Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors oversees the regional progress of NextGen. Each member currently holds an elected office somewhere in Idaho and is a leader their community. They invest their time and energy in NextGen projects and fundraising efforts. Our BOD serve as guides and resources for NextGeners throughout their career journey.

Mat Erpelding
Idaho State House Minority Leader
"Mat Erpelding is the Founder of Idaho Next Generation Leadership and also Idaho’s State House Minority Leader who represents District 19, Seat A. As Owner of Experiential Adventures LLC and Former Experiential Education Instructor for College of Western Idaho, Mat specializes in leadership development and administrative training. He is also a retired high-altitude climbing guide who has lead teams on mountains around the world and is Co-Owner of Idaho Mountain Guides."
Diana Lachiondo
Ada County Commissioner
"Diana is an Ada County Commissioner and Former Director of Community Partnerships for the City of Boise. Diana’s proactive approach has centered on helping Idaho’s vulnerable populations like children, seniors, veterans, the homeless, and refugees. She launched the Housing and Homelessness Roundtable and led Boise’s Pre-K development project that is now a template of success used by school districts."
Shannon Williamson
President of Sandpoint City Council
"Shannon is serving her second term as President for Sandpoint City Council. She is also the Executive Director of Lake Pend Oreille WaterKeeper, liaison for Urban Forestry and Sustainability Committees, and member of the Wastewater Technical Advisory Committee. As a single mother and environmental advocate, Shannon is committed to sustainable government policies so that Idaho’s great lands can be enjoyed by future generations."
Amy Evans
Councilmember of Coeur d’Alene City Council
"Amy is a Member of Coeur d’Alene City Council and also the North Idaho Regional Director for the Idaho Youth Ranch. She served for six years on the city’s Planning Commission and is known for her tireless efforts on community projects and dedication to education. She is also the Founding President of Coeur d'Alene Education Partnership, which created a constructive path forward for decisions affecting public education."
John Radford
Idaho Falls City Council Member
"John developed his leadership skills through 25 years of management experience at a Fortune 500 company, where he successfully nurtured relationships and led thousands of employees. Now a Member of the Idaho Falls City Council, John works as a liaison for the community-owned and carbon-free utility company Idaho Falls Power. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Idaho Falls Rotary Club and the Idaho Falls Symphony."
Cindy Riegal
Teton County Commissioner Chair
"Cindy Riegel is a second term Teton County Commissioner from Victor, Idaho. She has worked as an outdoor educator, field ecologist, and nonprofit manager in the Greater Yellowstone region for over 25 years. Cindy serves on several local and regional nonprofit boards that support safe and healthy communities, like the Teton Food and Farm Coalition and Board of Full Circle Education"

Advisory Board

Our Advisory Board Members are renown Idaho leaders committed to NextGen’s success. Their distinct backgrounds and achievements in politics, public policy, law, and government leadership have earned them reputations that proceed them. Advisory Board Members provide NextGen leaders with their experience, advice, and complete endorsement of the organization. Their support helps NextGen grow and prosper.

Larry LaRocco
U.S. Congressman
"Larry LaRocco was our U.S. Congressman for Idaho's District 1 between 1991-1994. He served as a U.S. Army Captain of Military Intelligence and was honorably discharged after surviving a car bomb explosion that killed three of his comrades in Germany. Larry is also Former Managing Director of the American Bankers Association, Former President of the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress, and Founder of the public affairs and government relations firm, LaRocco and Associates. NextGen’s young energy can impact the outcomes of local politics. This grass-roots power not only gives young leaders hands-on experience, but helps move forward our progressive leaders of today."
Tony Park
Former Idaho State Attorney General
"Anthony (Tony) Park served Idaho as the State Attorney General from 1971-1975. His election was a historical turning point for Democrats in Idaho, which marked the end of a 24-year dominance of Republican leadership. Tony has also served as the Former Chairman of Idaho Bicentennial Commission, District 19 Senator Bucker-Webb’s Campaign Chair, and now practices law at Thomas, Williams, and Park LLP. Investing in our children’s success is the most important investment we will make in our lifetime. NextGen is a great step toward ensuring this next generation will outdo its predecessors."
Walt Minnick
U.S. Congressman
"Walt recently served as U.S. Congressman for Idaho, District 1, between 2009-2011. For his secondary education, he attended both Harvard Law and Harvard School of Business. Now, he has dedicated his career to creating progressive, sustainable policy for the future of Idaho and our nation. He is Co-Founder to the Partnership for Responsible Growth, The Majority Group, and the Idaho Business Council. He also served on the Idaho Conservation League. Political activism is higher than ever, and NextGen provides young advocates with unparalleled opportunities to participate in Idaho’s greater political discussion."
Maria Weeg
Executive Director
"Maria is the former Executive Director of both the Idaho and Arizona Democratic Parties. Her national recognition comes from a decade of doubling Democratic legislative seats, electing progressive mayors and city council members, and winning targeted Congressional seats. She's also ran programs for the League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, and half a dozen state caucuses. Her unparalleled commitment to electoral politics is equal to that of its future leaders. Idaho Next Generation Leadership is an investment that should have been prioritized by Idaho’s leaders long ago. It is a necessity to the success and growth of this state."
A J Balukoff
Boise School Board Chairman
"AJ Balukoff served on the Boise School Board for over two decades, is Former Chairman of the Boise State University Foundation, currently serves on the Saint Lukes Hospital Board, and much more. His extensive educational experience and commitment to improving the quality of life for Idaho’s future generations drove him to run for Governor in 2014 and 2018. As a businessman, he co-founded Boise’s largest CPA firm, is partial owner of the Idaho Steelheads Hockey Team, Grove Hotel, Hotel 43, Marriott, and Century Link Arena. He brings a combination of educational, political, and business expertise to our table. NextGen provides young leaders experiential learning that can be tough to find in the field of politics and government. They’ll be able to spend less time learning Idaho’s infrastructure and problems and more on finding solutions."
Dan Hanks
2018 Candidate for Idaho House of Representatives District 3
"Dan is the founder of Northwest College Support and Cultivation Counseling. His passion to help students meet their highest potential led him to specialize in learning differences and individuals with autism, ADHD, or struggling with addictions. In 2018, Dan ran for State Representative in District 3. He plans to use that experience to further help himself, other candidates, and future leaders run campaigns that make a difference. I am deeply invested in NextGen because I know our kids are the future. We must supply them with the support, resources, and experience needed for them to succeed."

NextGen Staff

Ivy Smith
NextGen Development Director
"NextGen has given me the opportunity to learn how to build up a political base within my own community and all over the state."
Logan Stanley
NextGen Outreach Coordinator