By Holly South
The 2018 legislative session marks the first for several members of the American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries (ASLCS) as chief clerk or secretary in their chamber.
Congratulations to the newest chief clerks and secretaries!
Melissa Bybee-Fields | Chief Clerk, Kentucky House of Representatives
After serving for a year as deputy clerk, Melissa, a longtime member of ASLCS, was promoted this year to chief clerk. She grew up in Western Kentucky, but her family moved to Frankfort when she was in middle school. “Living and going to school in the Capital City really fed my interest for social and government studies. I paged during the historic Kentucky Education Reform Act special session and fell in love with the Kentucky legislature.” After college she worked in the private sector for six months before being lured back to the legislature by a proofreader position with the Legislative Research Commission.
“A husband, two kids, a master’s degree in public administration and only 22 years later, I was sworn in as chief clerk. They say time flies when you are having fun and it really does. I’m not a big fan of ‘politics’ but I love the legislative process and I enjoy my job working to support the 100 members of the Kentucky House of Representatives.”
Robert L. Ricci | Secretary, Rhode Island Senate
Robert Ricci was elected unanimously by the Senate in June 2017 as secretary for the 2017 and 2018 sessions. Ricci is a Providence attorney and former director of the city’s workforce office; he also served on the board of the U.S. Conference of Mayor’s Workforce Development Council.
Sandy Zinter | Chief Clerk, South Dakota House
Sandy Zinter, a former commercial banker, served for 18 years—and three governors—as commissioner of South Dakota’s Bureau of Human Resources. House members chose her to be chief clerk at the beginning of the 2018 session.
Brad Hendrickson | Secretary, Washington Senate
With his appointment in January as secretary of the Washington Senate, Brad Hendrickson is “working in the job I trained for my entire adult life.” Beginning with an internship with the state senate during college at Western Washington University, which “cemented my interest in the Legislature,” Brad has worked almost exclusively for the Senate since graduating with a political science degree. He has held several positions with caucus staff and Senate administration, including deputy staff director, information systems coordinator, and four appointments as deputy secretary of the Senate. A native of Puget Island, Wash. —whose grandfather was one of the island’s early Norwegian settlers—he now lives in Olympia with his wife and is the father of an elementary school teacher and a WWU student.
Lee Cassis | Clerk, West Virginia Senate
Having served as assistant clerk for seven years, and in the Performance Evaluation and Research Division for several years before that, Cassis is another longtime legislative staffer now serving as chief administrative officer of his home state Senate. He also holds the distinction of being the rare non-politician elected to that post. Read more about Lee.
Holly South, a policy associate, is NCSL's liaison to the American Society of Legislative Clerks & Secretaries.