Speakers

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David Ager
Senior Fellow and Managing Director within Executive Education
Harvard Business School
Dr. David Ager is Senior Fellow and Managing Director within Executive Education at Harvard Business School. Professor Ager's research focuses on the leadership and organizational challenges that firms face as they conduct post-acquisition integration. Ager has co-authored over thirty case studies that focus on a diversity of management dilemmas in the areas of leadership, organizational change, strategy, M&A, and international business. Ager has designed and directed executive programs for several large multinational firms addressing leadership development, strategic planning, talent management, change management, M&A, team building and succession planning. He has worked with firms around the world that operate in diverse sectors that include finance, energy, high technology, hospitality, consumer products, bio-technology, retail, pharmaceutical, and telecommunications. From 2004 to 2012 Ager served as a faculty member and the director of undergraduate studies in the Sociology Department at Harvard University, offering courses on leadership, organizational sociology, and field research methods. In 2008 he introduced the first undergraduate course on Social Entrepreneurship at Harvard College with an emphasis on using entrepreneurial approaches to create for-profit, not-for-profit, and hybrid ventures to address social problems and bring about social change. In 2004 Ager earned a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior, a joint degree granted by Harvard Business School and Harvard's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He also earned an Honors B.Sc. in Economics and Human Biology from the University of Toronto, an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario and a Master's degree in Sociology from Harvard University. Ager has received the Levenson Memorial Teaching Prize and the Phi Beta Kappa Prize for excellence in teaching and dedication to undergraduate education.
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Cathy Beil
Senior Continuous Improvement Consultant
State of Minnesota
Cathy Beil is the Senior Consultant with the Enterprise Office of Continuous Improvement at the Minnesota Department of Administration. Her passion for using data rooted in empathy to improve public services has driven her 19-year public sector career.

Cathy holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Science and Continuous Improvement “Black Belt.” She served five years as Records Manager for the state’s largest agency, the Minnesota Department of Human Services and is a veteran of projects ranging from multimillion-dollar litigation holds to surveys of 30,000+ state employees to process improvements addressing everything from early childhood programs to fleet management. Cathy delights in empowering and connecting public sector staff, and relishes asking hard questions, to improve the programs and services that support Minnesota’s people, economy, and environment.
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Andi Bridgmon
Deputy Director
State of Nebraska
Andi Bridgmon is the Deputy Director of Operational Excellence and a Black Belt for the Department of Administrative Services in Nebraska. Bridgmon started with the Nebraska Department of Labor in November 2016 as a Process Improvement Coordinator where she led numerous projects to help the agency become more effective, efficient, and customer focused. In 2017, Governor Pete Ricketts presented her with the Excellence in Leadership Award and the Distinguished Green Belt for her work utilizing Lean Six Sigma methodology. Prior to working for the State, Bridgmon worked in the private sector as an Operations Supervisor. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Doane University.

Bridgmon is involved in the Seward County community and lives in Pleasant Dale Nebraska with her husband Nick and their daughter.
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Ellington Churchill
Cabinet Secretary
State of Maryland
Ellington Churchill, Jr. was sworn in as Secretary of the Department of General Services on July 26, 2016. He brings extensive experience in large-scale business development, property management and contract negotiation to General Services.

Mr. Churchill came to DGS from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development; he had been deputy secretary since 2015. He joined the Hogan administration from the private sector, where he was Director of Business Development for Lewis Contractors, a Mid-Atlantic construction management company. Among his numerous responsibilities, he was the lead in coordinating other company departments to facilitate an overall response to clients. Secretary Churchill built closer relationships with existing customers and provided avenues to increase company support for clients. He also oversaw the preparation of all technical responses to client RFPs.

Secretary Churchill began his professional career at Lewis Contractors in 1994 as a project manager overseeing multi-million dollar projects, including the restoration of the Baltimore Basilica. In 2006, he took a position as a senior project manager at the Maryland branch of Liberty Property Trust, a national developer of industrial and commercial office space. He returned to Lewis Contractors in 2010, where he garnered more than $100 million in projects, including the expansion of the Maryland School for the Blind and the restoration of the Washington Monument in Baltimore.

The Secretary’s varied responsibilities in the construction industry, proven-effective management and communications skills, and extensive experience working collaboratively with colleagues and clients position him to oversee the department’s operations in a manner that increases customer satisfaction and changes Maryland for the better.

