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Idaho State Treasurer & Conference Host
Julie Ellsworth was elected Idaho’s 24th State Treasurer in 2018 and took office in January, 2019. Treasurer Ellsworth has a long history of public service which includes serving in the Idaho House of Representatives for twelve years.
Some of Julie’s legislative endeavors included drafting model legislation to allow individuals and businesses to purchase health insurance across state borders and passing legislation cracking down on Medicaid fraud, which resulted in the state recouping millions of dollars. She also worked to maintain the state’s high bond rating by meeting with Wall Street rating firms to answer questions about Idaho’s financial status and public policies.
As a Legislator, Julie worked closely with former State Treasurers Lydia Justice Edwards and Ron Crane as she served on the germane oversight committees. It was during this time that she became interested in the operations of the Treasurer’s Office.
Since taking office in January, Treasurer Ellsworth has taken a very hands-on approach. Whether it is with the day to day operations of the office, the Boards on which she serves or in responding to constituents, Treasurer Ellsworth is committed to ensuring the office is efficient, transparent and focused on customer service.
Treasurer Ellsworth is honored to have the opportunity to serve her fellow Idahoans and is grateful for the trust they have placed in her.
In addition to her legislative service, she has functioned as a Civil Mediator/Facilitator and Business Consultant. She was a Foundation Grant Evaluator and Judge as well as a teacher in Idaho’s public schools.
Julie Ellsworth grew up in Idaho and has worked to promote a pro-family environment for the state. She and her husband have three children and two grandchildren.
Smart Women Smart Money Conference Founder
Ron G. Crane was born in Nampa, Idaho. He is a graduate of Nampa Christian High School and later graduated from college with an Associate’s Degree. He received an honorary doctorate from Ohio Christian University in 2008. He served as a member in the Idaho National Guard from 1971 — 1977, receiving recognition as Idaho’s Soldier of the Year in 1975.
Ron served as Idaho's State Treasurer for 20 years becoming one of the nation's longest serving State Treasurers. As state treasurer Mr. Crane was responsible for management of both the state and local government investment pools with a daily balance in excess of $3.2 billion dollars. He directed receipt of all state monies, the accounting and disbursement of public funds, and invested general account and pooled agency cash in various fixed income securities to produce significant new non-tax revenue for the State of Idaho. He has overseen issuance of instruments of state debt and paid all warrants issued by the State Controller’s Office. He also directed the investments of the Idaho Millennium Fund and the Idaho Millennium Permanent Endowment Fund.
The Treasurer also served as the unclaimed property administrator for the State of Idaho. He was president of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) in 2011.
As Treasurer, Mr. Crane was a member of the State Board of Canvassers, administrator of the Local Government Investment Pool , custodian of Idaho Endowment Funds, custodian of Worker’s Compensation security deposits made by insurance companies, administrator of the Underground Storage Tank Upgrade Assistance Account, and was an ex-officio advisor to the Idaho Housing and Finance Association. He was chairman of the College Savings Plan advisory board, Chairman of the Idaho Bond Bank Authority and Chairman of the Idaho Credit Rating Enhancement Committee . He received a national award from the US Small Business Administration for innovative programs that provide capital to Idaho small businesses by founding the Prime Rate Loan Program know as ” Idaho Prime “.
Prior to his election as Treasurer in 1998, Mr. Crane served 16 years in the Idaho House of Representatives. While there, he chaired the House State Affairs Committee for 4 years and the Business Committee for 7 years. He also served as co-chairman of the Interim Committee on Electrical Restructuring. During his public service, he received the Guardian of Small Business Award from NFIB and the Legislative Champion of the Family Award.
Mr. Crane started his own successful business, Crane Alarm Service, in 1979. Today, Crane Alarm is one of the oldest and largest alarm companies in Idaho. He is a member of the Nampa and Caldwell, Idaho Chambers of Commerce, was a founding member of the Lifeline Crisis Pregnancy Center, and served on the board of trustees for Nampa Christian Schools.
Mr. Crane has been married to his wife, Cheryl, since 1969. They have six children, four girls and two boys, and nine grandchildren. The Cranes reside in Nampa, Idaho.
Smart Women Smart Money Conference Liaison and founding President of SFOF
As President of SFOF he is charged with leading the national organization and collaborating with like-minded state officials to promote fiscally responsible, free market principles to better impact state and federal financial policy. Kreifels is charged with ensuring that SFOF’s fiscal, operational, fundraising, marketing, and communication strategies are effectively implemented.
Kreifels spent five years as Assistant State Treasurer of Kansas. As Assistant State Treasurer he also served as chief of staff - an agency head and deputy to a statewide elected official. He managed all aspects of the Treasurer’s office including scheduling, policy development, legislative, budgeting and personnel.
Kreifels was accountable for an office which processed over $21B annually which is comprised of 42 employees with an annual budget of over $3.5M. He worked with the State Treasurer to create new programs and modernize existing ones to reach out to a diverse set of Kansans with a wide variety of financial education initiatives. He was responsible for identifying innovative ways to help return unclaimed property to Kansans.
Kreifels played an integral role in working with the Kansas 529 Learning Quest program and program manager to develop annual marketing plan which includes television, radio, newsprint, collateral material and other borderless marketing initiatives.
Kreifels continuously sought out ways to increase the use of technology in the office to reduce costs. He directed Emergency Preparedness Operations planning and training for the agency with exposure to FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security as well as the Kansas Department of Emergency Management.
Kreifels has spent the last 25 years encouraging, advising and working along side various federal, state, and local leaders. Before working for the public sector, Kreifels spent several years in banking.
He attended Kansas State University, received his undergraduate degree from Wichita State University, and his Masters from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas. He lends his leadership to several boards and non-profits. He and his wife Melanie recently traveled to a remote part of Ghana, Africa, on a mission trip to attend the grand opening of a school. He and Melanie live in the Kansas City area.
Smart Women Smart Money Conference Coach
Nicole Sherman is a dynamic leader-builder in the financial industry with over 25 years of broad-based experience. She currently serves as Senior Vice President & Puget Sound Market Region Manager in Retail Administration for Columbia Bank.
Nicole is passionate about people and as such was nominated for the Columbia Bank “Excellence in Leadership Award”, the highly regarded W.W. Philip Award and was formerly named only 1 of 4 women to the “Top 40 Under Forty” Business Executives by Utah Business Magazine as well as being named as a “Top 20 Under Forty Rising Star” by the Inland NW Catalyst Magazine.
She currently serves as a top-rated Faculty Member for Pacific Coast Banking Graduate School at University of Washington and serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for United Way of Pierce County.
Smart Women Smart Money Conference Emcee
Carolyn Holly comes to the Smart Women Smart Money team from the Treasure Valley of Idaho after being involved with Smart Women Smart Money as its conference emcee for the past 15 years. Holly currently serves as Vice President of Idaho Business for Education. In her role, she is an instrumental part of developing meaningful relationships with business leaders to create a highly educated and skilled workforce.
Carolyn enjoyed a 33 year career at KTVB Channel 7 television in Boise, where she became one of Idaho's most experienced and best known television personalities.
Carolyn has acted as an important representative and volunteer for many Treasurer Valley organizations including Smart Women Smart Money, Boise Public Schools Foundation, Idaho Youth Sports Commission, the Saint Alphonsus Foundation, FUNDSY, the Boise Police Chiefs Citizen Advisory panel and the President of the FACES Foundation.