Gov.-elect Jared Polis announces first round of cabinet appointees

Posted at 2:55 PM, Dec 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-21 16:55:02-05

DENVER – Colorado Gov.-elect Jared Polis announced Friday his first round of cabinet appointees, who were selected out of more than 700 applicants, his transition team said.

Among the cabinet positions announced Friday are the leader of the state’s Department of Public Safety, Division of Insurance, Department of Higher Education and Department of Regulatory Agencies.

“Our transition subcommittees have done a remarkable job working in a short time span to make thoughtful and impressive recommendations for cabinet members and operations in our administration,” Polis said in a statement. “I am looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work with these outstanding and inspiring cabinet appointees. I know together we will lead our state in a positive direction for all Coloradans.”

The appointees will have to be confirmed by the Colorado Senate except for Toor.

The new appointees include:

Stan Hilkey, Department of Public Safety – Hilkey has been the executive director of the Department of Public Safety since 2014.

Patty Salazar, Department of Regulatory Agencies – Salazar has been with DORA since 2015 and has served as both the deputy executive director of the department, the state bank commissioner and the commissioner of financial services.

Betsy Markey, Office of Economic Development and Trade – The former CD-4 congresswoman cofounded an IT business and is the former regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Michael Conway, Division of Insurance – Conway is the current interim commissioner and has previously served as the deputy commissioner of insurance and an assistant attorney general in the AG’s Office’s Insurance Unit.

Angie Paccione, Department of Higher Education – Paccione is a former state representative who previously served as the vice chair on the committee on education and the chair of the subcommittee on higher education.

Rick Garcia, MPA, Department of Local Affairs – Garcia is a two-term Denver City Councilman and most recently served as the regional administrator for HUD’s Rocky Mountain West Region.

Shoshana Lew, Department of Transportation – Lew is currently the Chief Operating Officer at the Rhode Island Department of Transportation and has previously served in high-ranking roles at the U.S. Department of Transportation, Department of the Interior, and White House OMB.

Kim Bimestefer, Health Care Policy & Financing – Bimestefer is the current executive director for the Department of Health care Policy & Financing.

Dean Williams, Department of Corrections – Williams was most recently the commissioner of corrections in Alaska and has prior work in the Alaska governor’s office.

Joe Barela, Department of Labor – Barela has worked with Arapahoe and Douglas Counties in the Department of Labor and most recently worked with Skillful.

Kate Greenberg, Department of Agriculture – Greenberg was most recently the Western Program Director for the National Young Farmers Coalition and is a former full-time farm worker.

Will Toor, Colorado Energy Office – Toor is a senior staffer at the Southwest Energy Project and is a former mayor, county commissioner and city councilman in Boulder.

Polis’ team announced the hiring of other senior staffers earlier this month. Also Friday, Lt. Gov.-elect Dianne Primavera announced that Crestina Martinez, who was most recently the regional manager at the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, will be her chief of staff.