Secretary Churchill is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in architecture and a master’s degree in construction management.

Active in civic organizations, the Secretary was a trustee of Outward Bound, Baltimore Chesapeake Bay, the Peale Center for Baltimore History and Architecture and Arundel Community Development Services, among others. He lives in Anne Arundel County with his wife and two children.
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Deonne Contine
Director
State of Nevada
Governor Sisolak appointed Deonne Contine as Director of the Department of Administration in February of 2019. She previously served in leadership at the Nevada Department of Taxation from 2012-2108. She was the Executive Director for over 3 years where she oversaw several tax and regulatory program changes. Prior to her appointment as Director, she was a deputy director, then chief deputy for almost two and a half years. Deonne’s leadership at Taxation coincided with tremendous growth at the agency – including the implementation of the Commerce Tax enacted by the 2015 Legislature and of Question 2 enacted by initiative vote during the 2016 election.

From 2007-2012, Deonne was an attorney in the Nevada Attorney General’s office where she served as legal counsel to, among others, the Public Employee’s Benefits program, boards and commissions related to real estate regulation, the Department of Business and Industry and the Department of Taxation. Deonne counseled her board clients on open meeting law and provisions related to their statutory duties. She represented her agency clients on day to day legal issues and before administrative bodies and in Nevada State courts. During her tenure at the Attorney General’s office, she won three cases before the Nevada Supreme Court in which she obtained reversals of District Court decisions that were issued against her clients.

After graduating from law school, Deonne served as a Judicial Law Clerk in the 8th Judicial District Court in Las Vegas from July 2005 to August 2006.

Deonne Contine was born and raised in Las Vegas. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Juris Doctorate from the William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV.
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Lesley Crane
Commissioner
State of Indiana
Lesley Crane was appointed by Governor Eric Holcomb in 2018 to serve as the Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Administration. In this role, she is responsible for a 200+ employee organization that manages various state wide functions including procurement, public works, facilities management, fleet services, real estate, state surplus and minority and women’s business enterprise.

Prior to this role, Crane served as Speaker Brian C. Bosma’s Chief of Staff for five years, after serving as his Chief Counsel for six years. Previous to her government service, Crane was in private legal practice at the law firm of Krieg Devault, LLP, where her focuses were governmental affairs and health care.

Crane graduated from Butler University with Bachelor’s Degrees in both Political Science and Spanish in 1999 where she was awarded the Leroy A. Porteus Pre-Law Scholarship and a Butler University Academic Scholarship. She attended law school at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, where she graduated from the evening program in 2003.

She has served on a number of not for profit boards, including the Alpha Chi Omega House Corporation Board, the Exodus Refugee Board of Directors, and others, and is a graduate of the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series.

She has a wonderful husband, three daughters, Maeve, 9, Glenn, 7, and Cora, 7, and a son, Joey, 6.
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Joe Damico
Director
Commonwealth of Virginia
Joe Damico served as Deputy Director since 2002 where he has advanced the agency’s service support to public bodies, businesses, and citizens of the Commonwealth in a wide array of services. In addition, he has been involved in historic building renovation, new construction, and maintenance and operation of executive buildings and grounds at Capitol Square.
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Michael DiBiase
Director
State of Rhode Island
Before coming to Administration, Mr. DiBiase was a 14-year veteran of Fidelity Investments. DiBiase served as Senior Vice President for State Government Relations and Public Affairs, overseeing state and local government relations for the financial services company. In this role, DiBiase was responsible for government relations, public affairs and community relations at Fidelity's ten regional facilities, including Smithfield, Rhode Island, as well as at its headquarters in Boston.

Prior to joining Fidelity, DiBiase served for six years as a senior aide for Governor Lincoln Almond, holding positions of Chief of Staff and Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs. Before his state government service, DiBiase was a practicing attorney in Providence for over ten years. A graduate of Boston College and University of Pennsylvania Law School, DiBiase lives in Narragansett with his wife Janice Devitt.
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Drew Erdmann
Chief Operating Officer
State of Missouri
Andrew (“Drew”) Erdmann is the Chief Operating Officer of the State of Missouri.

