Last Updated: February 15, 2019
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 141 employees and supervises the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund and 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 with American Family Insurance, overseeing corporate legal, government affairs and 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 has 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 has also served on the American Family Children’s Hospital Advisory Board and the Edgewood High School Board of Trustees. The Commissioner and his wife, Peggy, have four children and live in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.
Commissioner Afable appointed Nathan Houdek as
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 the office’s regulatory, communications, legal, legislative relations, and administrative functions, subject to the general direction of the Commissioner.
Mr. Houdek brings over 15 years 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 has also served as chief of staff for the current 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 and his wife, Sarah, live in Madison, Wisconsin, and he is actively involved with the Madison Public Library Foundation.
Olivia Hwang was appointed by Commissioner Afable as Director of Public Affairs in February 2019. Olivia will be responsible for overseeing all communications and legislative relations activities for OCI. She joins OCI with more than 10 years of strategic leadership in public relations, media management, crisis communications, and marketing.
In Wisconsin, Olivia served as the communications director in the Assembly Minority Leader's Office and on a statewide campaign during the 2018 election cycle. Before moving to Wisconsin, she served in several statewide and national communications roles, including vice president of communications for Choices Coordinated Care Solutions and director of media and communications for the Louisiana Department of Health. Olivia served as the lead communications director for the State of Louisiana following the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. She also held leadership roles at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and the Louisiana Department of Revenue.
Olivia earned her degrees in Political Science and English from Tulane University. She joins OCI after stepping down from a leadership role at the strategic communications firm she started with her husband in the summer of 2018.
Richard Wicka was appointed Chief Legal Councel 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.
Kate Ludlum was appointed the
Insurance Administrator for Funds and Program Management in March 2015. Ms. Ludlum is responsible for the oversight of the the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund, the State Life Insurance Fund, and all internal administrative duties at OCI, including budget, accounting, human resources and information technology.
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, 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 is a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Certified Professional - Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM-CP).
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 at OCI. As Bureau Director, Cari oversaw 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 a minor in Economics.