BigWigs & New Gigs: Government
South Bend City Official Stepping Down
The City of South Bend announced Diversity & Inclusion Officer Christina Brooks will be leaving December 6. She has accepted the position of chief equity officer and director of the office of diversity and inclusion for the city of Fort Worth, Texas. Brooks became South Bend's first diversity and inclusion officer in 2016.
Buttigieg Announces Board Appointment
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has appointed Melissa Colpitts to the Board of Public Safety. She currently serves as human resources generalist and benefits coordinator for the city of South Bend. Colpitts is a graduate of Bethel University, where she studied business management and human resources.
Visclosky Not Seeking Re-election to Congress
Representative Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.) has announced that he will not seek re-election next year. Our partners at the Times of Northwest Indiana report Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. will run for the open seat to represent northwest Indiana in the U.S. House. McDermott released his intent to run via a Twitter post following Visclosky’s announcement Wednesday.
Governor Names Bedel to Lead New Agency
Governor Eric Holcomb and Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch have selected Elaine Bedel as secretary and chief executive officer of the newly-created Indiana Destination Development Corp. Bedel currently serves as president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp.
WRSP Announces Promotion
White River State Park has promoted Maggie Ranallo to deputy director. She most recently served as special projects and events & office manager. Prior to that, Ranallo worked with Visit Indy. She has been a part of the Indianapolis event and hospitality industry for four years. Ranallo is a graduate of Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis with a master’s degree in event tourism.
Indiana Republican Party Names Director
The Indiana Republican Party has hired Jake Oakman as the director of strategic communications. Oakman was most recently a special assistant to Governor Eric Holcomb, serving as main speech writer and liason on international engagement. He also served as deputy press secretary to former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. Oakman holds a degree from Indiana University.
OPHS Announces Coordinator
The Office of Public Health and Safety in Indianapolis has named Milele Kennedy as food policy and program coordinator. She previously served as USDA food programs grant manager for Indy Parks, a role focused on managing state and federal food program dollars while creating partnerships with local organizations to feed hungry youth in Marion County.
DOC Announces Promotion
The Indiana Department of Correction has promoted Mitch Donick to deputy director of operations for the parole services division. He has over 20 years of experience in law enforcement, corrections and protective services. Donick began his career in 2003 as an officer at Putnamville Correctional Facility. In 2013 he became a parole agent at the Bloomington Parole District.
Holcomb Names Fire Marshal
Governor Eric Holcomb he has named Stephen Cox to serve as Indiana state fire marshal. He replaces Jim Greeson who retired in September. Cox has served with the South Bend Fire Department for 26 years, including 12 years in executive leadership. He served in the U.S. Army as a combat medic during Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Holcomb Names Adjutant General
Governor Eric Holcomb has selected Col. R. Dale Lyles to serve as adjutant general of the Indiana National Guard. He most recently served as deputy chief of staff for operations at the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C. During his time in Indiana, Lyles served director of Atterbury Muscatatuck operations, commander of the 219th Engineer Brigade and commander of Muscatatuck Urban Training Center.
Higher Ed Commission Promotes Two
The Indiana Commission for Higher Education has promoted Alexa Deaton to associate commissioner and Chief Financial Officer. She previously served as director of accounting. Also, Colby Shank has been promoted to associate commissioner for student financial aid, a new position for the organization. He most recently served as assistant commissioner for financial and student support services.
State Prison Announces Promotion
The Indiana State Prison has promoted Christopher Dustin to correctional captain. He has previously served as correctional sergeant, correctional lieutenant and supervisor. Dustin has been with the Department of Corrections since 1998. He is also a United States Navy veteran.
ISP Husband, Wife Announce Retirements
The Indiana State Police has announced Master Trooper Richard Crawford and his wife, Lieutenant Nicole Crawford will retire from the department. He has served in the commercial vehicle enforcement division before transferring to the executive protection section, where he served his final 11 years. Lt. Crawford has served in the training division 2015.
DOC Promotes Heavilin
The Indiana Department of Correction has promoted Ryan Heavilin to correctional sergeant at the State Prison in Michigan City. He has served the department since 2001 when he started as a correctional officer at the Westville Correctional Facility. Heavilin earned his Associate Degree in Law Enforcement from Vincennes University.
OCRA Names Main Street Program Manager
The Office of Community and Rural Affairs has named Jackie Swihart as program manager for the Indiana Main Street and Historic Renovation Grant programs. She takes over for Mary Shaw, who recently retired. Swihart most recently served as an intern with the Indiana Humanities and completed her master's in public history.
Public Defender of Indiana to Retire
Stephen Owens, the Public Defender of Indiana, has announced he will retire in December. The state Supreme Court appointed him to the position in 2011. Owens came to the state Public Defender’s Office in 1986. He was named the Assistant Chief Deputy of Personnel in 1987. He is a graduate of Illinois College and the University of Dayton.
Noblesville Fire Chief to Retire
Noblesville Fire Chief Greg Wyant has announced he will retire from the department in December. He began his service in 1994 and has served as an administrator since 2004. In his tenure with the department, Wyant has been a firefighter, lieutenant, captain, division chief, assistant chief and fire chief. Prior to that, Wyant served six years in the United States Navy.
Lt. Governor Announces Staff Changes
Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch has named Sara Broadwater (pictured) communications director and Thomas Barclay director of intergovernmental affairs. Broadwater most recently served in Washington D.C. as communications director for U.S. Congressman Roger Williams (R-TX) and served as the deputy press secretary for U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
PNJCF Promotes Mixell
The Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility has promoted Carly Mixell to lead investigator. She previously served as security threat group coordinator. Mixell graduated from IUPUI with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. She began her career at PNJCF as a youth Development specialist in 2016 and was then promoted to correctional sergeant in 2017.