Drew was previously a partner in the global consultancy McKinsey & Company where he was a leader in McKinsey’s Public Sector Practice, Aerospace & Defense Practice, and Strategy & Corporate Finance Practice. He advised Fortune 500, senior government, and nonprofit leaders on their management agenda and how to implement them. He led McKinsey’s work to support public sector transitions at the federal and state levels in the United States in 2016-2017.

Prior to joining McKinsey, Drew served in the U.S. government. He served on the Secretary of State Powell’s Policy Planning Staff with lead responsibility for counterterrorism policy and special strategic projects; as the Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq; and, lastly, as Director for Iran, Iraq, and Strategic Planning on the National Security Council staff at the White House. The U.S. Department of State presented him with two Superior Honor Awards and one Meritorious Honor Award for his service in Washington, DC after 9/11 and in Iraq.
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Amy Fecher
Chief Transformation Officer
State of Arkansas
Amy Fecher was appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson as first Secretary of the Department of Transformation and Shared Services in July of 2019. This appointment is a result of the historic legislation, the Transformation and Efficiencies Act to restructure 42 Cabinet-Level Agencies and over 200 Boards and Commissions into 15 Departments.

In December of 2016, Governor Hutchinson selected Ms. Fecher to serve as his Chief
Transformation Officer for the Office of Transformation. Ms. Fecher led the Governor’s Transformation efforts to streamline state government. The goal of Transformation is to prioritize efficiencies and effectiveness throughout state government such as centralizing state services through a shared services model, finding revenue savings, and simplifying services to the citizens of the state.

Ms. Fecher has over twenty years’ experience working in the public, private and not‐for‐profit sectors; this includes being the former Executive Vice President of Operations at the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the former Director of the Arkansas Department of Rural Services, and working in former Governor Mike Huckabee’s administration.

Currently, Ms. Fecher volunteers as a coach and mentor with the Miracle League of Arkansas, and serves on the Information Network of Arkansas Board. Her past service includes positions on the Arkansas Capitol Arts and Ground Commission and the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council.

Ms. Fecher is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas. She and her husband, Shawn, have three boys, and live in Sherwood, Arkansas.
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Lauren Hirshon
Director of Operations and Development
Leadership for a Networked World, Harvard University
Lauren Hirshon is an organizational change and transformation consultant for businesses, governments, and nonprofits. Her areas of expertise include: group and team dynamics, organizational development, change management, and cross-organizational collaboration. She is the Director of Operations and Development for Leadership for a Networked World an applied research and leadership advancement program at Harvard. She has co-created and executed development programs for future CFOs and COOs, cabinet level government officials, chiefs of police, health and human services executives, and others. Lauren also teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on management, leadership, high performing teams, and communication at the Wharton School and the University of Pennsylvania, and consults for Wharton’s Executive Education program. Lauren has worked with Fortune 500 organizations and has been invited to speak nationally and internationally for groups including the National Governor’s Association, the BioPharma Strategy Series, and the European Cities Marketing Association. Previously, Lauren was the Director of Consulting at the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government, spent six years at the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board, a non-profit organization designed to align the skills of the labor force to meet the needs of industry, and worked on a presidential campaign. Lauren received her B.A. from Harvard College in Psychology with a minor in French, and her M.S. in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania, with certificates in Leadership and Management, Global Studies, Practitioner of Change, and Sustainable Development. Outside of the office, Lauren plays on touch football, basketball and softball teams. And don’t mess with her – she’s a wicked shot with the javelin.
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Todd Hoffman
Partner
Guidehouse
Todd is a Partner at Guidehouse working in the State and Local Government Practice. Todd leads our state and local practice for the State of Texas and has over 30 years of experience working with organizations helping improve process, reduce costs and increase efficiency.

Prior to joining Guidehouse, Todd worked for PricewatehouseCoopers where he was on the executive leadership team both in the US and globally. Todd has led large scale projects across all industries in process improvement, change management and communication and human capital effectiveness.

Todd holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Lamar University and has certifications from Villanova University in Lean Six Sigma and project management. Todd has his Six Sigma Green Belt and Senior Professional in Human Resources certifications.
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Jason Jackson
Director
State of Nebraska
Jason is an attorney and United States Naval Academy graduate serving in the administration of Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts as Chief Human Resources Officer. In this capacity Jason acts as executive coach to cabinet officers and leads strategic talent initiatives focused on making the state workforce more customer focused and efficient.

