Press Release: Gov. Evers Announces Appointments to Governor's Task Force on Student Debt

Office of Governor Tony Evers
Contact: or 608-219-7443
Gov. Evers Announces Appointments to Governor's Task Force on Student Debt

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today announced appointments to serve on the Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt. The task force was created through Executive Order #67 and is tasked with addressing the growing student debt crisis in the state of Wisconsin. Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld will serve as the chair of the task force.

“We need to address college affordability and ensure that a great education doesn't come at the cost of decades of crippling debt,” said Gov. Evers. "I'm looking forward to hearing more about the work of our task force on what we can do at the state level to make sure we're helping Wisconsin borrowers reduce their student debt and improve their financial capability.”

“Our work will be informed by the stories our task force members have heard from Wisconsinites on the barriers they face when paying back their student debt,” said DFI Secretary Blumenfeld. “I look forward to leading this task force in developing pragmatic solutions that will help not only Wisconsin borrowers, but also our economy.”

Members of the Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt will include:

  • Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld
  • Office of the Governor Designee Derek Campbell, Policy Advisor
  • Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB) Executive Secretary Connie Hutchison
  • Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Designee Lara Sutherlin, Administrator, Trade and Consumer Protection
  • Department of Public Instruction (DPI) State Superintendent Designee Keona Jones, Assistant State Superintendent
  • Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) Designee Larry Graves, Education Consultant
  • University of Wisconsin System Designee Jeff Buhrandt, Senior Director, State Relations
  • Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Board Designee Brandon Trujillo, Policy Advisor
  • Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges & Universities (WAICU) Designee Rebecca Larson, Senior Vice President for Advocacy
  • State Representative Joan Ballweg
  • State Representative Dianne Hesselbein
  • State Senator Jeff Smith
  • Wisconsin Tribal Nation Designee Shannon Holsey, President of Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians
  • Other individuals appointed by the Governor in consultation with the Secretary of the Department of Financial Institutions to serve at the pleasure of the Governor, who may include individuals representing the business and academic community, the financial services industry, student loan borrowers, and parents of student loan borrowers.
    • Masood Akhtar, Founder & President, We Are Many United Against Hate
    • Keyimani Alford, President, Wisconsin Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (WASFAA), and Director of Student Financial Support Services, Madison College
    • Karen Bauer, Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee
    • Shannon Conlin, Assistant Attorney General, Wisconsin Department of Justice
    • Jodi Chung, Legal Assistant, Moen Sheehan Meyer
    • Lucy Fenzl, Interim Dean of Letters and Science at College of Menominee Nation
    • Renee Gasch, Media Consultant
    • Austin Hammond, Student, UW-Oshkosh
    • Maricha Harris, Lead Community Relations Analyst, Goodwill of SE Wisconsin
    • Rene Howard-Paez, Diversity Director, Marquette University High School
    • Silbi Isein, Student, UW-Milwaukee
    • Derek Kindle, UW-Madison Vice Provost for Enrollment Management
    • Paul Kundert, President & CEO, UW Credit Union
    • Kevin McShane, Vice President of Financial Aid & Compliance, Herzing University
    • Jamie Miller, Bankruptcy Attorney
    • Michael Moderski, President and COO, McFarland State Bank
    • Michael Rosen, Retired Economics Professor and Former Union President
    • Alexzandra Shade, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, CUNA Mutual Group
    • Casey Wachniak, School Administration Consultant with the Educational Approval Program (EAP), Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS)

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the first meeting of the Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt will be held virtually on May 13. See the public meeting notice and learn more by visiting the task force website.