DOC Promotes Keith
The Indiana Department of Correction has promoted Troy Keith to director of parole services. He has been with the department for 21 years, most recently serving as deputy director of operations of parole services. Keith began his career as a correctional officer at Putnamville Correctional Facility.
IDVA Names Operations Director
The Indiana Department of Veterans' Affairs has named Michael Thompson operations director. He previously served as state veteran program director at the Department of Workforce Development. Thompson is a 27-year veteran of the U.S. Army and of the Indiana National Guard, where he has been an ammunition specialist in the 38th Sustainment Brigade at Camp Atterbury.
City of Bloomington Promotes Schaich
The city of Bloomington has promoted Lucy Schaich to volunteer network coordinator, a program of the Community and Family Resources Department. She served as assistant coordinator from 2000 until 2018, when she became the volunteer network’s interim director. Schaich is a graduate of Indiana University.
Holcomb Names Director
Governor Eric Holcomb has named Matthew Brown director of the newly formed Office of Administrative Law Proceedings. He has served a variety of roles in the State Personnel Department from 2006 to 2012 and, after a stint in private practice, he returned to the department in 2014. Most recently, Brown has served as the deputy director of operations at SPD.
Rush Reappointed Chief Justice
The Judicial Nominating Commission has voted to reappoint Loretta Rush as Indiana's Chief Justice. Rush was appointed to the high court in 2012 and was first chosen as Chief Justice in 2014. She has overseen the development of statewide e-filing, continued implementation of a state case management system and created commercial courts. Rush holds degrees from Purdue University and Indiana University.
Noblesville Police Chief Stepping Down
Noblesville Police Chief Kevin Jowitt as announced that he will retire in January. He has served 43 years in law enforcement, the past 10 as chief. The city is one of only nine Indiana agencies that have national and state accreditation and is the only department in the region to have police officers in every school building.
Arts Commission promotes Eckert
The Indiana Arts Commission has promoted Bridget Eckert to director of marketing and communications. She most recently served as communications and community engagement manager. Eckert graduated from Herron School of Art and Design in 2016 with a BFA in visual communication design.
FSSA Names New Leadership Team
The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration has announced Jay Chaudhary will serve as director of the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction. Also, Rachel Halleck has been named deputy director and the division’s chief of staff. Chaudhary currently serves as managing attorney for Indiana Legal Services where he’s served in several key positions including Midtown Medical Legal Partnership’s founding director.
DNR Promotes Director
The Department of Natural Resources Fish & Wildlife has promoted Amanda Wuestefeld as its first female director. Wuestefeld has worked full-time for DNR Fish & Wildlife for over 25 years. She has most recently served as assistant director, after serving as Hoosier Outdoor Heritage coordinator for eight years. Wuestefeld holds a degree from Purdue University.
National Guard Leader to Step Down
The Adjutant General of the Indiana National Guard, who held the title since 2015, will step down at the end of this week. Maj. Gen. Courtney P. Carr's retirement comes amid a defamation lawsuit recently filed against him, according to our partners at WIBC. Brigadier General Timothy Winslow will serve as the interim Adjutant General.
Health Executive to Fill House Seat
A Republican caucus voted Tuesday to have a former Marion General Hospital director fill a House seat once held by State Representative Kevin Mahan. Ann Vermilion received a majority of the votes from GOP caucus-goers, defeating two others vying for the job. Vermilion will represent Indiana House District 31 which includes all of Blackford County and portions of Delaware, Grant and Wells counties.
Head to Retire From Indiana Senate
Indiana State Senator Randy Head (R-Logansport) has announced he will be resigning his position in August. He is stepping down to serve as chief deputy prosecutor of Pulaski County. Head has represented Senate District 18 since 2008. The district currently encompasses Cass, Fulton and Miami Counties and portions of Carroll, Kosciusko and Marshall counties.
Indiana Grown Makes Leadership Changes
Heather Tallman (pictured) has been promoted to program director of the state's Indiana Grown program. She previously served as member development program manager and has been with the state’s agriculture department since 2017. Prior to joining the department, Tallman created and founded her own food media company, Kitchen Sink Media. Also, Dana Kosco (pictured) has recently been named marketing and communications manager.
Purdue Professor Appointed to National Council
Purdue University professor Joseph Balagtas has been selected to serve as senior economist to the Council of Economic Advisers in Washington, D.C. He will focus on agricultural and food policy. Balagtas serves as associate professor of agricultural economics. Previously, he was a Fulbright senior scholar and visiting scientist at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines.
Noblesville Hires Department Director
The City of Noblesville has hired Alison Krupski as the new engineering department director. Krupski has served as Hamilton County’s Bridge Program Engineer for the past four years where she was responsible for budgeting, planning and overseeing the maintenance and construction of more than 325 bridges in the county. She previously worked for American Structurepoint in its bridge group where she designed bridges across the state.
IDVA Hires General Counsel
The Indiana Department of Veterans’ Affairs has hired Gabrielle Owens as general counsel. She previously served as counsel for the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute where she supervised the regulatory compliance division. She is the daughter of a retired United States Air Force Colonel.
President Trump Nominates Hershman
President Donald Trump has nominated Lisa Hershman as chief management officer of the Department of Defense. She currently serves as deputy chief management officer, while also performing the duties of the CMO. Before joining the federal government, she was founder and served as CEO of The DeNovo Group in Indianapolis.
