Each year around this time, we change our editorial board community members.
I want to take this opportunity to thank our outgoing community board members: Buzz Beauchamp, Nicole Bradshaw, Rex Hanson, John Jolley and Kathleen Tuck. This was such a great group of community members, and we had some terrific discussions over the past year.
Community member on the editorial board is a volunteer position. They volunteer their time, without getting paid, to come to the Idaho Press office each week for an hour to discuss topics that are in the news that week. Over the past year, we’ve tackled the hemp issue, property taxes, tax breaks, lethal injection drugs disclosure, private company donations to cities, the legislative session and more. We interviewed gubernatorial candidates, endorsed candidates and weighed in on bond and levy measures. We even went on a tour of the Canyon County jail together.
We didn’t always agree across the board, but we always had a respectful, civil discussion as we tried to persuade our fellow board members of our positions. This was a thoughtful, intelligent group of community members, and I am sorry to see them go.
But I am happy to welcome our new community members: Tami Dooley, John Jackson, Chase Johnson, Melissa Morales, Jane Suggs and Devon Van Essen. Our publisher, Matt Davison, of course is still on the board, and I am a non-voting member of the board.
We had nearly 50 people apply to be on the board this year, a record number, and it was hard to say no to some of those who applied. We easily could have seated four or five editorial boards with the candidates we received. I hope they apply again next year.
So here’s a quick introduction to our new board members:
Tami Dooley is a lifelong Treasure Valley resident, raised in Gem County, who is currently living in Boise with her husband and their mini poodle, and works as a web content maintenance specialist for Aquent.
John D. Jackson is owner of Jacksons Food Stores, Jackson Energy, Capitol Distributing, Jackson Jet Center and Extra Mile Convenience Stores. John founded Jacksons Food Stores in 1975 as a single service station in Caldwell. The companies today operate in nine Western states.
Chase Johnson is an Idaho native, born in Idaho Falls now residing in Boise. He has degrees in international relations from Boise State and Johns Hopkins universities. He served in the U.S. Peace Corps in the Republic of Georgia and continued governmental work in the State Department and Department of Defense. He is now a research associate at Boise State’s Frank Church Institute and an adjunct professor in its Global Studies program. In his free time he and his partner, Emily, like to explore Boise’s food and drink scene and meet dogs in the foothills.
Melissa Morales is a working mom who can often be seen shepherding her two young heroes around town and reading on the bus. When not white-knuckling through student life at Boise State, the pursuit of green space and advocating for meaningful change in Idaho are top priorities. As a lifelong resident of the Treasure Valley, she wishes Boise High would change its mascot to a goose.
Originally from North Carolina, Jane Suggs has lived in Boise for 21 years. For work, she is a land planner for WHPacific, a local engineering firm. For play, Jane serves on the boards of the City Club of Boise and the East End Neighborhood Association. And you can often find her walking in the foothills with Cash, her Springer Spaniel.
Devon Van Essen grew up in Oregon’s beautiful Willamette Valley but has since grown to love the open desert landscape of southern Idaho. For the past eight years, she has taught composition, literature and creative writing at Northwest Nazarene University. She earned her bachelor’s at NNU and master’s degrees at the University of Oregon and Lesley University. She enjoys hiking and gardening and recently learned to paddleboard.
We’ve already had our first meeting together, and I can personally say I am excited to work with this fantastic group of engaged citizens in the coming year.