Officers

The IDWC elects officers at its annual breakfast meeting in Boise the morning after the Frank & Bethine Church dinner. Information about elections can be found in our by-laws.

The executive committee is comprised of the president, vice president, secretary, past president and directors for regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Representatives of member counties also nominate a representative to serve on the IDWC State Executive Committee as an ad-hoc member. Our organization represents Idahoans from various parts of the state and backgrounds who are interested in running for public office at every level of government.

Leadership Team

Gini Ballou serves as the IDWC President. She lives in Hailey, Idaho with her husband, Jeff. They have raised four children and have five beautiful grandchildren. Before serving with the Idaho Democratic Women’s Caucus, Gini was co-chair of Blaine County for Obama, past Chair of the Blaine County Democrats, Chair for her county chapter of Mothers of the Military, Chair of the City of Hailey Planning & Zoning Commission, and involved with several community organizations. She owns the Ballou Agency, selling life and disability insurance, and volunteers with the Alzheimer’s Association and the American Cancer Society. She also serves as the 3rd Vice President of the National Federation of Democratic Women. When not at a training event or rally, you can find Gini and her husband on the dance floor or the golf course.

Mary Kuehler serves as the IDWC Vice President. She has served as our webmaster for many years and as non-voting board member. She is a fourth-generation Idahoan who lives in Southeastern Idaho. She has a masters degree in healthcare administration and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. She works in healthcare and enjoys serving in her community.

Gretchen Wissner serves as the IDWC Secretary.

BJ Swanson serves as the IDWC Treasurer. BJ Swanson is a retired commercial bank vice president with over 30 years’ experience in management, budgeting, financial analysis and commercial real estate. Her public service includes chair of Idaho Health Facilities Authority and vice chair of Idaho Workforce Development Council. She previously served as chair of the board of Gritman Medical Center, president of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce, chair of the Idaho Economic Advisory Council, chair and executive director of Latah Economic Development Council, founding member of Latah Trail Foundation and treasurer of League of Women Voters of Moscow. BJ is a life-long resident of Latah County and resides in rural Troy.

Barbara Harris serves as the most recent Past President of the IDWC. She has been a devoted Democratic activist for decades. She has been a strong leader of the labor movement including 15 years as president of the Northern Idaho Central Labor Council and is still a dues-paying member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union even after retirement in 2009. She chaired the board of United Vision for Idaho (UVI) from 2000 to 2002. She has participated in UVI’s efforts to reform campaign finance reform and to provide healthcare access to all Idahoans. She was a co-founder of UVI’s political arm, United Action for Idaho. She lives in Caldwell with her family including 5 great-grandchildren.

Regional Directors

Kathy Judson serves as the Region 1 Director for the IDWC. She lives with her family in Desmet, Idaho where she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren. She currently serves as the Idaho Democratic Party Region 1 Representative and Chair of the Benewah County Democratic Party.

Julia Parker serves as the Region 2 Director for the IDWC.

The Region 3 Director position for the IDWC is currently open.

Colleen Gross serves as the Region 4 Director for the IDWC.

Karen Bliss serves as the Region 5 Director for the IDWC. She is a third-generation Japanese American who retired from the Blaine County School District after 27 years as a Kindergarten and Dual Immersion teacher. She currently serves as the Idaho Democratic Party District 29 Chair. As an advocate for minority students and teachers, she held positions in her local and state teacher’s association and served on the Idaho Education Association Board of Directors as the state Minority Representative. She was the Minority Caucus Chair for 6 years and was on the IEA Human and Civil Rights Committee as a board liaison. Karen’s passion now is teaching ESL to adults at the College of Southern Idaho, playing the violin in a community orchestra, and spending time with her grandchild.

Linda Leeuwrik serves as the Region 6 Director for the IDWC. She is currently the Pocatello City Council President and a former ISU professor. She has a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech, a Master’s degree from Georgia State University, and a Master’s and Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. Before becoming an educator, she worked in the design and architecture field, gaining valuable experience in managing multi-million dollar projects. She is active in a number of non-profit organizations, holding leadership and board positions, and has continued to organize events to inform and benefit her local community. She is a strong advocate for women in public office. She currently serves as the Bannock County Democratic Party State Committeewoman.

Cecile Pérez serves as the Region 7 Director for the IDWC. She is a Latine Mexican and Polish multiracial person. She is a proud queer person; she is genderfluid and a sapphic bisexual. Her pronouns are she/her and they/them. She brings an intersectional perspective to her activism. She is a parent, student, and a practicing Certified Peer Support Specialist. She loves working in the mental health field and looks forward to becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in a few years. She currently serves as the Idaho Democratic Party District 32 Chair.