Bloomington Names Assistant Director of Sustainability
The City of Bloomington has hired Lauren Travis as assistant director of sustainability in the Department of Economic and Sustainable Development. She most recently served as project manager for Regional Opportunity Initiatives to develop and launch quality of place projects across the Indiana Uplands Region.
IMPD Makes Command Staff Changes
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Bryan Roach has announced new staff appointments: Craig McCartt (pictured), deputy chief of the Criminal Investigations Division; Jerry Leary (pictured), East District commander and Karen Arnett day shift captain for East District. McCartt most recently served as East District commander. He is a 24-year veteran of IMPD and recent graduate of the FBI National Academy.
DCS Promotes Lahr
The Indiana Department of Child Services has promoted Erin Lahr to deputy general counsel. She previously served as an administrative law judge. Lahr has worked for the agency for nearly a decade. She graduated with her doctor of jurisprudence degree from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law.
Bursten Retires From ISP
Dave Bursten, long time spokesperson for the Indiana State Police has announced his retirement. He has been with the department for 36 years serving first as a trooper and as public information officer since 1995. Bursten will continue his service to the state as chief communications officer for the Indiana Department of Correction.
Governor Promotes Jackson to Budget Director
Governor Eric Holcomb has promoted Zachary Jackson to state budget director. He has served as the state deputy budget director since 2013. Prior to that, Jackson served as assistant director of the State Budget Agency overseeing the Health and Human Services Division.
IMPD Makes Command Staff Changes
Indianapolis Metropolitan Department Police Chief Chief Bryan Roach has appointed Catherine Cummings major of the Criminal Investigations Division. She replaces Harold (Steve) Turner who will return to night watch to serve as commander. Cummings is a 20-year veteran, most recently serving as executive officer of the administration division.
DCS Promotes Bognar
The Indiana Department of Child Services has promoted Erin Bognar to assistant general counsel of training and support. She previously served as chief counsel of legal affairs. In this newly-created position, Bognar will work to improve DCS attorney training and recruitment for the agency’s litigation department, a recommendation made by the Child Welfare Policy and Practice Group’s 2018 report.
McDermott Names Corporation Council
Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott has appointed Kevin Smith corporation counsel for the city. He is a founding partner in the law firm of Smith Sersic and has been practicing law as a litigator and trial lawyer for 25 years. Kevin has served as attorney for the Hammond Park Department and the Hammond Port Authority and has counseled the City of Hammond for the last 15 years.
National Guard Promotes Winslow
The Indiana National Guard has promoted Colonel Timothy Winslow to brigadier general. His new assignment is director of the joint staff which coordinates efforts between the Air and Army National Guard of Indiana. Winslow, a career Army National Guard aviator with over 2,500 hours of flight time, enlisted in the Indiana Army National Guard in 1986, commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1989 and spent the following 23 years on flight status.
State Police Officer Promoted
Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas Carter has promoted Ronald Galaviz to the rank of first sergeant within the public information office where he will serve as the assistant chief public information officer. Galaviz graduated from the 50th Indiana State Police recruit academy in 1993 and has served out of the Fort Wayne Post.
Huntingburg Mayor Appointed To Committee
Huntingburg Mayor Denny Spinner has been appointed to serve on the National League of Cities’ transportation and infrastructure services committee. He will assist in developing NLC’s federal policy positions on issues involving transportation, including planning, funding, safety and security of public transit, streets and highways, aviation, railroads and ports.
Hupfer Elected to RNC Committee
Indiana Republican Party Chairman Kyle Hupfer will serve as the Midwest representative on the Republican National Committee Budget Committee, after being unanimously elected earlier this week. Hupfer will also continue to serve as chairman of the Indiana Republican Party and treasurer of Eric Holcomb for Indiana campaign.
Governor Announces OMB Director Change
Governor Eric Holcomb has named Cris Johnston Office of management and budget director. He previously served eight years for then Gov. Mitch Daniels as the executive director of the Office of Management and Budget’s division of government efficiency and later, as deputy chief of staff. Johnston will take over for Micah Vincent who is leaving the administration.
Hogsett Appoints Director of Citizens' Police Complaint Office
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has appointed Gina Beaven to be the new director of the Citizens' Police Complaint Office. Beaven most recently served as a member of the legal team in the Office of Corporation Counsel. She will oversee the CPCO, which provides citizens a way to report improper conduct or violations by sworn IMPD Officers. Beaven holds degrees from Howard University and Graduate School U.S.A.
Indiana DCS Hires Assistant General Counsel
The Indiana Department of Child Services has named Kimberly Spindler as assistant general counsel for the central region. She most recently served as a family court mediator for the Marion County Superior Court. Spindler has 16 years of experience in the legal profession.
Hogsett Promotes Morgan
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has promoted Donald Morgan to corporation counsel for the city. He joined the office as chief litigation counsel in March of 2016 after beginning his career as a litigator and appellate advocate at Faegre Baker Daniels. Morgan is a graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington.
CIB Names New Executive Director
The Capital Improvement Board in Indianapolis has unanimously selected Andy Mallon as executive director. Mallon is the fourth person to hold the position since 1965 and succeeds Barney Levengood, who announced his retirement in January after 28 years in the role. Mallon most recently served as corporation counsel for the city of Indianapolis.
Indiana DCS Hires Deputy Director
The Indiana Department of Child Services has hired Adam Norman as deputy director of the Child Support Bureau. He previously served five years with the Child Support Bureau, took a two-year hiatus to work in the private sector, then returned last year to the assistant deputy director position.
