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Eye On Boise

Sayer to step down as Idaho Commerce chief at year end; Otter taking applications for replacement

Idaho state Commerce Director Jeff Sayer will step down at the end of December “to pursue private business opportunities,” Gov. Butch Otter announced today. “We are losing a champion of collaborative economic development efforts that benefit all of Idaho,” Otter said in a statement. Otter is accepting applications for the position between now and Nov. 1. Here is his full announcement:


 (BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter announced today that Jeffery Sayer, director of the Idaho Department of Commerce since October 2011, is stepping down at the end of the calendar year to pursue private business opportunities.

“We are losing a champion of collaborative economic development efforts that benefit all of Idaho. His innovations and improvements at Commerce – as well as the relationships he’s built with business leaders, legislators, chambers of commerce and economic development groups throughout the state – has given new meaning to ‘connecting the dots’ and bringing more and better career opportunities to Idaho,” Governor Otter said. “Jeff was the architect of the IGEM initiative, the Tax Reimbursement Incentive and other successful programs, as well as serving as chairman of my Leadership in Nuclear Energy Commission. He will be a tough act to follow, and he has my admiration and deepest thanks for his great service these past four years.”

The Tax Reimbursement Incentive (TRI) alone has been critical in creating 4,000 new jobs in Idaho communities and bringing more than $1.7 billion in new payroll to Idaho since it became law in 2014.  Sayer also brought enthusiasm, determination and business acumen to helping reach the Governor’s “Project 60” goal of raising Idaho’s gross domestic product to more than $60 billion a year on the heels of the Great Recession.  

Before accepting the Commerce job, Sayer was managing partner of Novayx Group, a business consultancy based in Idaho Falls. He previously was chief financial officer for Mountain View Hospital in Idaho Falls. The certified public accountant started his business career as an entrepreneurial specialist with Ernst & Young in the Silicon Valley, and then was engaged in various Utah-based technology, construction and financial services companies before settling in Idaho.

“It has truly been an honor serving the State of Idaho under Governor Otter’s leadership,” Sayer said. “I’m equally grateful to the Commerce team – some of the finest people I have ever worked with. I have worked hard to help Idaho move forward and will forever be thankful for the chance to serve in this role. I now look forward to reentering the private sector and contributing to Idaho's future there.”

Governor Otter set a November 1 deadline for submitting applications for the position of Department of Commerce director. Anyone interested in applying should contact Ann Beebe in the Governor’s Office at (208) 334-2100 or via email Application forms can be found on the Governor’s Web site here.

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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