Gov.-Elect Tony Evers has named Kathy Blumenfeld as his Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) Secretary at a noon press conference.
Currently a vice president at TASC, Blumenfeld previously worked at CUNA Mutual for 26 years. She is also a former board chair and member of Summit Credit Union.
While working at CUNA Mutual, she steered lending insurance products and services, strategy development, and product management for multi-line insurance portfolio. In addition to her credit union background, Blumenfeld has served as a Certified Public Accountant at two large firms, and has worked for Wisconsin State and Federal Government.
Blumenfeld will replace current DFI Secretary Jay Risch. Risch has served in this capacity since 2017. Previously, Risch was the Director Government Relations for WBA.
DFI’s mission is to ensure the safety and soundness of Wisconsin’s financial institutions; protect consumers of financial services; and facilitate economic growth by ensuring access to capital. The department regulates, licenses, or registers (based on 2017 data):
- 179 state-chartered banks and savings institutions
- 135 state-chartered credit unions
- 144,423 registered securities representatives
- 436,745 business entities registered with the Division of Corporate and Consumer Services.
DFI’s current priorities are the transfer of Wisconsin’s 529 College Savings Program from DOA; Expedited Corporate Filing; and the Financial Literacy Job Center Pilot Project.
Other Cabinet secretaries Gov.-Elect Evers has named are:
- Department of Natural Resources: Preston Cole, a member of the state’s Natural Resources Board, its first African-American chairman, and a Milwaukee city official.
- Department of Administration: Joel Brennan, CEO of Milwaukee’s Discovery World science and technology museum and a former campaign manager for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
- Department of Corrections: Kevin Carr, a U.S. marshal and onetime top aide to former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.
- Department of Tourism: Sara Meaney, chief marketing officer for Milwaukee Film, the city’s annual film festival.
- Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection: Brad Pfaff, who served under former President Barack Obama as deputy administrator for farm programs in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Most recently he was U.S. Rep. Ron Kind’s deputy chief of staff.
- Public Service Commission chairwoman: Rebecca Cameron Valcq, a partner specializing in regulatory law at the Milwaukee firm Quarles & Brady. She previously spent 15 years as regulatory counsel for We Energies, Wisconsin’s largest energy company, where she occasionally represented the company in front of the office she will lead.
- Commissioner of Insurance: Mark Afable, chief legal officer for American Family Insurance.