Governor-elect Noem Announces Transition Team 

Governor-elect Noem Announces Transition Team  

PIERRE, S.D. – Governor-elect Kristi Noem and Lieutenant Governor-elect Larry Rhoden today announced the membership of their transition team.

The transition team will work with Governor-elect Noem and Lieutenant Governor-elect Rhoden to develop policy proposals for the upcoming legislative session, prepare Governor-elect Noem’s budget proposal, and identify and screen candidates for the Governor’s Cabinet and Staff. The team will work closely with Governor Dennis Daugaard to ensure an orderly transition to the new administration.

Matt McCaulley will chair the transition team. McCaulley is a partner with Redstone Law Firm in Sioux Falls, and has previously served as legal counsel to Governor-elect Noem for nearly a decade. He served in the State House of Representatives from 2001-2004, and also served as the chair of the House Judiciary Committee in 2003-2004.

Herb Jones was the deputy campaign manager of the Kristi for Governor campaign. Jones’ extensive government experience includes work in the Janklow, Mickelson, and Miller administrations and as chief of staff to U.S. Senator John Thune. Jones previously chaired Noem’s 2010 congressional transition team.

Steve Westra is the President of Hegg Hospitality Management, and COO of Hegg Companies Inc. Westra served in the State House of Representatives from 2013-2016, including two years as assistant majority leader. He currently serves on the State Tourism Advisory Board.

Liza Clark is commissioner of the Bureau of Finance and Management, the state’s chief financial officer. Clark joined BFM in 2005, including six years as chief budget analyst. She spent three years in Governor Daugaard’s office as a policy advisor, advising on issues relating to labor and regulation, workforce development, human resources, and higher education.

Kennedy Noem is a senior at South Dakota State University, where she is majoring in political science with a minor in economics. She is the daughter of Governor-elect Noem.

Lieutenant Governor-elect Larry Rhoden will also serve on the transition team.

The transition team is committed to the Four Pillars of Protection that Governor-elect Noem and Lieutenant Governor-elect Rhoden have promised to the State of South Dakota. The transition team will serve until January 5, 2019.

Tony Venhuizen has been designated by the Daugaard administration to serve as liaison to the Noem transition team. Venhuizen, who serves as Governor Daugaard’s chief of staff, also worked in the 2002 Rounds transition and the 2010 Daugaard transition.

Governor-elect Kristi Noem and Lieutenant Governor-elect Larry Rhoden also announced the following staff appointments:

Beth Hollatz will serve as the transition team’s inauguration coordinator. Hollatz worked on the Kristi for Congress campaign in 2010, the Kristi for Governor campaign this year, and also served as state director in Noem’s congressional office.

Megan Goltz will serve as Governor-elect Noem’s scheduler. Goltz served as the scheduler for Kristi during the Kristi for Governor campaign.

All members of the transition team will sign an acknowledgement that they have read, and will abide by, all ethics and conflict of interest laws and rules that apply to state officials, which are available in the State of South Dakota Employee Handbook.

Governor-elect Noem and Lieutenant Governor-elect Rhoden will be sworn in on January 5, 2019.


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14 thoughts on “Governor-elect Noem Announces Transition Team ”

  1. And, I really like the size. Too often there is a desire to start big and broad. This size will allow them to expand as appropriate as they identify who will be joining the Cabinet, etc. and other needs are identified.

    I’ve seen it the other way and it leads to unnecessary strife as personnel decisions are made.

  2. I like Liza Clark. I hope she looks for talented women to help in Governor Noem’s office and throughout state government. There are many talented women. I feel too often mostly men ascend to these roles.

  3. Aside from being Kristi’s daughter, what does Kennedy, a college student with no meaningful experience, add to the transition team?

    1. Obviously you have never met Kennedy, or you wouldn’t be asking that question. She is an amazing young woman, who spent more time on the Campaign trail listening to South Dakotans, than almost anyone. She fully understands the issues and she adds a much needed voice of the often overlooked younger generation of South Dakotans.

      1. I’m throwing the BS flag. Ivanka Trump is an accomplished woman with both intelligence and experience. Her inclusion on White House staff is warranted. Kristi’s daughter, on the other hand, may very be bright and even insightful for her age, but she’s done nothing in her life or career that warrants her expanding role in Kristi’s administration.

  4. I don’t think Kennedy being on the transition team means she is about to be Secretary of anything or picking Cabinet members. After all her hard work and sacrifice for her mother’s campaign, I think the opportunity to observe and be involved in the formation of the leadership of her mother’s administration is one of a lifetime. Don’t begrudge her this or make her feel guilty.

    1. I don’t begrudge her anything. I wish her well. I am, however, pointing out the obvious fact that mom is trying to pad daughter’s resume by placing daughter in a position that daughter’s experience doesn’t warrant.

          1. I’m fine with it. She can have the people she trusts on her committee.

            It’s not like she is about to name her future son-in-law Chief of Staff. If she does that then you can complain about nepotism.

            Until then let her enjoy this phase of life.

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