Governor-elect Greg Gianforte has named more people to his transition teams that include Richland County names, among them Richland County Comimssioner Shane Gorder.
Gorder, who is a former president of Montana Association of Counties and a rancher, was named to Gianforte’s Transition Advisory Team for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.
“I’m excited I got asked to serve on this board,” Gorder told the Sidney Herald. “That makes at least five of us now appointed to Gov.-elect Gianforte’s transition teams or taskforces. That’s exciting for Richland County.”
Gorder, and the other members of the transition team, will be tasked with identifying and reviewing candidates to serve as the next director of FWP, Gianforte said.
“Montana’s landowners, hunters, and anglers share a tradition of working together to protect our lands and conserve wildlife. We need a leader at the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks who is committed to strengthening this tradition. I’m grateful to these team members for their service, and look forward to receiving their recommendations,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dexter Thiel, president of Thiel Bros Roofing and founding member and former president of the Montana Roofing Contractors Association, was tapped to serve on the transition advisory team for the Montana Department of Commerce and the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.
“There’s a lot of excitement behind Governor-elect Gianforte’s win,” Thiel said. “He has an understanding of what we need to do in Montana, and he’s ready to roll up his sleeves to get to work.”
Gianforte said Montanans have been missing out for too long on good-paying jobs and better opportunities.
“It’s time to empower Montana workers and create an environment where small businesses thrive so that hardworking Montanans can prosper,” he said. “I thank this team for its service, and look forward to getting its recommendations.”
Jim Steinbeisser, first vice president and president-elect of the Montana Stockgrowers Association; farmer and rancher, was selected to serve on Gianforte’s agriculture transition advisory team, which will help select the next Director of Agriculture.
“Montana farmers and ranchers work hard to feed the world and drive our state’s No. 1 industry,” Gianforte said. “Unfortunately, they aren’t always given a fair shake. It’s time to help Montana producers capture more of the value they create, whether through increasing beef processing capacity, or preserving the Montana brand, or ensuring our ag producers have access to fair, open markets across the globe. I thank this team for its willingness to serve, and I look forward to its recommendations.”
Last week, Gianforte also named transition teams for the Department of Transportation, Department of Administration, and for both the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and the Department of Environmental Quality. The latter included Montana Petroleum Association President Alan Olson.
The week before that, Gianforte announced Mayor Rick Norby as a member of his COVID-19 taskforce, which will be meeting Tuesday, Nov. 24.
Other individuals from Richland County selected week before last to serve on transition teams include Kayla Anderson, licensed addiction counselor and owner of Prairie Hills Recovery, as a member of the transition team for Department of Public Health and Human Services; Melissa Zeiler, formerly probation administrator at Sidney Probation and Parole Administration and a former team member with the Seventh District Juvenile Drug Treatment Court, to the Department of Corrections Advisory Team;
On November 3, Montanans elected Gianforte as the state’s 25th governor. Gianforte received more votes than any candidate for governor in Montana history and won with the largest margin for a first-term governor since 1920.
Over the last 16 days, Gianforte has formed a COVID-19 Task Force, established nine advisory teams to assist in identifying exceptional candidates to lead state agencies, reached out to Democratic and Republican state legislators, and received hundreds of submissions from individuals who want to serve Montana.
Gianforte will be sworn into office on January 4, 2021.