Looking at a list of thirty-seven-year-old Jayson Ronk’s accomplishments, it’s hard to believe he qualifies for this award – simply because it seems improbable that anyone could have accomplished all that he’s done before age 40.
Now state government affairs director for Micron, Ronk has also served as vice president of the Idaho Association for Commerce & Industry, was campaign manager for Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter, executive director of the Idaho Republican Party, government affairs director for the Building Contractors Association of Southwest Idaho, and legal counsel assistant to Governor Dirk Kempthorne.
“I’ve been very fortunate,” Ronk acknowledges. “I’ve had very good job opportunities that have also been learning experiences. Each job I’ve had, I’ve had a great boss who was a good mentor and provided me with a lot of opportunity for success.”
Ronk applied for the job after his predecessor, Mike Reynoldson, left Micron for Blue Cross. “It’s something I always wanted to do,” he says. “Once I got into lobbying, I always wanted to go the corporate route. There just aren’t a tremendous amount of in-house corporate lobbyists.”
At Micron, Ronk handles state government affairs in Virginia and California, the other states in which the company has a presence. In addition, the company advocates for technology, and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. “Micron is a tremendous supporter of STEM education,” he says, including advocating for a statewide STEM center and computer science initiative. He has also recently been added to the College of Western Idaho Foundation board.
In his new position, which he’s held for about a year, Ronk also needed to learn what it was like to work for a big company. “It’s definitely been a transition for me,” he says. “All the rest of my jobs, I’ve been in a fairly small office environment. It’s a good learning experience.”
In addition to earning his master’s degree in public administration at Boise State University and raising two little boys with his wife Megan (herself Director of Commerce), Ronk also serves on a number of boards and associations such as Buy Idaho, Associated Taxpayers of Idaho, the Governor’s Cup, and the March of Dimes. “That’s the one I spent more time with,” he says, because his oldest son was born six weeks early. He also practices golf and wants to take up fly fishing and chess, learn Spanish, and travel internationally.
So what about running for office himself? Is that part of the plan? “No,” Ronk laughs. “That’s not me.”
Most memorable airplane trip: “My wife and I were taking our oldest son, right around his first birthday, to Hawaii. He cried and screamed and was just fussy for six and a half hours. Prior to having a child, I would have gotten annoyed, and now we were those parents. It changes your perspective. Rather than being irritated, you do whatever you can to help.”