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Eye On Boise

Commerce Dept. names Ronk as PIO, Gilliam as economic development chief

Megan Ronk, executive director of the Idaho Meth Project for the past five years, is the new public information officer for the Idaho Department of Commerce, Director Jeff Sayer announced today; he said she'll “play a key role in developing branding, marketing and communications strategies for the department.” Click below for the full Commerce announcement, and also for the department's announcement that it's named a new chief economic development officer: Gynii Gilliam, who most recently was executive director of Bannock Development Corp. in Pocatello. Sayer said Gilliam will “lead the agency's economic development team and will be responsible for creating economic growth, across all industry sectors, for the state of Idaho.”

News Release

November 30, 2011





Megan Ronk has been named the new public information officer for the Idaho Department of Commerce. Ronk will be responsible for all public relations activities for the department and will play a key role in developing branding, marketing, and communications strategies for the department. 

“We are very fortunate to have Ms. Ronk join our team,” said Commerce Director Jeffery Sayer. “Her strategic experience, her outstanding professional reputation, and her leadership will be vital to our department as we help build our great state.”

“I am very excited for the opportunity to work with Director Sayer and the entire team at the Department of Commerce. Together we will be able to support Governor Otter’s top priority – promoting Idaho as a great place to do business,” said Ronk. 

Ronk spent five years as executive director for the Idaho Meth Project where she and her team created and built Idaho’s largest prevention and public awareness program. Her efforts brought statewide attention to a critical issue and created a viable solution that will continue to benefit the state. Her success includes raising more than $8 million in funding for the project - funding that came from a variety of state, federal, and private funding.

Ronk also served as a policy adviser to Governor Dirk Kempthorne on commerce, labor and criminal justice issues. In that role, she worked with state agencies to develop budget priorities and implement various projects and initiatives. Ronk also worked as strategic projects manager at Blue Cross of Idaho.

Ronk has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the College of Idaho and an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.






Gynii Gilliam has been selected to serve as chief economic development officer for the Idaho Department of Commerce.

Gilliam will lead the agency’s economic development team and will be responsible for creating economic growth, across all industry sectors, for the state of Idaho.     

“Ms. Gilliam will be an excellent addition to our team,” said Commerce Director Jeffery Sayer. “Her strong leadership, her proactive and partnership-focused approach, and her experience will be a great asset for our team and for our state. We are excited to have her join our effort to accelerate employment growth and business creation for our great state.”

“I look forward to supporting the efforts of local and regional organizations throughout the state,” said Gilliam. “The Department of Commerce is taking a much stronger approach toward strengthening regional partnerships. Rest assured that I will build those valuable relationships with private industry as well as local, regional, and state organizations as we all work together to advance our great state forward.”

Gilliam has over 20 years’ experience in the industry. Most recently, she served as executive director of Bannock Development Corporation in the Pocatello region. In that position, she was instrumental in strengthening the BDC economic development team, whose credits include retaining ON Semiconductor and Farmers Insurance; as well as recruiting Hoku Materials and Allstate Insurance. Together, these companies have brought over $800 million in capital investment and will provide over 1,000 jobs in the greater Pocatello region. 

Gilliam holds a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UCLA. She was the recipient of a Presidential Classroom Overseas Scholarship, a California State Scholarship and the Rackham Graduate School Fellowship.  

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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