Prior to joining the Ricketts' Administration Jason worked in HR in the software industry, where over a six year period he led the transformation of a "start up" HR shared services organization into an industry leader in employee satisfaction.

Before beginning his HR career Jason served for 5 years as a Navy officer, earning the Navy Achievement Medal and Navy Commendation Medal for his service in the War on Terrorism. He is a contributing author to the LA Times best seller, In the Shadow of Greatness, a memoir on the experiences of young military leaders in armed conflict.

Jason is a member of the Nebraska and California Bar, and in addition to his undergraduate degree from the Naval Academy he holds a J.D. from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and an MA in political science from San Diego State University.
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Dave Joyce
Regional Sales Vice President
Grainger
Dave Joyce was named Regional Vice President of Sales, Government in April 2018. In this role, he leads a team of 12 managers and 121 Account Managers. Additional responsibilities include leading a team of contract sellers throughout the north region.

Mr. Joyce joined Grainger in 1990; he has held several positions within the company’s sales areas. He was named Senior Director of Public Sector Sales in May of 2016. Prior to that appointment he was the Director of Public Sector sales Southeast in 2012. Previous positions included Director of our Public Sector inside sales area in 2007. Prior to this appointment he has held positions of Government District Sales Manager (2004-2007) and Senior Government Sales Manager for the State of NY (2002-2004). Prior to that role he was a Corporate Sales Manager and an Account Manager.

Mr. Joyce earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Marist College in 1986. He also earned his Master’s Degree in Business Management from Seton Hall University in 1995.

He is a member of the Habitat for Humanity and the National Audubon Society.

Mr. Joyce is married to his wife, Jody, and has two children (Jack and Erin). He also enjoys playing soccer, hiking, golfing and spending quality time with his family.
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Chris Liu
Director
State of Washington
In 2001, Chris retired from the private sector after serving more than 30 years in executive positions for corporate franchising, venture capital acquisitions, and as an analyst for Walmart International. Since 2001, Chris has served Washington State under three different governors, in several executive cabinet positions. He has been the Director for Washington’s Lottery, Director for the Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises, Director for Retail Services at the Liquor Control Board, and since June 1, 2013, Director for the Department of Enterprise Services. In state government, he is known for his Lean management skills and practices. Chris has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Marketing from the University of Hawaii, his native state. As the son of a military father, Chris has lived in Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, Spain, Canada and Italy as well as other parts of the United States. He holds a private pilot’s certificate and is an avid outdoor enthusiast.
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Allan McVey
Cabinet Secretary
State of West Virginia
Governor Jim Justice appointment Allan L. McVey as Cabinet Secretary for the West Virginia Department of Administration. Prior to this appointment, he served as the West Virginia Insurance Commissioner.

In his role as Insurance Commissioner, Cabinet Secretary McVey was responsible for the regulation of the insurance market, as well as protection of insurance consumers. Prior to his appointment as West Virginia Insurance Commissioner, Cabinet Secretary McVey was a licensed insurance agent who served in several capacities during his long tenure in the insurance industry in West Virginia. His experience included a position as a Medical Claims Examiner with the West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Fund; an underwriter with a large national insurance company; since 1976, a licensed insurance agent and broker with several firms, both local and national; and sales and management of the West Virginia operations for a large national insurance brokerage firm.

