- Hometown: The city of Oregon in south-central Wisconsin; grew up in rural northwestern Wisconsin
- Role: Deputy sergeant-at-arms for the Wisconsin Senate
- Years of legislative service: 13
“I left a successful private sector career to work for the Senate because I believe in the importance of a well-functioning legislative branch as part of the larger health of governance.”
What skill or talent are you most proud of?
The most useful skill in my role has been flexibility. No two days are the same, and my office functions as a catchall for the irregular work of the Senate. The ability to analyze and comprehend systems has also been extremely useful in my career, from a technology standpoint and in terms of organizational and social systems.
What’s the best advice you were ever given?
“If you play a game and they give you something called a ‘free throw,’ you’d better be able to make it.” While it doesn’t apply directly to working in a legislature, I think it gets to the importance of identifying the bread and butter of your operation, and making sure you and your staff develop the skills to ensure success at the fundamental levels.
Who or what inspires you?
The engineers and artisans who designed and built our Capitol over 100 years ago. Their ambitious vision, high standards and investment in the home of our state government have provided a message to generations that the work we do here is important and that we should always strive to be better than we are.
What’s one thing you love about your state?
Wisconsin’s nature is beautiful, and we are fortunate to have many parks and trails to enjoy. We have lush green and warm summers for hiking, camping, boating and fishing, and snowy winters for cross-country and downhill skiing. We are one of the few states that has both the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes. We have an array of glacial lakes in the north, and the rugged bluffs and winding coulees of the driftless region in the southwest.
What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?
I most recently re-read “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and am partway through the “Dune” novels. I’ve been watching “The Boys,” “Andor” and “House of the Dragon.” My entertainment of choice, though, is overly complicated strategy games.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity. To suggest a staffer for this series, use the email icon above to contact Holly South.