On Jan. 23, Governor Brad Little announced the appointment of Twin Falls businessman Mitch Watkins as the new District 4 representative to the Idaho Transportation Board, replacing Jim Kempton, who is retiring at month’s end after nearly 12 years. Watkins begins his service on Jan. 31, 2024.
Watkins will represent eight south-central Idaho counties. Watkins is the owner of Watkins Distributing Sales and Service, a full-service beverage distributor with facilities in Boise, Jerome, Idaho Falls, Lewiston, and Hayden, along with Miles City and Kalispell, Montana. He has served voluntarily in numerous state and local organizations. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Washington.
“I’m excited to be serving on the Idaho Transportation Board at a pivotal time in our state’s history,” Watkins said. “We’re experiencing a period of rapid population and business growth, and we need the infrastructure to accommodate all of that increased pressure on our roads and highways. With Idaho’s challenging topography and severe weather, maintaining our roads and bridges is a never-ending task, but I’m looking forward to being part of the team that’s working to find the best solutions for the citizens of our state.”
“My business operates over 150 trucks, vans, and vehicles daily, so we know first-hand how a system of safe and well-maintained roads is necessary for our employees to get their jobs done safely and efficiently. Idaho’s economy will only grow as fast as the infrastructure develops to support it.”
Idaho Transportation Board Chairman Bill Moad also looks forward to Watkins’ service:
“I look forward to working with Mitch,” said Moad. “As a businessman who has dealt with transportation issues for decades in his distributing business, he has a lot to offer and will be an invaluable asset as we tackle the daily issues that face us as Idaho continues to grow.”
The seven-member Idaho Transportation Board meets once a month to oversee the operations of the Idaho Transportation Department. The Idaho Transportation Board establishes state transportation policy and guides the planning, development and management of a transportation network that is safe, efficient and enhances Idaho’s economy and quality of life.