Graham Kilmer
MKE County

Crowley Makes First Cabinet Picks

A new chief of staff and two new department directors, all promoted from Abele's administration.

By - May 6th, 2020 09:08 am

Milwaukee County Courthouse. Photo by Sulfur at English Wikipedia [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Milwaukee County Courthouse. Photo by Sulfur at English Wikipedia [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

County Executive David Crowley announced his first cabinet picks Tuesday.

Crowley’s first appointments will lead the Department of Administrative Services, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Human Resources Department. 

DAS and DHHS are large departments within county government; combined they represent more than $188 million in the 2020 budget.

A press release announcing the cabinet appointments said, “These key personnel announcements will ensure continuity and create a strong team to realize County Executive Crowley’s vision for Milwaukee County.”

Crowley has tapped three county employees that also served under Abele for top leadership positions in his new administration. Mary Jo Meyers, Director of Health and Human Services, will be his Chief of Staff. Julie Landry, who previously served as Chief Human Resources Officer, has now been appointed director of the Department of Administrative Services. And Margo Franklin, the director of Employee Relations, will step into Landry’s role as Chief Human Resources Officer.

Meyers will serve as Crowley’s chief of staff after many years with the county, working first at the Behavioral Health Division (BHD) and then leading DHHS. Meyers was a key figure in Abele’s administration working on the county’s plan for a new approach to youth corrections this past year. At BHD Meyers worked as the director of Children’s Services and Wraparound Milwaukee. There she worked on projects like the county’s Children’s Mobile Crisis Team and the Trauma Response Team.

Shakita LaGrant-McClain, the Assistant Administrator for the Disability Services Division at DHHS, will serve as interim director of the department until a search process is completed.

Landry, the new DAS director, has a background in education. She started her career as a middle school teacher, and then went on to serve in various leadership positions in Milwaukee Public Schools’ Office of Human Capital. After that, she went to Racine Unified School District where she worked as the Chief  Human Resources Officer.

Landry has served as Milwaukee County’s Chief Human Resources Officer since April 2019. As the director of DAS she will oversee a $65.1 million budget. DAS encompasses county offices that handle such things as budget development and fiscal strategy, economic development, risk management and procurement.

In a statement, Landry said she was humbled by the opportunity to lead the department. “I am thankful for the leadership of Teig Whaley-Smith and his leadership team. I am looking forward to what we can accomplish together,” she said.

Franklin, the new Chief Human Resource Officer, has directed Employee Relations since 2018. She’s a graduate of William and Mary College, with a degree in Government and International Studies. And she holds several certifications in Human Resources Management.

Franklin said it was a privilege to work under Landry at the Department of Human Resources, and in her new role, she said, “I am eager to continue to make Milwaukee County an employer of choice in the region.”

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Categories: MKE County

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