Cabinet Secretary McVey earned a Bachelor of Science, Business Administration degree from West Virginia State University and has several post-graduate insurance designations.
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Antonio Oftelie
Executive Director
Leadership for a Networked World, Harvard University
Dr. Antonio Oftelie is the Executive Director of Leadership for a Networked World and the Public Sector Innovation Fellow at the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard University (TECH), part of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Antonio conducts research at the intersection of law, policy and technology, administers the Harvard Public Sector Innovation Award program, leads the development of and teaches in multiple summits and executive sessions, and since 2004, has developed and taught in more than forty Harvard executive education programs. During his time at Harvard, Dr. Oftelie has created practitioner-recognized frameworks and maturity models for organizational innovation and value creation including the Shared Services Horizons of Value, the Public Sector Value Chain and the Human Services Value Curve. As an application of his research, Antonio advises senior government and business executives on organizational transformation by helping them to evolve their mission and strategy, ideate new business and service models, build adaptive strength and create performance and value measures. In this capacity, he has directly advised three governors, public and private organizations and the White House. Antonio holds a BS in Management and Ethics from Crown College, an MPA with a Business and Government Policy concentration from Harvard University, where he focused his studies on leadership, finance, and public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and on strategic management, technology, and innovation at the Harvard Business School, and a Doctorate in Law and Policy from Northeastern University, where his studies and research focused on constitutional and administrative law, technology and society, and institutional transformation.
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Sarah Razor
Executive Director
NASCA
Sarah Razor is the Executive Director for the National Association of State Chief Administrators, which is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 association representing state chief administrators - public officials in charge of departments that provide support services to other state agencies. NASCA provides a forum to exchange information and learn new ideas from each other and private partners. NASCA is managed by AMR Management Services, an association management company based in Lexington, Kentucky. Sarah has more than twelve years of association experience, and received a Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Strategic Communications from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Public Administration from Eastern Kentucky University. She also holds the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential, the highest professional credential in the association industry, obtained by fewer than five percent of association professionals. Sarah serves as the Treasurer for the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass, is a member of the Vestry at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd and is a volunteer on the Leadership Lexington steering committee. She and her husband Sam have two lovely daughters, Caroline (7) and Hannah (4).
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Matt Redden
Chief Revenue Officer
NEOGOV
As the CRO, Matt leads the business development, sales, marketing, pricing, training, partner strategy and revenue management for NEOGOV. The job is to test demand generation, selling, growth hacking, etc., to measure success and failure, and know when, where and how to “double-down.”
· Develop growth strategies with the executive team and board of directors
· Create accountability within the company by developing appropriate metrics and coordinating compensation and promotions with these metrics
· Monitor the revenue pipeline and leads, adjusting as necessary to create sustainable growth
· Establish both short-term results and long-term strategy, including revenue forecasting
· Oversee all Channel/Partner Development -- adding new sales channels and 3rd party resellers and partners
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Jamie Rodgers
Deputy Director
NASCA
Jamie is the Deputy Director of the National Association of State Chief Administrators (NASCA) overseeing NASCA’s research and policy. Jamie has demonstrated history of leadership across the local and state government. Jamie worked as a Legislative Aide the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government where she served as an adviser to the council member on matters of policy and procedures and staffed a budget subcommittee conducting financial analysis and recommending strategic priorities for eight divisions and six economic partner agencies. Prior to this role, Jamie served as a research fellow at the Legislative Research Commission, a research assistant at the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration, a Fulbright Teaching Fellow in Northern Thailand, and a McConnell Scholar at UofL. Jamie graduated with a BA from University of Louisville where she studied abroad in both China and India, and a MPA from the University of Kentucky, receiving three national awards for her master capstone research on performance based budgeting. Jamie is also an adjunct faculty at Georgetown College.
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Dan Ross
Administrator
State of Oklahoma
Dan Ross was appointed to serve as the Administrator of Capital Assets Management in November 2014 by the Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology, Preston Doerflinger. As administrator, Ross is responsible for:

• State Office of Construction and Properties
• State Printing and Interagency Mail
• State Office of Facilities Management
• State Office of Fleet Management
• State Planning Office
• State and Federal Property Distribution and Surplus
• State Office of Risk Management
• State Office of Real Estate and Leasing Services

Ross holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration degree as well as countless professional licenses and certifications. After college, Ross worked in the private sector in Indianapolis before returning home to work for the State of Oklahoma.

Ross is the chairman of the Oklahoma Capitol-Medical Center Improvement and Zoning Commission, and he serves on the Capitol Preservation Commission, Quality Jobs Program Incentive Approval Committee, the Art in Public Places Board and Friends of the Mansion.

