Pence names economic development team

Gov.-elect Mike Pence named additional appointments within his administration  today.    

They are:

• Victor Smith as  Indiana Secretary of Commerce, where he will help lead the state's domestic and international economic development agenda. Previously, Victor Smith advanced a 17-year career of operational and executive leadership positions, including General Manager, Vice President of Sales, Executive Vice President, President and CEO of CDS Engineering, formerly a subsidiary of Ontario Corporation, an Indiana-based company. Smith directed the domestic and international business development agenda through many economic and product cycles from his company's manufacturing plants in the U.S. and the U.K. In the early 1990s, Smith worked for Senator Dan Coats' campaign in Indiana, then in Washington, D.C., for the Federal Housing Finance Board and the White House for Vice President Quayle.

• Eric Doden will serve as Chief Executive Officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. Doden most recently worked as a principal for Domo Ventures LLC, a boutique private equity firm located in Fort Wayne. Prior to this role, Doden worked as director of investments for Ambassador Enterprises where he developed and executed strategic investment plans. He has more than 15 years of management and economic development experience. In 2011, Doden ran for Fort Wayne mayor on the Republican ticket.

• Dr. William VanNess will serve as State Health Commissioner. Most recently, Dr. VanNess served as President and CEO of Community Hospital of Anderson and Madison County Inc., from May 1997 until Jan. 1. He has a total of 39 years of health care experience in Indiana, which includes 24 years in active practice as a board certified family physician.

• Sean Keefer has been named commissioner of labor. Keefer, of Fishers, has served as Chief of Staff within the Indiana State Department of Health since 2011. Prior to this role, he spent time as Deputy Commissioner for the Indiana Department of Labor. Keefer has also worked as Director of Global Health & Science Policy for the American College of Sports Medicine as well as in the public affairs division of Bose Public Affairs.

• Originally appointed commissioner of the Department of Correction in early 2011, Bruce Lemmon will serve in this capacity in the Pence administration. Under his leadership, the Indiana Department of Correction has focused on helping offenders be successful upon their release. Prior to this role, Lemmon served as the superintendent of the Putnamville Correctional Facility.

• Danny Lopez and Jackie Cissell were also named special assistants to the governor. Lopez currently serves as executive director of the Indiana Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs. Cissell serves as the assistant director of the Office of School Improvement and Turnaround for Community Engagement.

"With decades of experience, the individuals appointed today are experts within their fields," Pence said in a news release. "This depth of knowledge will serve Hoosiers well as we work in the days ahead to make Indiana the state that works."

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