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Eye On Boise

Mon., Oct. 7, 2013, 6:08 p.m.

Idaho commerce chief shakes up agency, lays off tourism, trade chiefs

Jeff Sayer, Idaho state commerce chief (Betsy Russell)
Jeff Sayer, Idaho state commerce chief (Betsy Russell)

Idaho’s longtime tourism chief and its head of international trade were both laid off Monday, as state Commerce Director Jeff Sayer launched a reorganization of his 53-person agency. Karen Ballard, the state’s tourism division chief for the past six years and a tourism staffer for the state for more than 20 years, is out of a job, as is Damien Bard, chief of the department’s Division of International Business. “Our reorganization is really us trimming back at the top levels of management, and streamlining our team so that we can be more responsive to the businesses of the state and changes that are occurring in economic development,” Sayer said.

Commerce will now have just three divisions: Administration, headed by Megan Ronk, former government relations, marketing and public relations officer; Business Expansion, including the international division, community development and more, headed by current team leader Gynii Gilliam; and Business Creation, including tourism along with sales and marketing, business attraction and national sales. The department is recruiting a leader for that division; you can read my full story here at spokesman.com.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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