INDIANAPOLIS — Former state senator and Hancock County native Beverly Gard will aid Republican Gov.-elect Eric Holcomb in his transition into the state’s top job, officials announced this week.
Gard is one of 13 Hoosiers selected to serve as a leader of Holcomb’s Agency Review Team, a group of residents volunteering to help the incoming governor learn about the missions of Indiana’s state agencies, such as the Department of Transportation and the Department of Child Services, to ensure those missions are being fulfilled, according to a news release from Holcomb’s campaign.
Holcomb’s top priority is to govern in the most fiscally responsible way, said Pete Seat, a spokesman for Holcomb’s campaign. Taking a closer look at state agencies, identifying areas of strength and weakness, will help the new administration outline a plan for the state’s future, he said.
Holcomb will replace Vice President-elect Mike Pence as governor Jan. 9.
The Hoosiers Holcomb has assembled to lead the review team all have working knowledge of the state agency they were assigned to analyze, Seat said.
Each team leader has been assigned a state department and a team of about eight individuals to oversee. Together, they will scrutinize budgets, look at the administrative structure and design of each agency and examine proposed legislative agendas, the news release states.
Gard was chosen to co-chair the team reviewing the inner workings of the Department of Environmental Management and the Department of Natural Resources. She’ll work closely with Jeff Knight of Vanderburgh County, who is the executive vice president and chief legal counsel of Old National Bancorp.
Gard said her appointment to look into environmental-centered departments aligns with the work she did during her tenure as state senator. Gard represented District 28 in the Indiana State Senate from 1988 to 2012. During that time, she held leadership positions on the Energy and Environmental Affairs Committee, Environmental Committee and Environmental Quality Service Council.
With just eight weeks to work before Holcomb takes over as governor, Gard said she’s eager to get started. The team members have been told to take the Thanksgiving holiday to relax and be with their families but be ready to get to work Monday morning, she said.
Team leaders will report their findings and make recommendations to Holcomb and the state’s new leaders, including Earl Goode, who was this week tapped to be Holcomb’s chief of staff.
Goode served as chief of staff to Gov. Mitch Daniels for more than six years, according to a new release.
Gard is the only team leader to hail from Hancock County.
Others include Pete Miller, a former Indiana state senator from Hendricks County; Allison Karns, the public safety policy director for Pence’s administration; and Michael Huber, the current president & CEO of the Indy Chamber, according to the news release.