Governor-elect Evers Names More Cabinet Picks

Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers has chosen a retired U.S. Navy captain to lead Wisconsin’s Department of Veterans Affairs, he announced Friday as he unveiled three new additions to his administration.

Dane County Supervisor Mary Kolar has represented downtown Madison on the county board since 2013. She served 28 years on active duty in the Navy, chaired the Dane County Veterans Service Commission and served as vice president of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum Foundation Board of Directors. She also serves on the Wisconsin Counties Association Board of Directors.

Evers, with Lt. Gov.-elect Mandela Barnes at his side, also introduced his selections for Department of Financial Institutions Secretary and state budget director.

Kathy Koltin Blumenfeld, executive vice president of special operations at TASC, is Evers’ appointee to head DFI. Before joining TASC, Blumenfeld worked for CUNA Mutual Group for 25 years.

Blumenfeld to work to “ensure the safety and the soundness of our state’s financial institutions, to protect consumers of financial services and facilitate economic growth by ensuring access to capital.”

Evers has chosen Brian Pahnke, assistant state superintendent for finance and management at the Department of Public Instruction, to serve as his budget director in the Department of Administration.

Pahnke has held budget and finance positions in state government for 28 years, including nearly five years in the state budget office under Republican former Gov. Tommy Thompson.