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Dayton transition looking to business leaders

Democratic Governor-elect Mark Dayton is reaching out to the business community as he hires key commissioners for his new administration.  A document we obtained that was sent out to business leaders says “Mark is intent on building his administration with the best and the brightest from a diverse and broad collection of candidates.”

The email from Dayton’s transition office seeks suggestions for the Department of Employment and Economic Development, Commissioner of Finance, Department of Transportation, Commerce Commissioner, Revenue Commissioner and  Budget and Management Commissioner.  It goes on to say “Your suggestions will be treated with serious consideration and with confidentiality.”

Dayton announced an all-female staff slate including:

Dana Anderson will serve as Deputy Chief of Staff.  Anderson is currently Chief of Staff to the Transition and previously served as Dayton’s Campaign Manager.  Anderson has worked for Dayton for more than ten years, beginning as his driver on his 2000 campaign for Senate and continuing in several capacities in Dayton’s U.S. Senate Office.

Michelle Kelm-Helgen will serve as Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative Affairs.  Most recently, Kelm-Helgen was Chief of Staff for Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller; and previously managed a government relations firm and worked as Sales and Marketing Director for City Venture, a division of Control Data Corporation.  From 2000-2007, Kelm-Helgen was elected as a member and chair of the Eastern Carver County School Board.

Andrea Mokros will serve as Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications and Outreach.  Mokros is currently Principal of Mokros Strategies, LLC, crafting successful political and communications strategies for clients, and frequently traveling on behalf of the White House to advance domestic and international trips.  She has served Minnesota in both state and federal government, including as Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and as Communications Director to Senate Majority Leader John Hottinger.  

Katharine Tinucci will serve as Press Secretary.  Tinucci currently serves as Communications Director for the Transition, and served as Deputy Campaign Manager of Dayton’s campaign.  She is an attorney, a graduate of Loyola University Chicago and the University of St. Thomas Law School. 

Fatima Villasenor will serve as Senior Aide to the Governor. Villasenor currently serves as a bilingual Senior Clerk for the Hennepin County Domestic Abuse Service Center, and previously worked in Dayton’s Senate office as a constituent advocate.  She is an attorney, a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law and of the University of St. Thomas.

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