Governor Appoints Kosciusko Co. Judge
Governor Eric Holcomb announced Christopher Kehler as his appointment to Kosciusko County Superior Court. He has been in private practice in Warsaw since graduating from law school. Kehler has also served as adjunct professor at Ivy Tech Community College. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Franklin College and his law degree from Valparaiso University.
Governor Appoints Wabash Co. Judge
Governor Eric Holcomb named Benjamin Vanderpool to the Wabash County Superior Court. He has been in private practice in Wabash and Warsaw since graduating law school. Vanderpool succeeds Judge Amy Conner Cornell who passed away earlier this year. Vanderpool earned his Bachelor of Science from Purdue University.
City of Fishers Announces Engineering Director
The City of Fishers has named Jason Taylor engineering director. He most recently worked as technical Services director position at Indiana Department of Transportation’s Greenfield District. Taylor holds a civil engineering degree from Purdue University.
Town of Speedway Names Director of Communications
The Town of Speedway has appointed Kelly Buck Director of Communications. Buck will serve as the primary contact for media relations and digital communications. She brings both private enterprise and non-profit experience, in addition to her knowledge of communication, social media, digital media, and strategic planning.
Boone Co EDC Adds Two Staff Members
The Boone County Economic Development Corporation has hired Amy Hammerle as workforce and community development manager and Emma Lamb as marketing and administrative assistant. Hammerle most recently served as volunteer engagement coordinator for United Way of Central Indiana. Lamb will graduate in May from Indiana Wesleyan University with a degree in strategic communication.
Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation Hires Facilities Director
Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation has named Eric Mehl recreation and facilities director. Mehl has worked with CCPR for nine years and most recently served as the Monon Community Center assistant director. He will be responsible for logistics and operations throughout the park system. He previously served in key roles with the Sea Dragons swim team and helped design the activity pool play structure in The Waterpark. Mehl holds a degree from Ohio State University.
City of Westfield Appoints Chuck
The city of Westfield has appointed Kai Chuck to a newly-created position, global business development. He has more than 10 years of experience in international economic development. Chuck most recently served as director of Asia & Automotive Development at the Indiana Economic Development Corp., where he secured capital investment and created jobs.
Indiana Innovation Institute Expands Team
The Indiana Innovation Institute has expanded its team. Ron Goldblatt has been named senior scientist. He previously served as founding president and chief executive officer of G3 Technical Services LLC. The Indiana Innovation Institute is a nonprofit applied research institute that brings together top leaders from government, military, industry and research universities in collaboration with Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division.
State Budget Director Dudich to Leave Post
Governor Eric Holcomb has announced that State Budget Director Jason Dudich will leave his post in May to serve as vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer of the University of Indianapolis. He has served as state budget director since 2017, after being appointed by Holcomb. During his tenure, Dudich developed, presented and managed one balanced budget and is diligently worked on a second.
Buttigieg Announces Transition in Mayor's Office
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has announced Deputy Chief of Staff and Policy Director Suzanna Fritzberg is leaving to accept a position at Schmidt Futures in New York City. She will drive grantmaking in the area of economic mobility, investing in ideas and projects that strengthen the middle class. Fritzberg joined the city as deputy chief of staff in 2016 and assumed the role of policy director in 2017.
ISDA Hires Program Manager
The Indiana State Department of Agriculture has hired Kimberly Barkman as agricultural education program manager. She will serve as a liaison between ISDA and the Indiana Department of Education. Barkman previously taught agriculture education at Triton Central and Beech Grove City Schools.
Bloomington Names Director
Shatoyia Moss has been promoted to safe and civil city director in the city of Bloomington Community and Family Resources Department. She previously worked as a part-time program management specialist in CFRD, before being named to her current position. Moss also previously served as director of Indiana Kids, a mentoring and tutoring program at Indiana University, and events and athletic director of Girls Inc.
Hogsett Names IHA Executive Director
Mayor Joe Hogsett has appointed John Hall executive director of the Indianapolis Housing Agency. He is currently serving as department director with the city of Wichita’s Housing and Community Services Department, which includes the Public Housing Authority and Community Action Partnership. Hall will begin in his new role on March 4.
ISDA Makes Promotion, Hire
The Indiana State Department of Agriculture has promoted Ross Newton to deputy director and hired Amanda Williams as field auditor, both within the Indiana Grain Buyers and Warehouse Licensing Agency. Newton grew up on a beef cattle farm, and was the Indiana FFA reporter, as well as a 10 year 4-H member. Williams graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness Management and previously served as a superintendent for the Gavilon grain facility.
Buttigieg Appoints Chief Innovation Officer
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has named Denise Linn Riedl chief innovation officer. She most recently worked for the City Tech Collaborative in Chicago. Riedl previously worked at the Smart Chicago Collaborative and the Federal Communications Commission. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia and a Master of Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Holcomb Names New IDVA Director
Governor Eric Holcomb has selected Dennis Wimer as director of the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs. Wimer succeeds Jim Brown, who resigned last month amid allegations of misappropriating funds from the Military Family Relief Fund. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Wimer is the owner and chief executive officer of LADS Consulting LLC. He previously served as associate chief operating officer for the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
Indiana National Guard Names New Commander
Colonel Patrick C. Thibodeau has been named commander of the 81st Troop Command. In the role, he will oversee more than 2,200 soldiers. Headquartered in Terre Haute, the 81st Troop Command features several units: an engineer brigade, a military police company, two medical companies, a public affairs detachment and a response force comprised of soldiers and airmen trained to respond to chemical, biological or nuclear attacks.
