Fischer announces first appointments

With only a few weeks left before taking office, Mayor-elect Greg Fischer announced the first round of appointments to his administration that will take over Jan. 3. The Fischer transition team says the group represents “significant change” coming to Metro government, and that they represent a diverse group of new leadership from all parts of the city.

“These leaders will bring new faces and fresh ideas to Metro Government, and I am honored that they have agreed to serve the citizens of Louisville,” Fischer said in a press release. “They are a diverse group of dedicated people who bring both knowledge of government, as well as outside perspective.”

During the press conference, the mayor-elect indicated that the chief of community building position headed by former Jefferson County District Judge Sadiqa Reynolds, will not take the place of any department, but will coordinate and shuffle roles surrounding local tourism and community development.

The appointees:

Ellen Hesen as Chief of Staff, who will manage interactions between all city departments and the mayor’s office. Hesen, 52, of Louisville, is currently General Counsel for Gov. Steve Beshear. She also has served as General Counsel for the state auditor and was a former Deputy Secretary of the Cabinet for Health Services. Hesen earned a JD from the University of Louisville School of Law and has held several positions in private sector law firms. She lives in the Highlands.

William E. Summers IV will serve in the Fischer administration for six months as senior advisor to the Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer.  Summers is currently Deputy Mayor for Mayor Jerry Abramson. He will help ensure a smooth transition between governments,  provide counsel to the new administration, and share the significant institutional knowledge he has from his more than two decades of experience in the city government.

Pat Mulvihill as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and General Counsel. Mulvihill will manage relations between the state and federal governments and between the mayor and the Metro Council and serve as General Counsel to the Mayor. Mulvihill, 40, was a member of the Greater Louisville Merger Transition Task Force and Co-Director of the Merger Transition Office. He is currently a litigator and legal advisor with the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office and has previously worked at several Louisville law firms. He has been the legal representative for several city government agencies, and he earned a JD from the University of Louisville. He lives in Audubon Park.

Sadiqa Reynolds as Chief of Community Building. Reynolds, 38, will oversee numerous agencies including the Department of Health & Wellness, Housing & Family Services and cultural attractions, such as the Louisville Zoo and Louisville Science Center. Reynolds is a former District Court Judge and has been on the board of the Home of the Innocents, Maryhurst, Habitat for Humanity and the Bates Community Development Corp. She earned a JD from University of Kentucky and lives in Glen Oaks.

Ron Weston as special assistant to the Mayor and as a member of the Intergovernmental Affairs team. Weston, 62, is a current state representative from Southwest Louisville and was the first president of the Louisville Metro Council. He will join the Fischer administration in a part-time role and, along with others to be named later, will manage relations between the state and federal governments and between the mayor and the Metro Council as well as special assignments as they arise. He lives in Fairdale.

Steve Rowland as Chief Financial Officer. Rowland, 58, was the former Chief Financial Advisor to Jefferson County Government from 1990 to 1998 and worked under four governors in the Office of Policy and Management. He is currently a co-owner of SKP Properties, which manages apartments and homes. He earned a BA from Eastern Kentucky University and lives in Pewee Valley.

Kellie Watson as Director of Human Resources. Watson, 36, is currently executive director of the Office of Human Resources Management at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. She is also acting director for the Office for Civil Rights and Small Business Development in the Cabinet. She also is a former executive director of the Louisville Metro Government Human Relations Commission. She earned a law degree from Vanderbilt University and has been involved in the Louisville Urban League Young Professionals, Jack and Jill Inc. and the Ignite Louisville program through Leadership Louisville. She lives downtown.

Adria Johnson as acting director of Housing and Family Services. Johnson is currently that department’s assistant director and was hired into Metro Government in 2005. She has significant private sector experience, including at Brown & Williamson, LG&E and Humana.

During the announcement, Fischer also said he will be naming a new director of economic development follow this week’s news that the department director Bruce Traughber will leave his position in January. Fischer will be making more personnel announcements soon, as spokesperson said.