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Sarah Bettwieser, 2020 Women of the Year

Government Affairs Consultant

Cygnet, LLC

 

Sarah Bettwieser, 2020 Women of the Year honoree.

Described as a graceful and extraordinary young businesswoman, it’s fitting that Sarah Bettwieser named her government and public affairs business “Cygnet” when she started it in 2015. The word means young swan, and it also describes her own journey of transformation.

With a career spanning more than 16 years with the well-respected law firm Hopkins Roden Crockett Hansen & Hoopes, PLLC, her fledgling company’s name was also a gift from her long-time boss and mentor, Bill Roden.

“The name was a former business name of his, and he told me how fitting he felt it was when I started my own firm,” she said.

Bettwieser also serves as executive director of the Idaho Financial Services Association and until recently was executive director of the Idaho Governor’s Cup Scholarship Fund. She’s a member of both the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry and Idaho Legislative Advisors, an association of state lobbyists. She is also secretary/treasurer of the Idaho Insurance Council and president of the Idaho Society of Association Executives. In short, Bettwieser is a powerhouse.

“She is a young woman who works collaboratively across a wide range of constituencies, yet firmly and professionally leads with authority,” said Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb in recommending Bettwieser.

Her successful execution of the Idaho Governor’s Cup has raised over $1 million each year, with a record $1.2 million raised in 2018 for college scholarships. For the yearlong project with many details, she handled the responsibility with grace, said First Lady of Idaho Teresa Little.

In addition to establishing her own consulting business, Sarah is also a lobbyist with Hopkins Roden.

“She has an incredibly strategic mind and possesses diverse and meaningful professional relationships,” said Deanna Johnston, regional government affairs vice president for Magellan Health.

And yet, Bettwieser’s life might have turned out very differently. She endured an unstable childhood, raised by a single mother who battled addiction and incarceration. Through determination, she became the first of her family to graduate high school, then earned a business degree from Boise State University while working at the law firm.

Click on the cover to view the digital edition of the 2020 Women of the Year publication.

Bettwieser models that grit for a niece and nephew who came to live with her and husband Levi two years ago through an emergency guardianship. The couple also have a son, Roland.

“Nothing I’ve done in my life has been more rewarding, challenging, influential or impactful than bringing them into our family alongside diving into motherhood,” she said.

Not surprisingly, access to affordable primary care and treatment for behavioral health and substance use disorders are issues close to her heart. Leading with integrity, Bettwieser uses her political acumen to help shepherd health care proposals into law.

Navigating the child welfare system on behalf of her niece and nephew has opened her eyes to gaps in care there as well. She recently joined the board of Court Appointed Special Advocates, an organization that works to keep kids safe and strengthen families.

“My priority is to work with stakeholders to address these gaps by crafting legislation aimed at protecting children and other vulnerable populations,” she said.

About Mary Ann Reuter