Indiana Air National Guard Names Command Chief
Indiana Air National Guard has named Chief Master Sgt. Michael May as its new state command chief. The state command chief is the senior enlisted member and is responsible for all affairs concerning the enlisted airmen across the state. He will succeed Chief Master Sgt. James E. Salway, who served in the position for more than five years.
Holcomb Names State Board of Ed Interim Director
Governor Eric Holcomb has appointed Lee Ann Kwiatkowski interim executive director of the Indiana State Board of Education to replace Matt Voors, who has accepted a position outside of state government. Kwiatkowski will continue to be the governor’s senior education adviser. She previously served as chief of staff to Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick.
Command Staff Change at IMPD
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Bryan Roach has made a command staff change to help build support for east district officers and detectives who respond to and investigate violent crimes. 24-year IMPD veteran Craig McCartt has been appointed commander of the east district.
'Skillful' Program Names Executive Director
The recently-launched Skillful Indiana program has named its first leader. William Turner, who previously led education and development efforts for Indianapolis-based Allison Transmission Holdings Inc., will serve as executive director. Turner also serves as chair of the EmployIndy Workforce Development Board.
DCS Adds to Litigation Division
The Indiana Department of Child Services has added Jim Luttrull Jr. as deputy general counsel of the litigation division. He is a former prosecutor and criminal justice professor. Luttrull will oversee and manage all functions of the DCS litigation department. He is a seasoned trial lawyer with 35 years’ experience, most recently as Grant County prosecutor, a position he held since 2003.
Esselman Joins Develop Indy Team
Catherine Esselman has joined the Develop Indy team, the economic development arm of Mayor Joe Hogsett and the city of Indianapolis, to attract retail tenants, work with local entrepreneurs, and assist in planning the future of legacy retail locations. She will assume the role of senior project manager. Esselman previously served as real estate director for Downtown Indy Inc.
Noblesville Common Council Reorganizes
A reorganization of the Noblesville Common Council has resulted in Brian Ayer replacing Chris Jensen as president and the installation of Wil Hampton as vice president. Ayer began his fourth term on the council in 2016 and is the most tenured member. Ayer has lived in Noblesville since 1964 and graduated from Noblesville High School in 1976. Hampton will also serve on the economic development committee.
State Board of Education Announces New Leadership
The Indiana State Board of Education announced new leadership by electing BJ Watts as chair, Katie Mote as vice chair, and Gordon Hendry as secretary. Watts is executive director of Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation’s OptIN program. The Board also welcomed newly appointed member Greg Gastineau, who will complete the term of Dr. Vince Bertram, who resigned at the end of 2018.
CIB Leader Announces Retirement
The executive director of the Capital Improvement Board in Indianapolis has announced plans to retire. Barney Levengood, who has led the CIB for nearly 30 years, says he will step down at the end of April. Levengood came to Indianapolis in 1991 and during his tenure, has overseen the demolition of the RCA Dome and the construction of Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Victory Field.
Mayor Hogsett Makes Appointments to Police Merit Board
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has announced three appointments and one reappointment to the Police Merit Board. Diana Ferguson-Mosely retired from IMPD in 2013 after 33 years on the force. She received a criminal justice degree from Oakland City University and a bachelor of business administration from Marian University. Frank Sullivan Jr. served 19 years as a Justice on the Indiana Supreme Court. He authored approximately 500 majority opinions from 1993-2012.
New Albany Names Interim Building Commissioner
The city of New Albany has appointed Russ Segraves interim building commissioner. He takes over after David Brewer resigned from the position and was sworn in as New Albany Township trustee. Segraves previously served as a building inspector within the department, and also has 10 years of experience as a building commissioner in the past.
Whitestown Town Manager to Resign
The town manager of Whitestown has announced his plans to resign. Dax Norton, who has served in the role since 2013, says he will step down at the end of the month to begin a new career in the private sector. Norton shared his resignation letter in a Facebook post, along with a message saying the move is a "family decision." He did not specify the type of career to which he will be moving.
Jasper Gets New Mayor
A Republican caucus has chosen Dean Vonderheide as the new mayor of Jasper. He will fill the remaining year of the term of Terry Seitz, who announced in December he accepted a senior staff position with U.S. Senator-elect Mike Braun. Vonderheide most recently served as a member of the Jasper Common Council.
DCS Appoints Assistant Deputy Director
The Indiana Department of Child Services has promoted Angela Smith Grossman to assistant deputy director of field operations, a new position that will focus on enhancing the agency’s foster and collaborative care programs. She has been with DCS for more than 27 years. During her tenure with DCS, Smith Grossman served as a regional manager, local office director and family case manager supervisor.
Wilmoth to Head Grain Buyers Licensing Agency
The Indiana State Department of Agriculture has selected Harry Wilmoth as director of the Indiana Grain Buyers and Warehouse Licensing Agency. He grew up on a commercial beef cattle operation in Gentry, Arkansas. Wilmoth was an active member in FFA and 4-H, and showed swine and beef cattle at the local, state and national levels.
New Leader For Criminal Justice Institute
Governor Eric Holcomb has selected Devon McDonald as the next executive director of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. McDonald, who currently serves as chief of staff and general counsel for the institute, will succeed the retiring David Murtaugh. McDonald began his tenure at the ICJI in 2012 as a victim compensation supervisor.
Taylor Resigns From Indiana House
State Representative Joe Taylor (D-7) has announced his resignation from the Indiana House of Representatives. The South Bend representative, who was re-elected to his seat in November, says he is leaving to accept a job with the United Auto Workers International Union. Taylor was first elected to represent the 7th district in 2016. He was the ranking Democrat on the House Employment, Labor and Pensions Committee and has served as president of UAW-Local 5 in South Bend since 2011.
