INDIANAPOLIS (September 27, 2006) - Governor Daniels today announced four changes in leadership at executive agencies and one in his office. The transitions will occur over the next few weeks to the end of the year.
"Several outstanding people made two-year commitments to state government, so we knew transitions would begin to occur in the natural course of business," said Daniels. "We began succession planning within the first several months of our administration because we knew maintaining the exceptional quality we started with would be a challenge."
The changes are as follows:
- Michael 'Mickey' Maurer, Secretary of Commerce and president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), already has announced he would leave his post at the end of the year. Nathan Feltman, current IEDC executive vice president and general counsel, will replace him as Secretary of Commerce and president.
- Miguel Rivera, Department of Labor commissioner, has submitted his resignation effective October 6. He has accepted a private sector position. Lori Torres will be the new commissioner effective on or before November 1.
- Joel Silverman, Bureau of Motor Vehicles commissioner, has submitted his resignation. He will leave the BMV, effective October 16.
- Ron Stiver, commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development, will become the new BMV commissioner. He will be replaced by Andrew Penca, Workforce Development deputy commissioner for strategic research and development.
- Harry Gonso, the governor's chief of staff, will leave his post before the end of the year. Earl Goode, currently the deputy chief of staff and former commissioner of the Department of Administration, will take his place.
"Indiana has been so fortunate that seasoned, proven business leaders like Harry, Mickey and Joel were willing to enter public service. All have worked incredibly hard to reform state government and launch Indiana's economic recovery," said Daniels. "None of them needed either the jobs or the headaches."
Earlier this month, Daniels hosted a picnic at the governor's residence to meet people interested in state service. The 70-plus cabinet members and other agency heads were asked to bring a guest, someone qualified and interested in a leadership position. Lori Torres was one of the individuals who attended the event and emerged as a candidate for the Department of Labor position. Two other individuals already have been hired to state government positions since the event.
"I'm especially excited when we recapture Hoosier talent like Nate and Andrew and bring in fresh faces like Lori," said the governor.
Feltman, a Mishawaka native, returned to Indiana in 2003 from Chicago. Before joining IEDC in January 2005, he was a partner at the law firm Ice Miller in Indianapolis where he concentrated his practice on mergers and acquisitions, and cross-border transactions. He also spent two years practicing law in Russia from 1996 to 1998. He has helped lead the new economic development entity to consecutive record-breaking years in 2005 and 2006 for competitive deals, investment in Indiana and jobs creation.
Torres is a general partner with Smart Kessler and Torres in Greenwood. Her areas of expertise include real estate law, criminal law, bankruptcy practice, commercial law and litigation, probate and corporate law, as well as being a certified mediator. She is president-elect of the Johnson County Bar Association and a member of the State Board of Funeral and Cemetery Service. She also is a volunteer for several local organizations.
Stiver has overseen the $975 million Workforce Development agency since January 2005. During his tenure, Stiver has restored fiscal stability to the unemployment insurance system, replacing a $2.5 million annual deficit with a $3.3 million surplus; completed an overhaul of the workforce development system to a regionally-driven system that better serve employers and employees; launched the Major Moves minority training program to better prepare minorities for jobs in the skilled trades, and restored fiscal stability to an unemployment insurance system that was on the verge of bankruptcy.
Penca, who earned his master's degree at the University of Southern California, returned to Indiana after working for several years outside of the state. He has been deputy commissioner since February 2005 and has provided important leadership and support on such key programs as the $23 million Innovating Indiana Strategic Skills Initiative. He previously was an investment advisor for AG Edwards & Sons in Indianapolis and served in several product planning and market analysis positions for Honda R&D Americas, Inc., in Torrance, California.
Goode moved to the governor's office as deputy chief of staff in April and has focused on the governor's Major Moves initiative and economic development issues. He was the commissioner of the Department of Administration from January 2005 to April 2006 and came to state government following a 39-year career with GTE (now Verizon), where he served in a number of leadership positions. He retired as president of GTE Information Services.