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Otter names Ken Edmunds to replace retiring Roger Madsen as Labor chief

With longtime Idaho Department of Labor Director Roger Madsen's planned retirement taking effect today, Gov. Butch Otter has announced his pick for the new director: Ken Edmunds, a Twin Falls business consultant and current member of the state Board of Education. Madsen, an attorney and former state senator, was first appointed to the post by Gov. Phil Batt in 1995; the next three governors, Dirk Kempthorne, Jim Risch and Otter, all retained him in the post.

“The Department of Labor has had extraordinary leadership under Roger for 18 years,” Otter said in his announcement. “I’m confident that Ken will continue that tradition of excellence while bringing valuable perspective to the job of helping prepare Idaho’s workforce for the future.” He added, “Ken’s years on the Board of Education and his private-sector experience will be critically important in positioning the Department of Labor to advance its collaborative efforts with the education and economic development communities and Idaho employers.”

Edmunds has served on the Board of Education since 2008. He holds a master’s degree in accounting from BYU, and has had his own business, financial and real estate consulting business, Edmunds Group, for the past 25 years. His current state board term runs through 2018, so Otter will need to appoint a replacement to the board. Click below for Otter's full announcement.

Edmunds, 58, said he became interested in the job through his interest and work on workforce development and improving Idaho's economy through various state board projects. “It turns out if anything I probably have greater opportunities for workforce development and growing the economy through the Idaho Department of Labor than I would have in any other venue,” he said. “It's an exciting opportunity and really just gives me a chance to pursue some of the things that I've become very focused on through the Board of Education.”

Edmunds will start on Nov. 25; his salary has not been set yet. “We'll work it out - it's a detail,” he said. “It's going to be hard to fill Roger's shoes.” Said Edmunds, “He's done a wonderful job. The department is probably as well respected an entity as you're going to find.”


C.L. “Butch” Otter

GOVERNOR

 

NEWS RELEASE

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                                      

November 15, 2013                                                                                                                   

 

KEN EDMUNDS NAMED NEW IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF LABOR DIRECTOR

 

(BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter announced the appointment today of Twin Falls businessman and State Board of Education member Ken Edmunds to succeed the retiring Roger Madsen as director of the Idaho Department of Labor.

 

Edmunds will start his new job on November 25. He is resigning from the Board of Education effective the same day, and will step down from his seat as a member of the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial (IGEM) Council. Governor Otter will appoint a successor to fill the remainder of Edmunds’ second five-year term on the Board of Education, which runs until March 2018.

 

Edmunds’ appointment is subject to confirmation by the Idaho Senate when it reconvenes in January.

 

Jay Engstrom, deputy director at the Department of Labor, will serve as acting director until Edmunds assumes the job. Roger Madsen, whose work at Labor ends today, has been the agency’s director since his appointment by Governor Phil Batt in 1995. He was reappointed by Governors Dirk Kempthorne in 1999, Jim Risch in 2006 and Governor Otter in 2007.

 

“The Department of Labor has had extraordinary leadership under Roger for 18 years. I’m confident that Ken will continue that tradition of excellence while bringing valuable perspective to the job of helping prepare Idaho’s workforce for the future,” Governor Otter said. “Ken’s years on the Board of Education and his private-sector experience will be critically important in positioning the Department of Labor to advance its collaborative efforts with the education and economic development communities and Idaho employers.”

 

Edmunds has worked in development and investments since 1987. The Brigham Young University graduate with a master’s degree in accounting previously was a senior executive and consultant with Ameristar Casinos, a Certified Public Accountant and manager for the accounting firm Price Waterhouse, and controller of a Twin Falls development and construction company.

 

Edmunds and his wife, Jane, have four children and five grandsons.

 

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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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