Senator Mike Cunningham’s Legislative Column for Oct. 20, 2017

Cunningham Updated Banner March 2017

At the helm of each state department is a director. The director is appointed by the governor and then the appointment is confirmed by the Missouri Senate. Since he was elected in November, the governor has been hand-picking professionals from across the country to help reform, strengthen and restructure state government. He did not use political favors.  Our governor should be applauded for picking quality professionals, with years of experience, to lead these departments.

Carol S. Comer was named the director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in January. The Missouri Senate confirmed her nomination on Feb. 9, 2017. She previously served as commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management under former governor and current Vice-President Mike Pence. Comer began her career in private practice with nearly a decade of experience representing companies on environmental and utility matters.

Anne Precythe was named the director of the Department of Corrections in December 2016. The Missouri Senate confirmed her nomination on Feb. 9, 2017, when she became the seventh director and only the second woman to lead the department. She has been a corrections professional for nearly 30 years. She previously served as the director of community corrections in the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

Chris Chinn, a fifth generation Missouri farmer from Clarence, was named director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture in January. The Missouri Senate confirmed her nomination on Feb. 9, 2017. Mrs. Chinn has held leadership positions in agriculture at the local, state and national levels for more than a decade.  She is a member of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), which represents the departments of agriculture in all 50 states. She is a member of the Missouri State Fair Commission, Missouri Wine & Grape Board, Missouri Development Finance Board and Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority Board of Directors.

On April 1, Joel Walters was appointed as the director of the Missouri Department of Revenue.  Prior to his appointment, he worked as a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. During his time there, he led the company’s practice of assisting foreign business looking to invest in U.S. companies. He spent 16 years in private practice as well as 20 years in senior corporate finance positions at major companies, helping them understand complicated tax structures and grow their businesses while still creating jobs.

Next week, I will introduce you to the newly appointed director of Health and Senior Services, Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration and the director of the Department of Public Safety.

As always, I appreciate it when groups from around Missouri and from our community back home come to visit me at the Capitol. If you would like to arrange a time to come and visit me in Jefferson City, or if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact my Capitol office at (573) 751-1882.