GiaQuinta Names House Democratic Leadership
Indiana House Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-80) has announced the leadership team and ranking committee members for the House Democratic Caucus. The leadership team will assist in various aspects of the legislative process, both within the caucus and on the House floor. The announcement follows House Speaker Brian Bosma's (R-88) leadership and committee member appointments last week for the Republican side.
DNR Division Director Appointed
Beth McCord has been named director of the DNR Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. She is the DHPA’s first female director. McCord was involved in cultural and heritage management for more than 25 years, working with clients in the government, engineering, transportation and energy sectors.
Buttigieg Names Controller
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has named Daniel Parker controller. He previously served as director of value-based strategy at Beacon Health System. Parker also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Indiana University South Bend, teaching Government Accounting & Healthcare Finance classes.
Indiana National Guard Promotes Burke to Brigadier General
A Knightstown resident and Indiana State Police officer has reached the one-star rank of brigadier general. Indiana National Guard Brig. Gen. Robert Burke, most recently the 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team commander, received his new rank from family members and Maj. Gen. Courtney P. Carr, Indiana's adjutant general, during the ceremony attended by scores of Hoosier Guardsmen and Indiana State Troopers.
Indianapolis to Install New Postmaster
Postal service veteran Christi Johnson-Kennedy will be the new Postmaster of Indianapolis after her installation Friday. She will become the first African-American woman to serve in the position. Johnson-Kennedy began with the postal service in 2000 as a mail handler at the Indianapolis Processing & Distribution Center before later becoming a letter carrier.
Rubicon Global Adds Former Indy Mayor Goldsmith
Rubicon Global has added former Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith to its Board of Directors. The waste, recycling and smart city solutions firm announced Goldsmith will work with the executive leadership team in an advisory role. Goldsmith has written several books on issues related to data-driven government to help make technology work better and faster.
Fort Wayne Names New Planning & Policy Director
The City of Fort Wayne has named Paul Spoelhof its new planning & policy director. He has worked for the department for the last 21 years, most recently as community development administrator – senior planner. Spoelhof replaces Pam Holocher, who retired after 40 years of service with the city.
DCS Names Deputy Director
The Indiana Department of Child Services has appointed Heidi Monroe deputy director of permanency and practice support. She previously served as director of children’s services at Meridian Health Services. Monroe also spent two years working at Talbert House as the behavioral health director in Cincinnati.
Indianapolis City-County Council Appoints Staff Attorney
The Indianapolis City-County Council has appointed Toae Kim general counsel. Long-time General Counsel Fred Biesecker is stepping down from the role October 31. Kim joined the City-County Office of Corporation Council in November of 2011, and in the seven years since has worked with the administration’s Office of Finance & Management, Office of Audit and Performance, Information Services Agency, and the Marion County Board of Finance.
Buttigieg Names Director of Code Enforcement
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has named Tracy Skibins director of code enforcement for the city of South Bend. She previously served as deputy director of code enforcement, as a captain in the Notre Dame Security Police Department and as a corporal and investigator with the South Bend Police Department. Skibins also served in the United States Army Reserve.
Westfield Names Economic Development Manager
The city of Westfield has named Amanda Rubadue economic development manager. The new Westfield Economic Development Department reports directly in to the office of Mayor Andy Cook. She started with the city in 2015 as an associate planner in the Economic and Community Development Department.
Fort Wayne Hires Director
The city of Fort Wayne’s Community Development Division has hired Susan Eisenhauer as neighborhood code compliance director. She replaces Cindy Joyner, who is now division director of community development. Eisenhauer has a career history in both legal work and the social service field. She earned her law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School and her Masters of Social Work from the University of Cincinnati.
CCSI Names Program Director
The Indiana Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative has hired Trisha McClain as a program manager, covering the northern part of the state. She will cover both the Northeast and Northwest Natural Resource Conservation Service territories. McClain has experience including providing advisory services to local stakeholders to address environmental concerns and effectively managing large projects such as IDEM's 319 Implementation Grants and IDEM 205 Watershed Management Development Grants.
Noblesville Hires Assistant Economic Development Director
The city of Noblesville has hired Andrew Murray as assistant economic development director. He has 10 years of public and private sector economic development experience. Murray earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Denison University. Following graduation, Murray worked for the city of Westfield.
FSSA, ISDH Name Chief Medical Officers
The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration and Indiana State Department of Health have named chief medical officers: Daniel Rusyniak and Melissa Collier. Rusyniak will continue his work as a professor of emergency medicine and an adjunct professor of pharmacology, toxicology and neurology at Indiana University School of Medicine. Collier previously worked as a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemic intelligence service officer.
Fishers Names Director of Parks & Recreation
Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness has promoted Sarah Sandquist to director of parks & recreation. She succeeds Tony Elliot, who is leaving to pursue an opportunity as parks & recreation director for the city of Santa Cruz, California. Sandquist has served as assistant director of parks & recreation since February.
Holcomb Appoints Hoffmeyer Press Secretary
Governor Eric Holcomb has appointed Rachel Hoffmeyer to press secretary. She most recently served as the governor’s director of digital communications. Prior to joining the Holcomb Administration in November 2017, Hoffmeyer served as executive editor of Franklin College’s student journalism program and publication, The Statehouse File, where she led a full-time team of student reporters at the Indiana Statehouse.
Holcomb Names Lighty Executive Director
Governor Eric Holcomb has selected S. Chandler Lighty as executive director of the Indiana Archives and Records Administration. Since February 2016, he has served as director of the Indiana Historical Bureau which recently merged with the Indiana State Library. During his time as director, Lighty led efforts to increase public interest in the state’s history. He advanced the Indiana Historical Maker Program and led other research and outreach initiatives.
