Boards and Commissions Fellowship: March in Review


On the Docket: Open Meeting Law and Parliamentary Procedure 
Women’s History Month gives us a perfect opportunity to share our appreciation for several female leaders in Idaho that have shared their experiences with our Fellowship program. On March 12th, speaker Elizabeth Koeckeritz, taught our Fellows about Idaho’s Open Meeting Law, providing concrete examples of what she experienced in the past in her role as Boise City’s attorney. Speaker Joan Callahan explained the complexities of parliamentary procedure and led Fellows through a mock hearing, where they elected a Chair and Vice Chair and worked their way through an one agenda item. This online mock hearing is a precursor to an upcoming in-person mock session to be held in May. To prepare for this in-person learning, the Fellows received a publication with simple, graphic explanations about parliamentary procedure. If you would like your own copy, please respond to this email. 

On the Road
Earlier this month, I hit the road to visit our Fellows and Mentors in Eastern Idaho, where I held in-person sessions to connect the Fellows to local appointed and elected officials. In Twin Falls, the fellows picked the brains of professor Samra Culum from the Twin Falls Historic Preservation Commission, as well as Gerardo “Tato” Munoz, former Chair of Twin Falls Planning and Zoning Commission.  In Idaho Falls, Fellows learned from Councilman Jim Francis, Ammon Mayor Sean Colleti and District 91 School Board Trustee Elizabeth Cogliati. Everyone has their own personal leadership story and it’s important to share this with others so they can see how every journey is different.  

From left to right: Samra Culum, Twin Falls Historic Preservation Commission; Emma Innacone, Fellow, Pocatello; (Back row) Gerardo “Tato” Munoz, former Chairman of Twin Falls Planning and Zoning; (in front of Tato) Griselda Camacho, Mentor, Meridian; Rynca Essokodimba, Fellow, Twin Falls; Tamra Harmon, Fellow, Twin Falls; Toni Belknap-Brinegar, B&C Coordinator; (kneeling) CeCe Osborn, Fellow, Ketchum 

Diversity, equity and inclusion learning continued with a robust discussion about this YouTube video called “The Laundromat”. The discussion focused on the similarities and differences between the two women in the video as well as what assumptions we bring into interactions with others. Focusing on our internal assumptions and being aware of what they are leads to necessary self analysis and critical thinking skills that promote growth into a thoughtful leader.  

“Do you want what you want? Or do you want to be right?”  
– Fellow Clairemarie Owens, Boise

I check up on previous grads of the program to make sure they have what they need to serve. Here I’m having lunch with 2021 graduate (and 2022 Mentor), Salome Mwangi.  While Salome is not yet serving in the public sector, she is contributing her gifts, talents and wisdom to several non profit boards.

Let’s Talk Shop: March Guest Presenters
This month, we had four guest speakers: 

  • Elizabeth Koeckeritz, Attorney, Partner at Givens Pursley
    Elizabeth provides advice to developers and businesses on the acquisition, entitlement, financing and development of both large and small scale projects. Prior to joining Givens Pursley, she was the senior managing attorney for the Boise City attorney’s office, where she supervised all of the attorneys and staff providing advice to the municipal departments within the City. Elizabeth participates in several local leadership roles, including Jesse Tree, Association of Idaho Municipal Attorneys, Government Law Section of the Idaho State Bar, and the Northwest American Association of Airport Executives (NWAAAE).
    Note: CVI would also like to thank Elizabeth for her amazing work in the field of sustainable energy. For more information about her work bringing solar power to eastern Idaho, click here
  • Joan Callahan, Attorney, Naylor Hales
    A graduate of Stanford University and University of Idaho College of Law, Joan works in municipality and public entity defense, administrative and employment law, general litigation, and more as an attorney with Naylor Hales. Her skill set is honed for developing solution-oriented legal strategies and working towards consensus with parties on contentious issues. Joan is experienced in representing employers and all aspects of government entity representation.
  • Hollie Conde, Legislative & Lands Coordinator, Conservation Voters for Idaho
    Hollie Conde serves as CVI’s front-line advocate for the protection of Idaho’s public lands. She works with the legislature, local elected officials, and community organizations to advance conservation policy. Before working with CVI, she earned a master’s degree in Public Administration at Boise State, studying the intersection between government, business, and nonprofits. Hollie has also served in local and state politics with the Boise Metro Chamber and the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley, and is a current participant of the Leadership Boise program.
  • Adan de la Paz, International Student Services and Inclusion & Intercultural Engagement Advisor, College of Idaho
    You may remember Adán; he is a regular presenter for our 2022 Fellowship. He co-leads all programming to advance underrepresented domestic and international student engagement and advocacy, and assisted in the restructure of the College’s Council on Diversity & Inclusion. Adán continues to present on topics surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion and provide resources on these subjects.

Next Up:
In April, our Fellows will be attending in-person meet-and-greet sessions with appointed/elected officials in Meridian, Hailey, and Idaho Falls. In addition, they will be learning:

  • Public Budgets: how to find them on the internet, what to look for when reviewing them, and what questions to ask. 
  • Power Mapping: deconstructing and understanding power dynamics.

Question of the Month: Posed from Adan de la Paz to the Fellows: “What are the qualities needed to be an inclusive leader?” Here’s how our Fellows responded:

What inclusive leadership qualities are important to you? Share your answers with