Former Albertsons CEO Gary Michael appointed to Idaho Lottery Commission

Gov. Butch Otter has appointed one of the state’s most respected senior business leaders to the Idaho Lottery Commission to fill a vacancy left by the death of Commission Chairman Roger Jones in August.

Otter also announced the appointment of Vice Chairman Mel Fischer to replace Jones as chairman.

Michael was with Albertsons during the go-go years, from 1966 to 2001, when he retired as CEO.

In 2003-04, Michael served as interim president of the University of Idaho in the wake of the University Place scandal that prompted the resignation of President Bob Hoover. Michael helped complete a scaled-back version of a four-building U of I complex in what is now the Idaho Water Center.

Michael, 73, is a member of the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation board of directors and has formerly served on the boards of Boise Cascade, Idaho Power, Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center and the 12th District Federal Reserve Board.

A news release from Otter issued late Thursday follows (sorry, I overlooked this last week):


(BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter announced the appointment today of Gary Michael, retired chairman and CEO of Albertsons Inc., to the vacancy on the Idaho Lottery Commission left by the death of longtime Commission Chairman Roger Jones of Glenns Ferry in August.

Michael, 73, will serve out the balance of Jones’ unfinished term, which runs until January 2017.

Governor Otter also announced his appointment today of Lottery Commission member Mel Fisher to be chairman of the Commission. Fisher, a Boise attorney, has been a member of the Lottery Commission since June 2003 and is serving a term that extends to January 2018.  He had been the Commission’s vice chairman.

Michael retired from Albertsons in June 2001. The Montana native and University of Idaho graduate started his career with the supermarket giant in 1966. He has been on a number of corporate boards of directors, including Boise Cascade and Idaho Power, and on such nonprofit organizations as Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center. Michael also served on the 12th District Federal Reserve Board, and remains a member of the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation’s board of directors. He was interim president of the University of Idaho from June 2003 to July 2004.

“You can’t find a much more distinguished, talented or successful business leader than Gary Michael. He has proven his commitment to Idaho again and again over the years, and I’m pleased that he’s agreed to take on this new challenge with the Lottery Commission,” Governor Otter said. “We have a great team at the Lottery, and I’m confident that its strong reputation for integrity and responsibility will continue with the addition of Gary and the elevation of Mel to chairman.”


“I’d like to thank Governor Otter for the appointment, and the trust and confidence he has in my ability to serve as chairman,” Fisher said. “I hope to serve as well as our former chairman, Roger Jones. I look forward to continuing to work with Director Anderson and the great staff at Team Lottery.”

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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