Women may soon be the majority on the Utah alcohol commission

Gov. Cox appoints Jennifer Tarazon, a communication director for AARP Utah, and Natalie Randall, a state tourism director, to the DABC board.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Customers line up for the opening of the new state liquor and wine store in Saratoga Springs, on Monday, Nov. 16, 2020.

On Friday, Gov. Spencer Cox named two women to the sometimes controversial board that oversees liquor sales and licensing in Utah.

If the state Senate confirms Jennifer Tarazon and Natalie Randall, five of the seven members of the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control commission will be women.

That is likely a first for the high-profile board.

Earlier this year, Cox appointed Tiffany Clason as the executive director of the state agency that generates half a billion dollars in annual revenue.

Increasing diversity on Utah’s boards and commission is a key part of the 500-day plan of the Cox-Henderson administration, according to a news release announcing appointments for more than four dozen state boards and commissions, including the DABC.

Tarazon is currently the associate director of communications at AARP Utah. The California native, who received her law degree from Brigham Young University, replaces the commission’s chairman, John T. Nielsen.

Randall is the executive director for the Utah Tourism Industry Association. She received a bachelor’s degree from BYU-Idaho and will replace Commissioner Steven Bateman.

Both Nielsen and Bateman have served two, four-year terms on the commission and their tenures are set to expire on July 1.

The remaining five members of the commission include:

Thomas Jacobson, a Park City attorney, who also was appointed to a second four-year term on Friday.

Jacquelyn Orton, a Democrat, and widow of former U.S. Rep. Bill Orton.

Stanley B. Parrish, former Utah business leader.

Juliette Tennert, chief economist at the University of Utah Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.

Tara Thue, AT&T’s president of the Mountain West states.