Last Updated: October 11, 2022
Governor Tony Evers appointed Nathan Houdek as
Commissioner of Insurance for the State of Wisconsin in January 2022. He previously served as Deputy Commissioner of Insurance following his appointment by former Commissioner Mark Afable in January 2019.
Commissioner Houdek serves as the state's chief regulator of insurance and oversees the operations of the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance. He is also chair of the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund Board of Governors, vice chair of the state Group Insurance Board, and chair of the Governor's Task Force on Reducing Prescription Drug Prices.
Having spent over 20 years working in state legislative and regulatory affairs, Commissioner Houdek has extensive experience in dealing with issues across all lines of insurance and engaging with a variety of stakeholders to find solutions to complex public policy and regulatory challenges. He has held several senior-level roles in the public and private sectors, including serving as a principal at one of Wisconsin's largest public affairs and business consulting firms and as chief of staff to the former minority leader in the Wisconsin State Senate.
Commissioner Houdek grew up in northern Wisconsin and earned his BA and MBA degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is actively involved with the Madison Public Library Foundation.
Rachel Cissne Carabell
Rachel Cissne Carabell is the Deputy Commissioner of Insurance at OCI. Deputy Commissioner Cissne Carabell is an experienced health insurance and employee benefit expert who has held leadership roles in both the public and private sectors throughout her career. She brings more than 20 years of experience to OCI.
Most recently, she served as the Senior Health Policy Advisor at the Department of Employee Trust Funds. She previously served as the Director of Product Development and Management at WEA Trust and as the Deputy Director in the Bureau of Benefits Management with the Department of Health Services. Earlier in her career, she worked as an analyst at the Legislative Fiscal Bureau and the State of Wisconsin Investment Board.
Deputy Commissioner Cissne Carabell is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and resides in the Madison area. She is active in the community and volunteers with Meals on Wheels.
Amy Malm is the
Administrator for the Division of Financial Regulation at OCI. Since 2017, Amy has served as the bureau director of financial regulation. She is responsible for overseeing company licensing, financial analysis and examinations, and the solvency of insurers licensed to do business in Wisconsin. Amy started at OCI in 2001 as a financial examiner.
Before joining OCI, Amy was a revenue agent with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue in the Delinquent Tax Unit assisting taxpayers in resolving past-due taxes. Amy also has experience working in the private sector as an accounting assistant for a home health agency while obtaining her degree.
Amy earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Upper Iowa University. She is also a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Financial Examiner through the Society of Financial Examiners, and an Associate in Risk Management – Enterprise-wide Risk Management. In 2021, Amy earned the designation of Professional in Insurance Regulation from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Amy serves as a member of several NAIC committees.
Jesse Patchak is the
Director of the Office of Operational Management. In this role, Jesse is responsible for the financial management of OCI which includes budget, finance and accounting, receivables, and procurement. He oversees project management as well as the Information Services Section which is a shared service with the Department of Administration and includes all IT services including help desk, applications development and support, security, email, and network management.
Jesse brings many years of service with the State of Wisconsin. Prior to joining OCI, Jesse worked as a project portfolio manager at the Wisconsin Department of Justice where he worked to develop a data-driven prioritization and resource allocation methodology that maximized enterprise skill sets. Before that, he worked as a budget analyst at the Department of Justice and the Department of Transportation.
He holds a Lean Six Sigma certification and earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing with a minor in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse.
Rebecca Rebholz is the
Administrator for the Division of Market Regulation & Enforcement at OCI. Rebecca is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Division of Market Regulation and Enforcement. This includes market analysis, industry and consumer issues, rate and forms filings, as well as the agent testing and licensing process. Before her current role, she served as the OCI bureau director of market regulation since August 2016. Rebecca worked as an examiner and a senior examiner in the Property and Casualty Section of Regulation of Enforcement at OCI for 17 years.
Rebecca is also active at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). She is particularly interested in innovation and technology in the insurance sphere.
Rebecca holds an associate degree in Computer Programming/System Analysis from Madison College, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Sarah Smith is the Director of Public Affairs at OCI. She is responsible for overseeing communications, public outreach, and legislative affairs.
Before joining OCI, Sarah was the Communications Director for Senator Patty Schachtner and has previously served as the Chief of Staff to State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski.
Sarah also serves on the Dane County Board and the Sustainability Committee for the City of Monona.
Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts in History as well as a Master of Science in Educational Policy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Kristina Thole is the
Director of the Office of Administrative Services. Kristina is the key contact for all OCI employees as their human resources liaison. She is responsible for all personnel management and human resources processes, policies, and procedures. In close coordination with the fund managers, she supervises and administers the direction of the State Life Insurance Fund and the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund. She is responsible for the administrative support staff and other administrative functions.
Prior to joining OCI, Kristina worked at the Department of Administration in the Division of Personnel Management (and its predecessor the Office of State Employment Relations), for over nine years. She has significant experience with HR policy interpretation, development, and implementation as well as in recruitment and selection activities. Before joining the State of Wisconsin, she worked in HR in the private sector in the insurance and health care industries.
Kristina holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a minor in English from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Richard Wicka was appointed
Chief Legal Counsel at OCI in January 2019, after serving as the deputy chief counsel since January 2012. Richard is responsible for supervision of OCI's Legal Unit, providing general legal advice to the commissioner and his staff, and serving as the lead attorney for major enforcement actions and financial matters.
Before joining OCI, Richard was an attorney in the area of insurance defense where he worked on cases involving automobile, commercial general liability, and property insurance. He also served as coverage counsel for international and domestic insurers for claims stemming from federal securities class action lawsuits and other federal cases. In that position, Richard settled coverage issues involving directors and officers liability, errors and omissions, and employment practices liability insurance. Immediately prior to joining OCI, Richard worked as a staff attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit assisting the judges of the Circuit in resolving federal appeals.
Richard has a Bachelor of Science in History and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a member of the Order of the Coif.