Saturday is biggest day of year for Idaho Dems, slate of events

The annual Frank and Bethine Church Gala is Saturday,  including a  Hispanic luncheon, gala dinner and after-party, all at the Boise Centre. The event is the busiest of the year in a non-election year, held while the Legislature is in town.

Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau is the dinner speaker, at 7 p.m.

A Thursday news release from the Idaho Democratic Party follows:

For Immediate Release

Feb. 21, 2013

Contact: Dean A. Ferguson at 208-790-4530



Frank and Bethine Church Gala Saturday in Boise


Boise, Idaho—Idaho Democrats will gather Saturday for the annual Frank and Bethine Church Gala Weekend in Boise. Keynote speaker for Saturday night’s gala dinner is Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau. The event is an annual fundraiser for the Idaho Democratic Party. State Central Committee members will meet earlier in the day for trainings and to select a state chairman to replace Larry Grant, who is stepping down after two years in the position.


Events open to the Press*


Frank and Bethine Church Gala

  • Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013
  • 5:30 pm Social Hour and Silent Auction , 7:00 Dinner & program begins
  • Boise Centre, 850 W Front St., Boise Idaho
  • $75 for non-DEM Club Members


Idaho Democratic Hispanic Luncheon

  • Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013
  • 12- 1 p.m.
  • Boise Centre, 850 W Front St., Boise Idaho
  • $25 for luncheon, free for listen only


Also Don’t miss the Idaho Young Democrats After Hours Party

  • Saturday, Feb. 23rd, 2013, right after the Gala
  • 9:30 until midnight
  • The Glen, Boise Centre
  • Ticket Price- $15. Buy tickets online by clicking below.


*Trainings and other events are only open to party members.


Speaker Bios:


Denise Juneau

Juneau has attended, taught in, and worked with Montana’s public school classrooms.  She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English at Montana State University in Bozeman, a Master’s Degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a law degree from the University of Montana, and an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Carroll College. She is a member of the Mandan and Hidatsa tribes and is the first American Indian woman elected to a statewide position. She just began her second term as the Superintendent of Public Instruction.  Juneau was a noted speaker at the 2012 National Convention in North Carolina last September 2012.


Hispanic Caucus Luncheon Speakers:


Senator Michelle Stennett

Stennett has been an Idaho resident for 26 years. Stennett’s professional background has drawn on all aspects of her degrees in International Studies and Latin Languages with a minor in Business. Her work in advertising sales for the family’s television company gave Stennett experience in marketing and budgeting challenges faced by business-owners. She worked five years in flight operations with Horizon Air and Sun Valley Aviation, servicing private aircraft. Stennett has worked in Idaho and abroad for aid and philanthropic organizations implementing community-based solutions on issues such as clean water, grazing, and sanitation.


Luz R Robles   

Robles was appointed by Governor Jon Huntsman as the first Director for the State Office of Ethnic Affairs focusing on institutional change when dealing with state agencies and the services they provide to the ethnic community of Utah. She oversaw the directors of the Asian, Black, Hispanic/Latino and Pacific Islander affairs. She currently works as vice president for Zions Bank managing the Hispanic/Latino market. Her work focuses on marketing banking and financial services to this segment of the population. In 2008, Robles was elected to the Utah State Senate representing district 1, which includes part of Salt Lake City. Robles will join the Utah Senate Minority leadership team this upcoming legislative session.


Jimmy Matta
Matta is President of Local Carpenters Union 41 in Washington, president of Pacific NW Regional Council of Carpenters and the first Latino assistant to the CEO with the Pacific NW Regional Council of Carpenters. He promotes union association efforts in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. Born in Idaho to undocumented migrant farmworkers, Matta spent his early childhood in central Washington and started working in the fields at age 10. As an adult, Matta started his own construction company and in 1998 began working with the Carpenters Union.


Ruben Gallego 

Gallego is the Director of Latino and New Media Operations with Strategies 360. Gallego helps companies and non-profits communicate to their clients through new media. Gallego helps campaigns, companies and non-profit reach the fast growing Latino market. Currently, Gallego serves in the Arizona State Legislature. Previously, he worked for Riester, a large public relation firms in Arizona. He also served in the U.S. Marine Corps, including a tour of duty in Iraq. He was named by the Phoenix Business Journal as one of the Phoenix’s 40 people under the age of 40 that are leading the way in Phoenix. Recently, Gallego was named one of Chicanos Por La Causa Hispanic most influential leaders.


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.

Posted in Idaho Politics