DNR Secretary announces executive staff - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

DNR Secretary announces executive staff

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Madison (Press Release) – Newly appointed Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp announced her picks for the number two and three spots in the agency. 

Stepp has appointed Waukesha Attorney Matt Moroney as deputy and long-time legislator Rep. Scott Gunderson, R-Waterford, as executive assistant. As deputy, Moroney will oversee day to day operations of the agency. Gunderson will take a lead in wildlife- related issues and will build DNR's relationship with the Legislature. Stepp expects to lead policy and direction, will concentrate on improving customer relations and in streamlining and simplifying permitting, and develop relations with outside groups, saying she intends to "showcase what we are doing right." 

"Well-managed, sustainable natural resources and a clean environment are important to Wisconsin and fundamental to a strong economy," Stepp told staff. "It is the overall goal of Governor-elect Walker to create jobs in this state – good jobs that will keep our children here and give them a bright future. And I believe that can be accomplished while preserving a healthy environment and natural resources for our quality of life." 

In announcing the appointments to DNR staff, Stepp outlined four immediate priorities for her administration:

  • Emphasize a customer focus. She notes DNR is already doing some impressive customer focus work—it's 7-day-a-week customer call center (the first such service in the nation by a resources agency) and the Green Tier program. Stepp said she would reinforce and expand these and similar efforts in the agency.
  • Streamline permitting. She said DNR has made efforts to streamline permitting and trim permitting timelines, and she wants to build on those successes, asking staff to suggest improvements on what needs to be fixed to more efficiently permit in the state.
  • Grow jobs. She told staff that when a business says it may expand of locate in the state, DNR will immediately form a service team, proactively reach out to the business and help them navigate the permitting process.

    "Approval of all permits is NOT assumed, but what is assumed is that we will give them the assistance they need to make decisions, clear options, prompt handling, and a positive attitude -- and that effort will be replicated across all state agencies," said Stepp.

  • Back to management basics. Stepp also said she would be putting the agency on a reasonable number of clear goals and would require regular reporting of progress.

Stepp served on the state Natural Resources Board from 1998 through 2000, appointed for her small business expertise by then Gov. Tommy G. Thompson. Was served as Racine's state senator from 2002 to 2006, As senator, she was chairman of the Senate' Job Creation Committee and co-chair of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. She chose not to seek re-election and returned home at to work in her family business. She is an avid outdoorswoman, enjoying snowmobiling and having participated in turkey hunting. She is married with two children.

Deputy Secretary Matt Moroney was raised on a small family farm outside of Masonville, Iowa, and holds a degree from the University of Iowa College of Law. He has been an attorney at DeWitt Ross and Stevens the past two years, and was previously the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Builders Association of Greater Milwaukee. He is married and has two children.

Executive Assistant Scott Gunderson grew up on a farm in Racine County and owned and operated a hunting and fishing store in Wind Lake for 26 years. For the past 16 years, he has represented the 83rd District in the Wisconsin State Assembly. He has been on the Assembly Natural Resources Committee all eight sessions, serving as vice chairman and four years as chairman. He authored the state's Constitutional Amendment protecting the right to hunt, fish and trap, and negotiated the legislative approval of the Great Lakes Water Resources Compact to protect the interests of Wisconsin's residents and industries. He lives in Waterford with his wife, and has three adult children.

Stepp will be interviewing and selecting administrators for DNR's six divisions over the next two weeks.

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