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New year brings new faces to MSPC's Board of Directors

Mountain States Policy Center – the region’s largest free market think tank – has announced three new additions to its Board of Directors: Aaron Klein, Elaine Damschen and Dave Denton.


Klein, Damschen and Denton were elected unanimously by the MSPC Board at its December meeting and, based on the organization’s bylaws, will serve a four year term beginning January 1, 2024.


“Aaron, Elaine and Dave provide our organization with an amazing amount of experience in business and policy,” explained Chris Cargill, MSPC’s President.


“They will help us advance our mission of empowering citizens and putting Free Markets First.”


The trio take the place of board members Ken Dey, Rebecca Funk and Oscar Evans, whose terms expired at the conclusion of the year. Per the organization’s bylaws, four of the 16 board seats expire each year. This ensures a healthy turnover in experience, leadership, and fresh ideas each year.


“We are very grateful for Ken, Becky and Oscar – three fantastic individuals who helped us launch the organization from the very beginning,” Cargill said.

MSPC's Board leadership is also changing, with Julie Shiflett becoming Chair, John S. Otter serving as Vice Chair, William Junkermier has been elected Treasurer, and Brittany Gautreau serving as Secretary.

More information about MSPC’s new board members:


Aaron Klein is the co-founder of Nitrogen, the growth platform for wealth management firms, which started life as Riskalyze in 2011. As its first CEO, he led the company through 42 consecutive quarters of growth, scaling to serve tens of thousands of financial advisors, and twice being named one of the world’s 10 most innovative companies in finance by Fast Company Magazine. He passed the baton to his successor in 2023 and continues to serve on the firm’s Board of Directors.


Aaron is married to Cacey Klein, and they are parents to an amazing Korean-Ethiopian-American family that consists of Spencer, Emma and Teddy. Together, they cofounded Hope Takes Root, an initiative to use capitalism to change the future for orphans and at-risk kids in Ethiopia. They reside in Eagle, Idaho, and absolutely love it.



Elaine Damschen is a Boise State University grad and the co-founder & President of Mainstream Electric Heating Cooling & Plumbing. In 2018, 2019, and 2021, Mainstream was named to the prestigious Inc. 5000 List which highlights the fastest-growing privately held small businesses in the United States.


Having over two decades of professional experiences as a successful entrepreneur, Elaine has been recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Awardee in 2023. Damschen was named the “Woman of the Year” by the Spokesman Review and the Idaho Business Review. Damschen is a former board member of Kids Helping Kids Fix Broken Hearts, a former board member of Nexstar Network, and the Better Business Bureaus of the Great West and Pacific.


Elaine and her husband, Todd enjoy spending time with her three children Hunter, Rhett, and Emily, as well as their significant others and grandson.

Dave Denton retired from a successful career in the oil and natural gas industry, working for British Petroleum. He was involved in major projects including a $40 million investment in Alaska, as well as a $16 billion international gas project in the Middle East.


Dave and his wife Susan live in Hayden, Idaho and are involved in many different local organizations. They try to travel back to Alaska each summer to see friends and fish for salmon.

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