Governor Jay Inslee announced several new agency appointments today.
Pat Kohler was named director of the Washington State Department of Licensing. Kohler has been serving as director of the Washington State Liquor Control Board for more than a decade where she became certified in Lean Six Sigma, the quality-improvement system Inslee is promoting statewide to improve efficiency in each state agency.
“Pat’s record demonstrates an understanding of how to improve performance, negotiate fair deals and provide top-quality service to the customers and taxpayers of Washington,” said Inslee. “The Department of Licensing directly serves every business and resident in our state and it’s important these customers feel they’re getting what they need in a timely and efficient manner. I have every confidence Pat will deliver on that expectation.”
Christopher Liu will serve as director of the Department of Enterprise Services, the agency that performs a wide range of support functions from negotiating building leases and managing the state’s vehicle fleet to running the state printing office and managing payroll. Liu has been serving the past year as director of the Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises. There he was recognized for successfully reforming the agency and addressing a backlog of certification applications from businesses, some of which waited 12 months.
“Enterprise Services is really the backbone of support for every agency in Washington and is responsible for managing many of the state’s most important contracts and assets,” said Inslee. “With Chris’ proven ability to drive results, I trust he will ensure agencies and taxpayers are getting the best possible value.”
Liu will replace Joyce Turner who stepped down several weeks ago.
“Joyce did a tremendous job getting this agency up and running. I know it was no small feat and I thank Joyce for her hard work and dedicated service,” said Inslee.
Rob St. John was reappointed to serve as director of Consolidated Technical Services. St. John has served as director since April 2012, leading CTS through a high-profile, complex reorganization effort. The agency is responsible for information technology infrastructure including networks, telephone systems, the state’s data center and email services for state agencies.
“I appreciate Rob’s excellent leadership over the past year in rebuilding this agency during a time of tremendous change. We still have more to do and I know Rob is up to the challenge,” said Inslee.
Jesus Sanchez was named director of the Center for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance, an agency that will incorporate the Office of Regulatory Assistance and will work closely with state agencies and the governor’s office to increase the state’s business competiveness. Sanchez has worked for the City of Shoreline for the past 12 years as their Public Works Operations Manager and Shoreline Civic Center Project Manager. In addition, Sanchez has overseen the development of the city’s Surface Water Utility Master Plans, helping to set policy addressing water quality, flooding issues and habitat restoration.
“When it comes to helping our state’s businesses, making sure they can get through the permitting and licensing process as quickly as possible is crucial, and that’s what Jesus is going to help us do,” said Inslee. “He has decades of experience working with builders, developers and other businesses and will not only be a tremendous help to them, but will also help me see where we can streamline the process and make it more business-friendly.”