NCSL Executive Committee: Officers' Biographical Information

8/3/2022

Idaho Speaker Scott Bedke

NCSL President

Speaker Scott Bedke (R)
Speaker of the House
Idaho

Capitol Office
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0038
208-332-1000

Idaho House Speaker Scott Bedke is a native of Twin Falls. He graduated from Oakley High School and received a bachelor’s degree in finance from Brigham Young University.

Bedke has been elected to 10 terms representing District 27 in the Idaho House of Representatives. In December 2012 he was elected speaker of the house and is currently serving his fourth two-year term as speaker. His previous committee assignments included Revenue and Taxation, Appropriations, Education, Transportation and Natural Resources committees.

Bedke has spent his entire life in the livestock industry and has a keen interest in preserving and protecting Idaho's vast natural resources. Bedke is a fourth-generation rancher and with his brother owns and operates Wincecup Inc., raising cattle south and west of Oakley, Idaho, as well as in Elko County, Nev. Bedke is a former president of Idaho Cattle Association and former director of National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Bedke and his wife, Sarah, have four children and 12 grandchildren.

 
Brian Patrick Kennedy, Rhode Island

President-Elect

Speaker Pro Tempore Brian Patrick Kennedy (D)
Speaker Pro Tempore
Rhode Island

Capitol Office
State House Room 201
Providence, RI 02903
401-222-6580 

Representative Brian Patrick Kennedy was first elected to the Rhode Island House of Representatives during the election of November 1988 and is a member of the Democratic majority party in the Rhode Island General Assembly. Kennedy is the speaker pro tempore and presides in the absence of the speaker and serves in the House leadership. Kennedy served as the chairman of the House Committee on Corporations for 20 years, where he worked on legislation dealing with all aspects of insurance, banking and financial services, telecommunications, public utilities and energy matters, affordable housing, health care and consumer protection. Kennedy is also the dean of the Rhode Island House.

Kennedy is a long-time member of NCSL and has served in multiple positions as a chair, co-chair and vice-chair, Executive Committee member and NCSL Foundation member. Kennedy is a past president of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators and serves as a legislative member of the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission. Kennedy is a graduate of Chariho Regional High School in Wood River Junction, R.I., and received a bachelor of arts degree from Providence College with a double major in history and general social studies in 1983. Kennedy continued his studies at Anna Maria College and graduated in 1986-87 with a Master of Business Administration degree. He is a certified residential real estate appraiser and real estate broker, and owns Kennedy Realty Appraisal in Hopkinton, R.I.

 

Vice President
Senator Wayne Harper (R)
President Pro Tempore
Utah Senate 

Capitol Office
State Capitol, Suite 320
350 North State Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114

Wayne A. Harper is a member of the Utah State Senate representing District 6 since January 1, 2013. Harper served in the Utah House of Representatives from January 1, 1997, until December 31, 2012, in the District 43 seat.

Harper earned his Bachelor of Arts in History and Master of Science from Brigham Young University. He is married to KaLee, and together they have eleven children. Harper is a Certified Archivist, Certified Real Estate Consultant, and Certified Real Estate Developer. He works as a Business and Economic Development Consultant, and for Taylorsville City. In his professional career, Harper has been affiliated with the Conference of Inter-Mountain Archivists, the International Economic Development Council, and the International Council of Shopping Centers.

 

Speaker Scott Saiki, Hawaii

President Emeritus

Speaker Scott Saiki (D)
Speaker of the House
Hawaii

Capitol Office
Hawaii State House of Representatives
State Capitol 
Room 431
514 S. Beretania St.
Honolulu, HI 96813 
808- 586-6100

Speaker Scott Saiki was first elected to the Hawaii State House of Representatives in 1994, where he has served as majority leader, chair of the Labor Committee, chair of the Hawaiian Affairs Committee and co-chair of the Senate-House Investigative Committee. The Democrat, who represents the state’s 26th district, was named House speaker in 2017.

Born in Honolulu, Saiki received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and his law degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law. His law practice focuses on personal injury and disability cases.  

 

Anne Sappenfield, Wisconsin

Staff Chair 

Anne Sappenfield
Director
Wisconsin Legislative Council

Capitol Office
1 E. Main St. #401
Madison, WI 53703P.O. Box 142
608-266-1304

Anne Sappenfield serves as director of the Wisconsin Legislative Council. She leads a staff of 24 who provide committee staffing, legal and policy research to members of the Legislature. She has been active since 2006 with NCSL’s standing committees, serving as staff chair of the overall standing committees and staff chair of the Standing Committee on Human Services. She is a past chair of the Research, Editorial, Legal and Committee Staff association, a professional staff association of NCSL.

 

Staff Vice Chair 

Sabrina N. Lewellen
Director
Wisconsin Legislative Council

Capitol Office
500 Woodlane
State Capitol Room 320
Little Rock, AR 72201

Sabrina NeKay Evelyn Lewellen is the Deputy Director and Assistant Secretary of the Arkansas Senate.  From 2008 to 2013, she served as the Constituency Services/Research & Special Projects Manager for the Senate.  She joined the staff in 2003.  Sabrina holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture/Food Science /Minor – Environmental Science from Florida A&M University (1999 - magna cum laude) and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Vanderbilt Law School (2002).  She is active with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) where she currently serves on the Executive Committee and the Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee.  She is a member of the American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries (ASLCS).  In past years, she served as vice chairman and chairman of the Research and Committee Staff Section (RACSS).  In 2015, she received the RACCS Staff Achievement Award for her leadership contributions.  Sabrina is a member of the 2009 class of NCSL’s Legislative Staff Management Institute.

In 2021, Sabrina was a guest on the NCSL podcast, Our American States – The Why of Working in the Legislature. In 2010, NCSL's State Legislatures magazine featured Sabrina in the article entitled "New Wave" which highlighted 10 emerging individuals in a generation of legislative staff leaders who may change and challenge the way legislatures across the nation do business.  She was featured in the April 2011 issue of STAND! News as one of four Women to Watch in 2011, and in June 2011, she was named one of Arkansas’s most prominent people under age 40 in Arkansas Business’ 18th class of “40 Under 40”.  She is also a member of Class XXXII of Leadership Greater Little Rock.

Sabrina believes in investing in her community.  She is member of the board of directors of the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI), a past president and current member of the Junior League of Little Rock (JLLR).  She also served as the 2019-2020 President of POLL (Presidents of Large Leagues), which is an affinity group of AJLI.  In 2020, Sabrina received JLLR’s Elizabeth “Betsey” Mowery Award for her exemplary and extraordinary service to the Junior League of Little Rock.

 

J.J. Gentry, South Carolina

Immediate Past Staff Chair

J.J. Gentry
Counsel
South Carolina Senate Ethics Committee 

Capitol Office
P.O. Box 142
Columbia, SC  29202 
803-212-6306

J.J Gentry has worked for the South Carolina Legislature since 2001, serving with the House Education and Public Works Committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Ethics Committee. His current responsibilities include acting as a consultant to legislators and legislative staff, monitoring the ethical conduct of legislators and legislative staff, conducting research, drafting legislation, facilitating hearings and meetings, and handling constituent and media relations. He has served in various other NCSL leadership positions during his time.