He and his wife Tiffany have one daughter, Rylee and reside in Oklahoma City. Away from the office, Ross is an avid boater and scuba diver.
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Ben Safran
Research Partner
McKinsey & Co.
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Rachel Schaff
Research Partner
McKinsey & Co.
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Gayatri Shenai
Research Partner
McKinsey & Co.
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Matt Singh
Director & Master Black Belt
State of Nebraska
Matthew Singh is the Director of Operational Excellence and Master Black Belt for the Department of Administrative Services in Nebraska. He began this role in May 2016 after Governor Ricketts made effectiveness, efficiency, and customer focus a priority for State Agencies. Over the last 20 years he has previously served in a variety of progressive management roles including sales & service, operations, and supply chain. Before joining The State of Nebraska, Singh worked for Gordmans as a Sr. Process Manager. He is a graduate of University of Nebraska- Lincoln having earned both a bachelor’s of arts in sociology and a master’s of science in leadership. He holds several additional certifications from University of Nebraska-Omaha including: Lean Enterprise, Supply Chain Management and Business Analytics. He is also certified as a Master Black Belt in Six Sigma, Master Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma, Certified Lean Sensei, and holds the Project Management Professional (PMP) credential.

Singh is a member of the advisory board of directors for the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC). He also serves on the University of Nebraska- Omaha advisory board of directors for their Supply Chain Management Programs. In the past he has served on the board of directors for the Junior Chamber of Commerce –Omaha including responsibilities of: VP Individual Development, VP Operations, and Co-President.

Singh is involved with his local church in Gretna Nebraska where he lives with his wife Erin and their two children.
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Simon Threlfall
Director, Strategy/BD, State & Local Apps
Oracle
Simon Threlfall, Director, Strategy & Business Development, US State & Local Gov’t Applications, has more than 20 years of experience working on enterprise application modernization initiatives across a variety of industries. For the past 15 years he has working exclusively with Public Sector organizations. He leads a team of industry and functional experts responsible for Oracle’s go-to-market and growth strategies for State & Local Gov’t, US across HCM, ERP and CX. Previous to this role, Simon led the Oracle Insight team for Public Sector, North America, a management consulting service that helps customers understand industry trends and best practices, the key technologies/systems required to enable these best practices and the value of implementing these best practices. Simon began his career as a Business Analyst for a Caterpillar distribution company in Sydney, Australia. He later returned to the US to earn an MBA from the University of Texas, McCombs School of Business. Upon earning his MBA, Simon joined Booz Allen Hamilton’s Public Sector Systems Group where he led ERP initiatives at both the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA). In addition to his MBA, he holds a BA in Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
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Jay Truesdale
Research Partner
McKinsey & Co.
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Ray Walton
NASCA Past President
Ray Walton, a native and current resident of Indianola, Iowa joined the public sector in 2007 as the Chief Operating Officer of the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) General Services Enterprise. The following year, Ray was appointed Director of DAS by Governor Culver. This followed a successful career with General Growth Properties, other real estate and management enterprises and as a member of the staff of then-Congressman (later Senator) Tom Harkin. In the private sector, Ray was responsible for the operations, leasing, marketing and value creation of more than 100 shopping centers across the nation.

Ray’s experience has involved living in Minneapolis, the District of Columbia and San Diego.

As Director for DAS, Ray was responsible for an $80-200 million central administrative services agency, providing human resources; technology; accounting; purchasing; fleet; print; construction; and building and grounds management.

As state government in Iowa dealt with recent recessionary trends, Iowa DAS was at the hub of a significant government reorganization effort that was signed into law in 2010. The plan includes further consolidation of IT, human resources and procurement activities that, combined with an aggressive early retirement plan, were estimated to save the state nearly $300 million a year.

Ray was the Executive Director of the National Association of State Chief Administrators (NASCA) from February 2011 until February 2015. The association grew from a handful of state members to more than 30 during this time. The organization matured into a fiscally sound enterprise which continues to serve its members and sponsors in their professional development.

In addition Ray served as the Interim Director of the John Culver Center at Simpson College in 2013 and 2014.

Ray is a graduate of Simpson College and a U.S. Army Security Agency Viet Nam Veteran.
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Curt Yoakum
Assistant Commissioner
State of Minnesota
Curt Yoakum is the Assistant Commissioner for Communications and Planning at the Department of Administration. In this role, he oversees legislative and communications planning, the Minnesota Office of Continuous Improvement, and the State Historic Preservation Office. Curt has been with the department since 2011.
Curt has extensive public policy experience at the local, state and federal levels of government. His experience in state government began with Minnesota Management and Budget, where he was the Legislative and Communications Director. Prior to joining the state, Curt was a tax policy analyst for the Association of Minnesota Counties. In Washington, D.C., he served as the Legislative Director for former U.S. Representative David Minge. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Minnesota Morris and Master in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
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