Fadness Appoints Gebhart Chief of Police
Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness has appointed Assistant Chief Ed Gebhart to chief of police for the city of Fishers. He has been with Fishers Police Department since 2000. Gebhart has held several ranks during his tenure including patrol officer, field training officer, background investigator, sergeant, director of training, patrol commander, followed by his most recent role as assistant chief in 2016. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice.
Indiana Assistance Brigade Commander Selected
The Indiana National Guard has named the first commander for the state's 54th Security Force Assistance Brigade. Col. Jeff Hackett, who has served as director of plans, training and operations since September 2017, will be the first to lead the newly-created unit. The creation of the 54th SFAB was first announced in March. The Indiana National Guard says the brigades are part of the U.S. Army's initiative to help foreign military forces throughout the world.
First Marion County Superior Court Appointments Unveiled
Governor Eric Holcomb has made three appointments to the Marion County Superior Courts. Charnette Garner (pictured), Jennifer Harrison (pictured) and Mark Jones will be sworn in on or after January 1, according to Holcomb's office. They will replace Judges Michael Keele, Becky Pierson-Treacy and Thomas Carroll, who are all retiring at the end of the year.
State Higher Ed Commission Adds Associate Commissioners
The Indiana Commission for Higher Education has added Alecia Nafziger and Stephanie Wilson as associate commissioners. Nafziger will serve as associate commissioner and chief financial officer, and Wilson will serve as associate commissioner for strategy and external affairs. Nafziger most recently served as fiscal analyst for the Indiana House Republican Caucus. Wilson returns to the Commission after serving as press secretary for Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb.
West Lafayette Names Deputy Director
Erin Easter has joined the West Lafayette Department of Development as deputy director. She most recently served as vice president of chamber & quality of life for Greater Lafayette Commerce. Easter began her career at Greater Lafayette Commerce in 2009, organizing events and the Indiana Main Street program.
Corteva Agriscience Exec Receives Presidential Nomination
President Donald Trump has nominated an Indiana agbiosciences executive to serve as the U.S. Department of Agriculture under secretary of agriculture for research, education and economics. Scott Hutchins is the global leader of integrated field sciences for Corteva Agriscience, which has a Global Business Center at the former Dow Agrosciences campus in Indianapolis.
Hogsett Introduces First Two Indy Peacemakers
As part of a community-focused anti-violence strategy, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has introduced James Wilson and Robert Fry as the first two Indy Peacemakers. The men will provide day-to-day operational and capacity-building assistance to community groups engaged in violence prevention. They will serve under the guidance of Shonna Majors, the city’s first director of community violence reduction.
Groenert Named State Treasurer's Chief of Staff
Indiana Treasurer Kelly Mitchell has selected Justin Groenert as chief of staff. He previously served as director of government relations & public policy for the Southwest Indiana Chamber. Groenert also previously served as district director for U.S. Representative Larry Bucshon.
DCS Promotes Kestian to Deputy Director
The Indiana Department of Child Services has promoted Heather Kestian to deputy director of strategic solutions and agency transformation. She has been with DCS nearly 10 years in a variety of roles, most recently as assistant deputy director. Kestian previously worked as collaborative care field director, Johnson County local office director, administrative law judge and central office staff attorney and staff attorney for the Bartholomew County office.
Wabash Valley Correctional Names Fire Chief
Gordon Becher has been appointed fire chief at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in Carlisle. He most recently served as a deputy fire marshal for the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office. Becher was also a member of the Vincennes City Fire Department where he served the citizens of Vincennes for 27 years before retiring as chief.
Hogsett Appoints Director
Mayor Joe Hogsett has appointed Brian Madison director of business and neighborhood services. He previously served as deputy director of property and land use services. He also previously served Indianapolis neighborhoods as director of development for the Indianapolis Housing Agency, assistant administrator for the Department of Metropolitan Development and Mayor’s Neighborhood Liaison under Mayor Peterson.
Lozano Named West Lafayette Parks Superintendent
West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis has appointed Kathryn Lozano parks superintendent. She grew up in Delphi and graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Lozano has served as executive director and director of program development for the YMCA of Greater Boston, and most recently worked as group vice president for the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati.
South Bend Police Appoints Division Chief
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Chief of Police Scott Ruszkowski have appointed Tim Lancaster support division chief for the city's police department. He is a 21-year veteran and most recently served as afternoon patrol captain for the last two years. Lancaster has also served as a patrol officer, school resource officer, Special Victims Unit investigator and a patrol supervisor.
Longtime TV Reporter Joins AG's Staff
Attorney General Curtis Hill has named veteran TV journalist Chris Proffitt communications director. He previously worked for WTHR-TV for 21 years and five years for WRTV. Proffitt's coverage included the Olympic Games in Atlanta and Sydney and four NASA shuttle missions.
Trump Nominates Indiana Farm Exec For Ambassador Post
The chief executive officer of Leesburg-based Tom Farms LLC has been nominated by President Donald Trump for a globally-focused agricultural appointment. Kip Tom, who is also a managing member of the large-scale seed producer and grain commodity production business, is being recommended to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture at the Department of State.
Seger Named State Ag Department Deputy Director
The Indiana State Department of Agriculture has named Jordan Seger deputy director. He has been with ISDA since 2011 and was director of the Division of Soil Conservation. Seger previously worked with the National Park Service in Maine and Alaska, and the Department of Defense in Washington, D.C. He holds a bachelor's degree in Public Affairs from Indiana University.
