Gov.-elect Mike Pence named several more positions for his administration Thursday, many of them holdovers from Gov. Mitch Daniels’ staff.
Victor Smith will join Pence’s Cabinet as Indiana Secretary of Commerce, where he will help lead the state’s domestic and international economic development agenda. Previously, 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, of Muncie, is a graduate of Colgate University and earned his law degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
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. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Hillsdale College and his law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law.
Dr. William VanNess will serve as State Health Commissioner in the incoming Administration. Most recently, VanNess served as President and CEO of Community Hospital of Anderson and Madison County, Inc., from May 1997 until January 1, 2013. 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. VanNess, of Anderson, holds a bachelor’s degree from Butler University and a medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine.
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. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Hillsdale College, his master’s from Indiana University and is a six sigma green belt.
Originally appointed commissioner of the Department of Correction (DOC) in early 2011, Bruce Lemmon will serve in this capacity in the Pence Administration. Under his leadership, the Indiana Department of Corrections has focused on helping offenders be successful upon their release. Prior to this role, Lemmon served as the Superintendent of the Putnamville Correctional Facility. During his 36 year career, Lemmon has served in a variety of capacities within DOC including Supervisor of Work Release Services, Assistant Superintendent of the Indiana Girls School, Regional Director of Adult Operations, Superintendent of the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility and Deputy Commissioner. Lemmon, of Clay County, previously served in the United States Army and is a graduate of Indiana State University.
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,” said Pence. “This depth of knowledge will serve Hoosiers well as we work in the days ahead to make Indiana the state that works.”