State Auditor Schweich Announces Leadership Team, Discusses Vision for Auditor’s Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
CONTACT: Gary McElyea
JEFFERSON CITY (January 12, 2011) – State Auditor Tom Schweich today announced the appointment of his senior staff members. The announcement was made during a news conference in Jefferson City this afternoon.
“I am thankful for the talent, experience and commitment each of these public servants will bring to my office,” Auditor Schweich said. “I am fortunate that each person I asked to join my staff agreed to help me serve the people of Missouri. Combined with the continued expertise of the professional audit staff and office staff, the members of my leadership team bring a diverse background of corporate, government, legislative, accounting and prosecutorial experience to ensure greater accountability and transparency for the taxpayers of Missouri.”
On Monday, Tom Schweich was sworn in as Missouri’s 36th state auditor. A fifth-generation Missourian, Auditor Schweich is a native of St. Louis. He received his undergraduate degree from Yale and his law degree from Harvard. In addition to becoming a partner at Bryan Cave LLP, Auditor Schweich has served as chief of staff to three U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations. He also served as deputy assistant secretary of state at the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs in the U.S. Department of State. He went on to serve as the U.S. ambassador responsible for coordinating counternarcotics and justice reform in Afghanistan. He has authored books on law and personal finance, as well as numerous articles on foreign policy. Auditor Schweich is a collector of rare coins and historic documents. He and his wife, Kathy, have two children.
Auditor Schweich announced the following members of his senior staff who will begin their duties immediately:
Matt Beckmann, Chief of Staff
Matt Beckmann is a St. Louis native who received his MBA and law degree from Saint Louis University. In college, Matt was a soccer player and he is now a certified personal trainer.
Vanessa Chandler, Director of Communications and Senior Policy Advisor
Vanessa Chandler is a native of Daytona Beach, Fla. She has an undergraduate degree in mathematics and received her law degree from the University of Virginia. She holds a MBA from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Vanessa honed her analytical and communication skills during her years as general counsel for two defense contractors. Although she focuses on boxing now, during law school Vanessa held five Virginia state powerlifting records. Vanessa has two grown children and a fondness for English bulldogs.
Alice Fast, Director of Local Government Audits
Alice Fast is a CPA who has been with the State Auditor’s office since 1983. She is also a Certified Internal Auditor and a Certified Government Financial Manager. Alice is a native of Webster Groves, Mo. and a graduate of Missouri State University. Alice is a collector of postcards, focusing on those featuring Jefferson City, Webster Groves, Springfield, and Kirksville, Mo.
Frank Jung, General Counsel
Frank Jung received his undergraduate degree in criminal justice from Columbia College and his law degree from Michigan State University College of Law. Frank has more than twenty years experience in Missouri state government. He spent more than fifteen years in the Office of the Attorney General as an assistant attorney general and then as the deputy unit chief of the criminal division. He later served as the deputy chief counsel and acting chief counsel for the Office of Administration. Most recently, Frank served as the general counsel of the Missouri Gaming Commission. For nearly ten years, Frank served in the United States Army as a sergeant handling and training canines, supervising military police and disposing of explosive ordnance. He and his wife, Jackie, have two adult sons.
Mike Lodewegen, Senior Legislative Advisor
Mike Lodewegen is a native of Memphis, Mo. He received his undergraduate degree in political science from Missouri State University. He has been involved in Missouri state government for several years, and most recently served as legislative director for Missouri Senate Majority Floor Leader Kevin Engler. When not playing basketball or following Mizzou athletics, Mike seeks out live country music performances.
John Luetkemeyer, Director of State Audits
John Luetkemeyer is a CPA and has been with the State Auditor’s office for nearly 30 years. He is a graduate of Central Missouri State University. John is a lifelong resident of Central Missouri and enjoys spending time in the outdoors.
Gary McElyea, Media Director
Gary McElyea is a native of Willow Springs, Mo. and attended Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar. Gary most recently served as the spokesman for Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder. Previously, Gary served as a spokesman for Missouri State Senator John Loudon, as well as working as a communications professional in the private sector. Gary is an avid cyclist and enjoys competing in endurance rides.
Darrell Moore, Chief Litigation Counsel
Darrell Moore has served the State of Missouri for over twenty-six years as a prosecutor in Greene County, including twelve years as the prosecuting attorney. He has extensive experience investigating fraud in governmental and commercial entities. Darrell’s accomplishments were recently recognized by the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys when he was honored as the 2010 Prosecutor of the Year. He received his undergraduate degree from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar and his law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Harry Otto, Deputy State Auditor
Harry Otto graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in accounting. He has over forty years of accounting experience and is a past president of the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants. Harry extensive resume includes experience in the Missouri Department of Revenue’s Division of Taxation. Harry served as an Army reservist for six years. He and his wife, Mary Kay, have three children and four grandchildren.
Peggy Schler, Director of Quality Control and Planning
Peggy Schler is a CPA and has been with the State Auditor’s office since 1979. Peggy is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia and a lifelong resident of Central Missouri.
Patricia “Trish” Vincent, Director of Administration
Trish Vincent has extensive experience in state and federal government. She has devoted nearly ten years to Missouri state government service, serving as chief of staff for Governor Matt Blunt, as the director of the Department of Revenue and as the deputy secretary of state for business services. As director of the Department of Revenue, Trish implemented numerous operational efficiencies, which enabled her to reduce the department’s expenditures significantly. Before entering state government, Trish served as district office director for United States Senator John Ashcroft. Trish and her husband, Larry, have two daughters and are anxiously awaiting the birth of their second grandchild.
Today, Auditor Schweich also discussed his vision for the future of the State Auditor’s office.
“Over the coming days, my staff and I will hit the ground running,” Auditor Schweich said. “This week, I am being briefed on ongoing audits and we are working on implementing new processes to help promote the implementation of audit recommendations. My office will focus not only on rooting out inefficiencies, but will help foster a culture of best practices to create lasting changes across our state.”
In the coming months, the State Auditor’s office will release numerous audits, including those of University City and the Kansas City School District, as well as the Single Audit.