Last Updated: July 9, 2021
Mark V. Afable
Governor Tony Evers appointed Mark V. Afable as
Commissioner of Insurance for the State of Wisconsin in January 2019. In addition to serving as the state's chief regulator of insurance, Commissioner Afable oversees the agency's 134 employees and supervises the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund and the State Life Insurance Fund.
A graduate of Marquette University Law School, Commissioner Afable has many years of experience in the insurance industry. Prior to his appointment, he served as the chief legal officer for American Family Insurance, overseeing corporate legal, government affairs, compliance, litigation, and protective services. With extensive experience working with state and federal legislators, state insurance regulators, and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), he advised senior leadership and the board of directors on legal matters involving corporate governance, compliance issues, and regulatory actions.
Before joining American Family in 1994, Commissioner Afable directed legislative and regulatory efforts in several states for Allstate Insurance Company, where he first became involved with NAIC. Earlier in his career, the Commissioner focused his efforts on insurance policy and legislative issues as counsel for the National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII) in Des Plaines, Illinois.
Commissioner Afable previously served on the Board of Directors for Sunshine Place, a resource facility for charitable organizations providing food, clothing, and social services to residents of Sun Prairie. He also served on the American Family Children's Hospital Advisory Board and the Edgewood High School Board of Trustees.
Commissioner Afable appointed Nathan Houdek as Deputy Commissioner of Insurance for the State of Wisconsin in January 2019.
Deputy Commissioner Houdek serves as the chief operating officer for the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance. In that role, he is responsible for managing all aspects of the agency's operations, including financial regulation, market regulation, communications, legal, legislative relations, and administrative functions, subject to the general direction of the Commissioner. He also serves as vice chair of the state Group Insurance Board and as chair of the Governor's Task Force on Reducing Prescription Drug Prices.
Nathan brings almost two decades of experience working in and around Wisconsin state government. He has worked on health insurance policy and regulatory issues in a variety of roles in the public and private sectors. He previously served as chief of staff to the minority leader in the Wisconsin State Senate and as a principal at one of Wisconsin's largest public affairs consulting firms.
Deputy Commissioner Houdek grew up in northern Wisconsin and earned his BA and MBA degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Mr. Houdek is actively involved with the Madison Public Library Foundation.
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 has a Bachelor of Science degree 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 2020, Amy earned the designation of Associate 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 degree 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 degree 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 has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History as well as a Master of Science degree 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 degree 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 degree in History and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a member of the Order of the Coif.