Governor Scott Walker appointed Ted Nickel of Merrill, Wisconsin, as Commissioner of Insurance for the state of Wisconsin on January 3, 2011. The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) regulates the business of insurance in Wisconsin. The office has a staff of 153 and is responsible for examining industry financial solvency and market conduct, licensing agents, reviewing policy forms for compliance with state legislation, investigating consumer complaints and providing consumer information. In addition to its regulatory duties, the office administers the State Life Insurance Fund, Local Government Property Insurance Fund, and Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund.
Prior to his appointment, Commissioner Nickel worked for almost 18 years as director of Governmental and Regulatory Affairs for Church Mutual Insurance Company in Merrill, Wisconsin. Commissioner Nickel has been actively engaged in insurance industry affairs in Wisconsin. He has served on the board of directors of the Wisconsin Insurance Alliance, including having served as chair. Commissioner Nickel served on the board of directors of the Wisconsin Insurance Security Fund and the Oklahoma Property Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association, as well as having served as a member of the Legal and Government Affairs Committee of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. Commissioner Nickel also worked in the administration of former Governor Tommy Thompson.
Commissioner Nickel served on the Northcentral Technical College District Board of Trustees for six years. While there, he served as secretary/treasurer and participated on a CEO recruiting committee. He chaired the Merrill Parks and Recreation Committee and was vice chair of the City Plan Commission.
The Commissioner was elected secretary-treasurer of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in December 2014. He currently serves on the Executive (EX) Committee, Cybersecurity (EX) Task Force, Governance Review (EX) Task Force, Government Relations (EX) Leadership Council, International Insurance Relations (EX) Leadership Group and the Internal Administration (EX1) Subcommittee. He chairs the Audit Committee and the NAIC/Industry Liaison Committee and is vice chair of the Consumer Participation Board of Trustees. He is a member of the Life Insurance and Annuities (A) Committee, Health Insurance and Managed Care (B) Committee, NAIC American Indian and Alaska Native Liaison Committee and serves on several other NAIC task forces and committees. In addition, he chairs the Contingent Deferred Annuity (A) Working Group, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance (E) Working Group, and the Health Care Reform Regulatory Alternatives (B) Working Group.
In August 2014, the Commissioner was appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance which serves as an advisory committee to the Federal Insurance Office.
Commissioner Nickel earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in finance from Valparaiso University.
Commissioner Nickel appointed J.P. Wieske as Deputy Commissioner of Insurance for the State of Wisconsin in June 2016. Deputy Commissioner Wieske, subject to the general direction of the Commissioner, supervises the regulatory, public information and administrative functions of the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance. As Deputy, he also exercises and performs the functions of the Commissioner in the Commissioner's absence. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Wieske served as the OCI Legislative Liaison/Public Information Officer (PIO) for 5 years.
Mr. Wieske brings more than 20 years of experience working in the insurance industry. He is the Chair of the NAIC's Regulatory Framework Task Force and has served as Chair of the NAIC's Network Adequacy Subgroup. As PIO, Mr. Wieske directed OCI's communication strategy including responding to press inquiries, supervising OCI's Web site, and editing OCI publications. As Legislative Liaison, he shepherded OCI's legislative agenda through the legislative process including bills relating to insurance company solvency requirements and bills impacting all lines of insurance.
Prior to his appointment as Legislative Liaison/PIO, Mr. Wieske served as the Executive Director of the Council of Affordable Health Insurance. In that capacity, he authored and co-authored numerous publications related to timely health insurance issues and testified on insurance issues in state legislatures across the country. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Political Science from Carroll College.
Kate Ludlum was appointed the Insurance Administrator for Funds and Program Management in March 2015. Ms. Ludlum is responsible for the oversight of the Local Government Property Insurance Fund, the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund, the State Life Insurance Fund, and all internal administrative duties including budget, accounting, human resources, and information technology for the agency.
Kate has more than 30 years of management, leadership and human resource experience. In 2011, Kate joined the Office of Commissioner of Insurance as OCI's Office Management Specialist, assisting the Insurance Administrator in a variety of capacities. Prior to joining OCI in 2011 she was employed by Verizon Telecommunications in various roles throughout her career.
Kate has a Bachelor's of Science in Management from Cardinal Stritch University and holds a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and a Certified Professional - Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM-CP) certification.
Cari Lee was appointed as Division Administrator of Regulation and Enforcement in February of 2016. In that role, Cari supervises both the Bureau of Market Regulation and the Bureau of Financial Analysis and Examinations. Prior to her appointment, Cari served as the Bureau Director of Market Regulation in the Division of Regulation and Enforcement. As Bureau Director Cari has overseen the regulatory activities of the bureau including market conduct examinations and analysis, rate and form filings, Wisconsin's Effective Rate Review Program, agent licensing, and consumer complaints.
Prior to joining the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, Cari served as the Director of Membership and Marketing for the Independent Insurance Agents of Wisconsin (IIAW). In this position, she was involved in developing the group's strategic plan as well as annual budget planning, facilitated upgrades in the technical IT infrastructure, and worked on communication issues. She received national recognition for her work on behalf of the organization.
Cari has over 15 years of combined insurance policy and legislative experience working in the Wisconsin State Senate and Assembly, in the office of former Wisconsin Governor, Tommy G. Thompson, and with several Wisconsin-based insurance associations.
Cari holds a degree in International Relations and minor in Economics.