Vermont Business Magazine Governor-elect Phil Scott today announced new appointments and reappointments, including his senior legal counsel, two agency deputy secretaries and three department commissioners. Jaye Pershing Johnson will serve on Scott’s senior staff as Governor’s Legal Counsel. Newly appointed deputy secretaries include Martha Maksym to the Agency of Human Services and Peter Walke to the Agency of Natural Resources.
Governor-elect Scott also reappointed Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living Commissioner Monica Caserta Hutt; and Department for Children and Families Commissioner Ken Schatz. Christopher Cole will move from his current role in the Agency of Transportation to serve as the new Commissioner of the Department of Buildings and General Services. Ethan Latour will join Scott’s staff as Assistant Director of Policy and Communications and Tracy Delude will serve as his Director of Scheduling.
“I’m proud of the team we’re building, which includes individuals with a mix of experience, backgrounds and political perspectives. We’ve brought in small business owners, nonprofit executives and community leaders, and we’ve retained or re-recruited public servants that have previously worked under both Republican and Democratic governors in Vermont, and in other states,” said Governor-elect Scott. “Each member of my team has the commitment, vision and leadership skills we need to make Vermont more affordable and grow our economy.”
About Jaye Pershing Johnson, Governor’s Legal Counsel
Johnson joined the State of Vermont as an Assistant Attorney General in 2006. She currently represents multiple State agencies, as well as the Judiciary, the Office of the Treasurer, the Vermont Pension Investment Committee and the Secretary of State’s Office negotiating complex transactions, including IT contracts. Prior to joining the State of Vermont, Johnson worked for two years as General Counsel for the Partnership for the City of New York, a nonprofit which works with government, labor and the nonprofit sector to promote economic growth and development in the City of New York. She began her legal career with the national law firm of Brown & Wood (now Sidley Austin) practicing in the area of public finance. She later moved to the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority where she was a Deputy General Counsel advising in the areas of finance, procurement, ethics and governance. Johnson lives in Norwich with her husband Brian and is the proud parent of two daughters who have recently graduated from college.
About Martha Maksym, Deputy Secretary of the Agency of Human Services
Maksym will join from the United Way of Northwest Vermont (formerly United Way of Chittenden County), where she has worked since 1994, most recently as Executive Director. Prior to the United Way, she served as Executive Director of Green Mountain Prevention Projects. Maksym holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Vermont, where she also obtained her undergraduate degree. She is a graduate of the Snelling Center’s Vermont Leadership Institute and of the Creating Healthy Communities national fellowship sponsored by the American Hospitals Association. She serves on the Board of Directors at the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, Vermont Health Foundation and Vermont Commons School.
About Peter Walke, Deputy Secretary of Agency of National Resources
Walke joins the administration from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, where he served as Chief of Staff. He previously served in the New York Governor’s Office, overseeing all environmental agencies. Walke grew up in Montpelier and served in the U.S. Navy as an intelligence officer for nine years – including two deployments in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan – before beginning his work in New York. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College and a Master of Applied Geography from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
About Monica Caserta Hutt, Commissioner of the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living
Commissioner Caserta Hutt was first appointed to the role in July 2015. Working for the State of Vermont since 2005, she has held several positions in the Agency of Human Services, including in the Field Services Division, the Department for Children and Families and in the Secretary’s Office. Prior to that she was the first Director of Children and Family Services in Developmental Disabilities at the HowardCenter and the Executive Director of a small nonprofit in the Burlington area. Hutt is a graduate of the Snelling Center for Government Vermont Leadership Institute and of the Executives in Local and State Government program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
About Chris Cole, Commissioner of Buildings and General Services
Cole currently serves as Secretary of Transportation (VTrans), a role he’s held since September 2015. He’s also served as Deputy Secretary and as Director of Policy, Planning and Intermodal Development for VTrans. Prior to that, Cole was the general manager at the Chittenden County Transportation Authority (CCTA) and served as a fiscal analyst at the Joint Fiscal Office of the Vermont State Legislature. He also served the New York State Legislature, Office of Program and Counsel, as a policy analyst for the Transportation, Education, and Environmental Conservation Committees. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Albany.
About Ken Schatz, Commissioner of the Department for Children and Families
Commissioner Schatz was first appointed in September 2014. Prior to that role, he held positions as the General Counsel for the Agency of Human Services, City Attorney for the City of Burlington, and a juvenile defender. His career has also included work with the Mental Health and Development Disability Law Projects and the Coalition for Juvenile Justice.
About Tracy Delude, Director of Scheduling
Delude has worked in a variety of operational, administrative and training roles including as an office manager and staff accountant with regional construction companies. From 1998-2012 Delude was the Director of Administration for the Associated General Contractors of Vermont, where she scheduled all member meetings, trainings and association events. Early in her career she worked for National Life of Vermont and the Banknorth Group. She is also an authorized OSHA Outreach Construction Trainer, Certified Mine Safety Instructor and Justice of the Peace. Delude has general banking, consumer credit and mortgage lending degrees from the American Institute of Banking. She also holds an Associate’s degree from Johnson State College. Delude lives in Graniteville with her husband Kevin, niece Markie and their three rescue dogs.
About Ethan Latour, Assistant Director of Policy and Communications
Latour grew up Bennington County, and is a 2014 graduate of St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. He served as communications director on the Governor-elect’s campaign, helping outline core policy platforms and serving as a spokesperson. Before joining the campaign, Ethan interned in the Governor’s Information and Referral Office and was an associate at the Montpelier public affairs firm MMR. Latour will work closely with the Governor-elect’s policy director and communications director to craft and advance the Governor-elect’s priorities.