City of Meridian welcoming new mayor, council members this week

Posted at 9:39 AM, Jan 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-07 11:39:27-05

MERIDIAN, Idaho — The City of Meridian will welcome four new members to the City’s leadership team on Tuesday, January 7, 2020. A swearing-in ceremony will take place during the regularly scheduled City Council meeting at 6:00pm, where newly elected City Council members and Mayor will take the oath of office.

The leadership team will gain a familiar face to the City, Mayor-Elect Robert Simison, who has served as Mayor Tammy de Weerd’s Chief of Staff for the past 12 years.

Robert Simison was born and raised in Idaho and is a graduate of Whitman College where he majored in history. It was in college where he found his passion for public service which led him to his professional career of working for high-profile elected officials at the local and national level for more than 20 years. Robert has focused on advancing policy priorities and working to meet the needs of constituents by delivering exceptional services to the public.

From 1997 to 2007, Robert worked for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. He worked with the General Counsel on all legislative matters before the Committee and handled all process and procedure matters for the Committee.

Prior to being elected Mayor, Robert was a member of the City of Meridian Senior Leadership Team during his 12 years as the Mayor’s Chief of Staff. His efforts led to the rebuilding of the Meridian Road Interchange, creation of the city’s first Strategic Plan, and a vote by residents to expand the City Council from four seats to six.

Robert has been active both professionally and personally in Idaho and Meridian. He has served professionally with organizations such as the Association of Idaho Cities and the Meridian Chamber of Commerce. In addition, he has volunteered as a coach for youth soccer and baseball leagues, and often gets involved in community issues concerning our schools.

Robert and his wife Jenny, along with their three children, Ethan, Natalie, and Ryan, live in south Meridian and enjoy skiing together throughout Idaho each winter.

The City Council will also have three new faces in 2020, including Liz Strader (Seat 1), Brad Hoaglun (Seat 3), and Jessica Perreault (Seat 5). The three will join Council Members Joe Borton, Treg Bernt, and Luke Cavener.

Liz Strader is a local Meridian mom and Idaho native, with over 13 years of experience as a business woman. Liz obtained her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the College of Idaho, and her graduate certificate in commercial real estate from NYU. She spent over a decade working in commercial real estate and finance in New York, with experience founding high performing, specialized lending teams there. She was most recently a Managing Director in Capital Markets for Capital One. Liz planned her departure from Capital One, and recently founded a new loan syndication advisory and consulting business called Pro Syndicate with her business partner who is based out of the Boston area. Liz is very passionate about developing our local business environment and community, and moved back to Meridian from New York to raise her young children here in the community close to both her and her husbands' families. In her free time Liz can be found playing with her kids, doing craft projects and traveling.

Brad Hoaglun grew up in Meridian, graduating from Meridian High School and the College of Idaho, with honors. He married his high school sweetheart, Chandos, and raised their son and daughter in Meridian.

His first experience working in local government began in 1986, when he served as the assistant to the mayor and city council in Boise. This was during a critical time in the development of downtown Boise, and he was involved in the collaborative process between city leaders, local businesses, and citizens that brought about the beginning of the current downtown Boise and subsequent location of Boise Towne Square mall.

Both Brad and his wife have owned and operated their own businesses, and he has worked at all levels of government in a variety of capacities. Brad previously served on the Meridian City Council, appointed by Mayor De Weerd to fill a vacant seat in 2008. He ran for re-election in 2009, winning a four-year term. Due to a change in employment, he did not run in 2013. Brad currently works for Mission Aviation Fellowship in Nampa as director of communication.

In their free time they enjoy spending time with their three grandchildren, exploring Idaho’s backcountry, and finding new varieties of fruits or vegetables to grow in their garden.

Jessica Perreault moved to Idaho with her family in 1991. She graduated from Bonneville High School in Idaho Falls and received a B.S. in Political Science and International Studies from Idaho State University. While at ISU, she served an internship in the US Senate in Wash DC and volunteered in local congressional offices in Pocatello. After living in Spain for a year, she moved to Boise in 2002 and Meridian in 2009.

She has worked in the Real Estate and Lending industries for 16 years, specializing in private lending, asset management, long-term escrow, real estate sales, and new construction. She and her husband, Craig, own Boise Home Hunters LLC and are both Associate Brokers with Equity Northwest Real Estate in downtown Meridian. She is committed to leadership in the real estate and public service as well as highly committed to continuing her education at every opportunity. She is a graduate of the Dale Carnegie Public Speaking and Leadership Program, the Idaho Women in Leadership Public Service program, the Graduate Realtor Institute and holds several other real estate designations.

Jessica also served three years as a volunteer leader for the Meridian Planning and Zoning Commission and is in her fifth year as a member of the Boise Regional Realtors Public Policy Committee, which advocates for home-ownership concerns and affordability in local, state, and national government. She is looking forward to working closely with the Community Development department to explore enhancement to the planning application and public hearing processes and has a passion to continue working toward housing affordability for all. In her free time, Jessica enjoys being outdoors, camping, traveling, running 5/10ks and hanging out with her two miniature dachshunds, Maddie and Moxie.

Once sworn in, the group will resume the people’s business. Tuesday’s draft agenda will also include the election of a new City Council President and Vice-President. Meridian City Council meetings are open to the public and take place every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. at Meridian City Hall. Meetings are live streamed and videos of every council meeting can be viewed here.