Rose-Hulman Professor Selected to Advise State Department
Daniel Moore, a Rose-Human Institute of Technology professor of electrical and computer engineering, will spend the 2018-2019 school year in Washington D.C. working in the U.S. Office of Science and Technology. He will advise the State Department on global science, technology, engineering and mathematics as a government fellow for the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.
Executive Director Named For Indy Achieves Initiative
Mayor Joe Hogsett has appointed Matt Impink executive director of the Indy Achieves initiative. He previously served as director of policy and civic engagement at the Indy Chamber. Prior to that, Impink worked as a researcher at the IU Public Policy Institute, a community organizer at Stand for Children Indiana and consultant at the Lumina Foundation for Education.
Reuben Engagement Center Announces Executive Director
Brandy McCord has been named executive director of the Reuben Engagement Center. She developed the Parole Re-Entry Liaison Program for the Indiana Department of Correction. Prior to developing this program, McCord spent time advocating for offenders with mental illness to receive treatment instead of prison sentences, coordinating the Psychiatric Assertive and Identification Referral program and serving as a mental health liaison for community corrections.
New State Office Selects First Executive Director
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development has established the Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship, called for by Executive Order from Governor Eric Holcomb. Darrel Zeck has been named the office's first executive director. He will lead Indiana’s apprenticeship and work-based learning initiatives. He most recently served as vice president for Stark Industries, an aerospace manufacturing company in Terre Haute.
First Female Leader For Camp Atterbury
The Indiana National Guard has named Col. Felicia Brokaw the new commander of Camp Atterbury and Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Edinburgh. Brokaw, who succeeds Col. John Silva in the position, is the first female leader of the training sites. In her new role, Brokaw will lead approximately 360 troops between the two sites, which create and operate tailored training and testing environments for various military branches and government agencies.
New Leader For Alcohol Code Commission
Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-88) has appointed former State Representative Bill Davis to chair the Alcohol Code Revision Commission. The commission is set to complete its two-year charge of reviewing Indiana's alcohol laws and submitting recommendations to the Indiana General Assembly.
Holcomb Fills IURC Vacancy
Governor Eric Holcomb has made another appointment to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. Stefanie Krevda, who most recently served as executive director of external affairs at the IURC, fills the vacancy created by the expiration of Angela Weber's term. Krevda previously served as chief of staff and interim director of the State Personnel Department and special assistant to the CEO at the Lumina Foundation.
Hoosier to Lead Johnson Space Center
NASA has selected Indianapolis native Mark Geyer as director of the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston. He'll assume the position May 25, when current director and former astronaut Ellen Ochoa retires after 30 years. As Johnson's center director, he'll lead one of NASA's largest installations, which has about 10,000 civil service and contractor employees - including those at White Sands Test Facility in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
City of Fort Wayne Promotes Joyner to Director
Cindy Joyner has been promoted to director the city of Fort Wayne's Community Development Division. She has served as deputy director of the division for the past 10 years. Joyner oversaw the Neighborhood Code Compliance Department and helped to enhance customer service and community outreach. She has worked for the city of Fort Wayne since 2002.
DNR Outdoor Recreation Promotes Brier
Dale Brier, who has worked in the DNR Division of Outdoor Recreation for more than 20 years, has been promoted to division director. He started at DNR in 1997 as an intermittent laborer working on Wildcat Creek. In 1998, Brier started his first full-time role in DNR Outdoor Recreation as a streams and trails specialist. In 2008, he became section chief for streams and trails.
OCRA Appoints Community Liaison
The Office of Community and Rural Affairs has named Earnie Holtrey East Central community liaison. The East Central region covers Delaware, Fayette, Franklin, Hancock, Henry, Madison, Marion, Randolph, Rush, Shelby, Wayne and Union counties. He previously worked for Nameless Catering Co. as chief operations officer.
Fort Wayne Hires City Engineer
The city of Fort Wayne has appointed Patrick Zaharako city engineer. He has served as assistant city engineer and flood control manager since 2013. Prior to joining the city, Zaharako worked for Commonwealth Engineers for about 20 years. He received an MBA from Indiana University, an undergraduate degree from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and is a registered professional engineer.
Holcomb Names Gaming Commission Chair
Governor Eric Holcomb has selected Michael McMains to serve as chairman of the Indiana Gaming Commission. McMains succeeds Cris Johnson, who resigned from the position to become a deputy chief of staff for Holcomb. McMains is an attorney who from 2010 to 2017 served on the staff of then-U.S. Senator Dan Coats. He held roles during that time including state director and senior counsel for Coats.
New Director For Indiana Grown Initiative
The state's signature agricultural marketing effort has a new leader. Indiana State Department of Agriculture Program Manager Suzi Spahr has added responsibilities as director of the Indiana Grown initiative. The ISDA has also named Dana Kosco outreach manager for the effort. Spahr has served as program director since 2016. She succeeds David King, the previous director of Indiana Grown, who left more than a year ago for a private sector position.
DCS Promotes Sailors to Deputy Director
The Indiana Department of Child Services has promoted Sarah Sailors to deputy director of field operations. She has 20 years of experience in social work. Sailors most recently served as assistant deputy director of field operations, overseeing nine out of the 18 regions for DCS. She started her career with the agency as a family case manager and was quickly promoted to local office director of Carroll County.
Young Names Kossack State Director
U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) has named Andrew Kossack state director. He succeeds Deb Johannes, who has been named senior advisor to Senator Young. Kossack most recently served as associate counsel to Vice President Mike Pence. He also served as special counsel at the U.S. Department of Education.