For its “Staff Snapshots” series, State Legislatures News is asking legislative staff about their role in the legislature. If you’d like to suggest a staffer for this series, please email Holly South at NCSL.
Nate Rohan is deputy director of Wisconsin’s nonpartisan Legislative Technology Services Bureau, which provides technological services and support to the legislature and its service agencies.
Why did you choose to work at the legislature?
I chose to work at the legislature, largely, because of the uniqueness of it. I recall thinking, “How many times in my life will I get the opportunity to work inside the state Capitol building?” Since that time, the unique nature of the legislature continues to provide interesting challenges, particularly with supporting business processes not seen anywhere else in our state. You just won’t find another IT organization in our state that contends with the same challenges.
What skill or talent are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my ability to communicate with people. This skill has been incredibly vital to my professional career and allows me to navigate many challenging circumstances. A key component to being a good communicator, in my opinion, is active listening. The times you aren’t speaking can be just as powerful and helpful as the times you are.
What’s the best advice you were ever given?
I think this advice is incredibly practical for anyone in a management position: “Today’s failure to plan is tomorrow’s crisis.”
Who or what inspires you?
Like many people, I’m inspired by my family, including my two sons, Henry and Max, who are both on the autism spectrum. They inspire me to keep growing. They keep me grounded and remind me that many of life’s perceived stresses aren’t really all that important. They motivate me to be the best version of myself that I can and give me focus to the future so I can be there for them.
What’s one thing you love about your state?
It’s the variety. There’s a variety in settings, such as scenic country back roads, wooded rural areas, culturally diverse cities, etc. And there’s the variety in seasons—you truly experience all four seasons in full effect.
What are you currently reading/watching?
It’s a boring answer, but professionally I’ve been enjoying a lot of LinkedIn Learning content. The presentation is high quality and engaging. For entertainment, I really appreciated the weirdness that was part of “WandaVision,” and I’m now enjoying “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.” I enjoy storytelling that has some weight to it yet is still “popcorn viewing.”
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.