing team in Oregon and was a member of the Pacific Northwest Ski Education Foundation and Pacific Northwest Ski Association.
Barigar has been actively involved in the Magic Valley tourism industry for 11 years. Currently the President and Chief Executive Offer of the Twin Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and the newly appointed Mayor of Twin Falls, his professional career began in broadcasting with various newsroom positions in Twin Falls and Boise. He also held several positions within the Community Relations Department at the Magic Valley Regional Medical Center with an emphasis on media relations, public relations, communications strategy, and event planning. Barigar has served on a number of boards and councils, including the Idaho Chamber Alliance, Southern Idaho Tourism, Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization, and the Twin Falls City Council.
Craner has served on the Burley City Council since November 2011, and has been in banking for 35 years, currently holding the position as the Regional Service and Sales Manager for the Eastern Idaho Region of Zions Bank. He and his family moved to Burley in 1987 and became active in the local community serving on committees and boards of various community service organizations. John enjoys travel, the arts, and participating with the local community theatre groups when possible. He is past President and active member of the Burley Lions Club.
Wiskerchen is with Micron Technology, Inc. in Boise, and has been involved with the Boise Valley Economic Partnership (BVEP) over the past several years, now serving as the organization’s incoming chairman for 2016. Mick’s significant private sector experience combined with his leadership role in economic development in the Treasure Valley will be an excellent addition to the council.
“We are thrilled to welcome these new members to their respective councils,” Idaho Department of Commerce Director Megan Ronk said. “Collectively, they bring a wide variety of skills, energy and experience that will continue to accelerate Idaho’s economy and position the state as an outstanding travel destination.”
The Idaho Travel Council’s primary purpose is to advise the Idaho Department of Commerce-Tourism Development activities and programs. The council also awards grants to applicants of the Idaho Regional Travel and Convention Grant Program. Additionally, council members work closely with tourism organizations and businesses in Idaho on viable marketing opportunities and ways to represent their interests to state government.
The Idaho Economic Advisory Council advises the Governor and the Idaho Department of Commerce on goals and objectives that further economic development within the state. The council makes recommendations to the Governor on applications for block grant funding and reviews industrial revenue bond allocations. Additionally, council members advise their regions on economic development opportunities and represent their interests to state government.
Beginning July 1, 2014, the EAC also gained statutory oversight authority for the new Idaho Tax Reimbursement Incentive. The council reviews and grants final approval for refundable credits on income, sales and payroll taxes of up to 30 percent for up to 15 years to qualifying new or expanding Idaho businesses.
Both councils consist of eight Governor-appointed members with one member representing each of the Idaho’s seven development regions and one member appointed at-large.
For a full list of council members, please visit: