On January 12, 2011, Governor Mark Dayton appointed Mike Rothman to serve as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce.
Under the leadership of Commissioner Rothman, the Commerce Department is responsible for consumer protection, regulation of financial service industries including insurance, state-chartered banks, credit unions, securities, and real estate. The Department licenses franchises, collection agencies, and currency exchanges.
The Commerce Department is also responsible for enforcement of Public Utilities Commission (PUC) rules and orders, regulation of natural gas and electric public utilities, energy conservation standards and information programs, low-income home energy assistance and weatherization, regulation of telephone companies, the administration of Telecommunications Access Minnesota (TAM), petrofund, and unclaimed property programs.
Commissioner Rothman brings a distinguished record of consumer protection to the Department of Commerce and extensive public- and private-sector experience on insurance and financial service-related issues.
Prior to joining the Department, Rothman was an attorney for eight years with the firm of Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A., in Minneapolis, where he was co-chair of the Insurance & Financial Services practice group.
Commissioner Rothman's litigation experience began when he worked on the insurance insolvencies of Mission Insurance Companies and Executive Life—two of the largest cases in U.S. history.
A graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, Rothman began his career as a law clerk for the state Court of Appeals. In the late '80s and early '90s, Rothman worked for the state Senate, leading efforts to reform the state's regulatory laws.
In addition to his experience in state government and private practice, Rothman has also taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School on insurance law and regulation.
Download: Commissioner Mike Rothman Photo
Emily Johnson Piper is Deputy Commissioner and Chief of Staff for the Minnesota Department of Commerce. She assists Commissioner Rothman in overseeing all of the regulatory responsibilities of the Department of Commerce, its staff, and daily operations.
Most recently, Ms. Piper served as the Department of Commerce's General Counsel, overseeing the provision of legal services for all Department Divisions. Prior to joining Commerce in 2011, Piper was an attorney in private practice at the law firm of McGrann Shea Carnival Straughn and Lamb, where her practice focused on litigation and government relations.
In addition to her professional life, Piper has been active in her community. She currently serves as an appointee of the Metropolitan Council to the Metropolitan Parks and Open Spaces Commission, has also served on the Golden Valley Parks and Open Spaces Commission, and is the chairwoman to a small nonprofit preschool.
Piper received a Bachelor's degree in biology from the University of St. Thomas and a law degree from the University of St. Thomas School of Law.
Bill Grant is the Deputy Commissioner of Energy and Telecommunications for the Minnesota Department of Commerce. He is responsible for developing and managing programs and policies for Energy Planning and Advocacy, Energy Facility Permitting, the State Energy Office, Energy Assistance, Telecommunications, and the Broadband Development Office.
Before joining the Department in February 2011, Grant served as associate executive director of the Izaak Walton League of America, a position he held since 1995. The Izaak Walton League protects America's outdoors through education, community-based conservation, and promotion of outdoor recreation.
Prior to becoming the League’s associate director, Grant served as director of the League's Midwest Office from 1992 to 1995; in that position he directed the League's advocacy of utility regulatory reform policies to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy in the Upper Midwest.
Grant has been instrumental in the development of several League publications, including Power to Spare in the Upper Midwest, Energy Efficiency and Minnesota Jobs: The Employment Impacts of Electric Utility Demand-Side Management Programs, and The Landowner's Guide to Wind Energy in the Upper Midwest.
Before joining the League, Grant spent seven years with the Minnesota Department of Public Service. His responsibilities there included the review of utility conservation plans, integrated resource plans, certificate of need filings, and interventions before federal regulatory agencies. Grant also spent six months on special assignment with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
Grant earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history from Macalester College in St. Paul (1979) and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Hamline University in St. Paul (1995).
Download: Deputy Commissioner Bill Grant Photo (medium resolution, 200 dpi)
Tim Vande Hey leads the Commerce Department’s Insurance Division as Deputy Commissioner. Deputy Commissioner Vande Hey oversees all functions of financial regulation of insurers in Minnesota, including financial analysis, field examinations, actuarial and insurance company licensing. The Insurance Division also provides organizational oversight of domestic insurers and their holding companies.
Vande Hey previously served the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance for 14 years, including ten years as an advanced insurance financial examiner and four years as special assistant deputy rehabilitator. He brings significant regulatory experience to the Insurance Division, with extensive experience in mergers, acquisitions, licensing, liquidations, and rehabilitation. Vande Hey has served as chair of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Financial Analysis Handbook Working Group and Financial Analysis Research and Development Working Group.
Vande Hey has a Bachelor of Science degree from Edgewood College in Madison with a double emphasis in Accounting and Business.
Nancy Leppink will serve as the Assistant Commissioner of Enforcement. In her role, Leppink will oversee the Department’s Enforcement Division, including the Enforcement Investigations, Enforcement Examinations, Insurance Fraud, and Securities Units.
Most recently, Assistant Commissioner Leppink served as the Head of the Wage and Hour Division for the United States Department of Labor, nominated by President Barack Obama and appointed by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. In that role, she led efforts to reinvigorate the Wage and Hour Division as an effective and efficient enforcement agency by rebuilding capacity, re-engineering enforcement strategies, and refocusing resources on the most vulnerable populations served. As part of her work, Assistant Commissioner Leppink led development of federal labor standards policies, and interpreted and enforced federal labor laws and regulations. Prior to her service at the Department of Labor, Leppink, a Minnesota native, worked as the General Counsel and Director of Legal Services at the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) and as an Assistant Attorney General representing DLI in administrative and civil litigation.
Leppink received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Washington and a law degree from the University of Minnesota School of Law.
Mary Jo Wall has been promoted to Assistant Commissioner of the Financial Institutions Division. She has served with the Commerce Department in the Financial Institutions Division for almost 30 years, and has been with the State of Minnesota for 37 years.
Assistant Commissioner Wall has been involved in every aspect of the Financial Institutions Division, ranging from bank and credit union field examinations, writing public policies and strategic planning. In her new role as Assistant Commissioner, Wall will be responsible for the on-site examination and monitoring of the financial condition of state-chartered banks, credit unions, thrift companies, and finance and mortgage companies.
Wall holds a graduate degree in Banking from Georgetown University, a MBA from the University of Minnesota and her undergraduate from St. Scholastica.
Tim Jahnke serves as the Commerce Department’s Director of Administrative Services. Jahnke, who previously served as the Department’s Chief Financial Officer, retains his responsibilities as CFO. He is also responsible for managing the administrative and human resources functions of the Commerce Department, as well as overseeing the Weights and Measures and Petrofund units.
Jahnke has served the financial management division of the Commerce Department since 2005. Prior to joining the Department, Jahnke served as an executive budget officer for Minnesota Management and Budget where he assisted state agencies in preparing operating and capital budget requests for inclusion in the Governor’s budget. He has also served in accounting roles at the Departments of Administration, Transportation, and the Board of Animal Health.
Jahnke is a graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting.
Julie Quinn serves as Director of the Department’s Weights and Measures Division. As Director, Quinn is responsible for overseeing testing the accuracy of commercial weighing and measuring devices, checking commercial packages for short weight, investigating consumer complaints, and enforcing fuel quality standards. She is also responsible for overseeing the state’s petroleum laboratory to ensure fuel meets ASTM specifications and Minnesota’s biofuel mandates. Quinn also oversees the state’s metrology laboratory which maintains Minnesota’s primary mass and volume standards and performs precision calibrations for government agencies and businesses throughout the Midwest.
Julie Quinn began her career working in computer operations for Coca-Cola Bottling Midwest, before joining the Land Management Information Center (LMIC) at the State Planning Agency. After four years with LMIC, Julie transferred to the Weights and Measures Division where she progressed from investigator to petroleum laboratory technician and eventually into the management team.
Julie has a B.A. from the University of Minnesota, with post-graduate studies at Hamline University. She is also an alumna of the 2007-2008 Emerging Leadership Institute. Julie currently serves on a NIST-sponsored work group studying alternative methods of testing retail motor fuel dispensers, and on the Professional Development Committee for both the Central Weights & Measures Association (CWMA) and the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM). She was the 2006-2007 chair of the CWMA.