Johnson, Senator Elizabeth K.
May 26, 2010
Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) is serving her second term in the Oregon Senate. Her father, the late Sam Johnson, was a member of the House of Representatives from Redmond. Her mother, Becky Johnson, has served on numerous State Boards, including the State Board of Higher Education and the Teachers Standards and Practices Commission.
Betsy received her undergraduate degree in History from Carleton College (Northfield, Minnesota) and her Law degree from the Northwestern School of Law, Lewis & Clark College.
A licensed commercial pilot of both fixed and rotor-wing aircraft, she founded Transwestern Helicopters, Inc., in 1978. The helicopter division of the firm was sold in 1993 and the company, now known as Transwestern Aviation, Inc., is managed by her husband John Helm.
In September 1993, Betsy was selected as Manager of the Aeronautics Division of the Oregon Department of Transportation, a position she held until her resignation in September 1998. During the 1999 Legislative Session she was Vice President for Legislative Affairs for the Oregon Pilots Association; she successfully championed legislation that created the Oregon Department of Aviation.
Betsy has served on numerous local, regional and national boards and commissions, including the Oregon Health Sciences University Foundation, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, the Oregon Public Broadcasting Foundation, the High Desert Museum and is a former Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Betsy currently serves on a number of regional boards, most recently elected as a member of the Board of Visitors, Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College. She also serves as the President of the Samuel S. Johnson Foundation.
In the 2009 Legislative Session, Betsy was appointed to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means where she has served since her first session. In addition to serving as Vice Co-Chair of the Full Ways & Means Committee, her 2009 legislative duties included chair of the Transportation & Economic Development Subcommittee of Ways & Means, member of the General Government Subcommittee of Ways & Means, the Economic & Community Development Commission, State Interoperability Executive Council, Pacific Marine Fisheries Commission, Oregon State Capitol Foundation and the Fujian Sister City Committee. The Governor also re-appointed her to the Search and Rescue Task Force. Her assignments make good use of her business, government and public sector experience.