Gov. Tony Evers
Press Release

Governor-elect Tony Evers and Lt. Governor-elect Mandela Barnes Announce Senior Advisor, Deputy Transition Director, Personnel Advisory Council

Governor-elect Evers will make numerous new appointments in the near future.

By - Nov 16th, 2018 03:34 pm

MADISON – Today, Governor-elect Tony Evers and Lt. Governor-elect Mandela Barnes announced Aaron Olver as a senior advisor to lead the transition personnel recruitment efforts for their administration and Tia Torhorst as deputy transition director.

Olver is the managing director of University Research Park, a University of Wisconsin-Madison affiliate research and technology park supporting early-stage businesses. He helped lead former Governor Jim Doyle’s transition and later served as Department of Commerce secretary during the Doyle administration. A former Rhodes Scholar, Olver also served as economic development director for the city of Madison.

Torhorst currently serves as Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee. With over fifteen years of experience working and volunteering for nonprofits, government and political campaigns, Torhorst is committed to community service. Torhorst previously worked at the National Partnership for Women and Families organizing consumer advocates on healthcare issues. Torhorst also worked as Legislative Director for Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and managed Abele’s 2016 County Executive Campaign.

Olver will lead a committed group of people from across the state serving on the Personnel Advisory Council who will work to ensure the incoming administration is reflective of the talent that exists in every corner of the state. Governor-elect Evers and Lt. Governor-elect Barnes have asked these business and community leaders to assist their Transition Team by referring potential candidates for key state positions.

The Council is composed of twenty leaders who will help connect diverse, accomplished people who are eager and ready to work as a team to move Wisconsin forward. It includes:

Griselda Aldrete, President & CEO, Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee
Ruben L. Anthony Jr, PhD, President & CEO, Urban League of Greater Madison
Buckley Brinkman, Executive Director/CEO, Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing and Productivity
Frank Busalacchi, Former Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Melissa Cook, Intergovernmental Affairs Manager, Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin
Michael J Decorah, Sr Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist, St Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin
Sean Dilweg, Former WI Insurance Commissioner, Sr Vice President Government Relations, MGIC
Shirley Ellis, Senior Advisor/District Director, Gwen Moore, US House of Representatives
Roberta Gassman, Former Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
Zach Halmstad, Co-founder and Partner, Pablo; Co-founder, Jamf
Chris Her-Xiong, Founder/Executive Director, Hmong American Peace Academy, Ltd
Ossie Kendrix, President, African American Chamber of Commerce
Mike Laszkiewicz, Senior Vice President of Operations, Rockwell Automation
Darryl Morin, President & CEO, Advanced Wireless Inc
Barbara Nick, President & CEO, Dairyland Power Cooperative
Angela Russell, Vice President Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, CUNA Mutual Group
Mara Swan, Executive Vice President, Global Strategy and Talent, ManpowerGroup
Bob Wills, Owner, Cedar Grove Cheese Company & Clock Shadow Creamery
Mary Ellen Schill, Attorney, RuderWare
Donsia Strong Hill, Former Secretary, WI Department of Regulation and Licensing/Executive Director, LISC Milwaukee

Governor-elect Evers will make numerous new appointments in the near future, but hiring a team for the new administration is a process that will play out over the next several months. Any application materials of qualified individuals submitted to the Transition Team will also be provided to incoming cabinet secretaries for additional consideration as they work on hiring their leadership teams.

Applicants may use the website to apply for positions at

Office of Governor-elect Tony Evers

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. While it is believed to be reliable, Urban Milwaukee does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness.

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