Another official with ties to the CPA profession has been asked to move a rung further up the state government ladder in Annapolis.

Kelly Schulz, who has served as secretary of Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation for the past four years, has been appointed secretary of the state’s Department of Commerce.

Gov. Larry Hogan announced Schulz’s appointment on Dec. 17. The appointment is subject to confirmation by the Maryland Senate and would take place at the beginning of the year.

“Secretary Schulz is a strong advocate for Maryland’s job creators and has a proven track record of working directly with our business community to create jobs, enhance economic growth, and expand opportunity for both businesses and workers,” Hogan said in a prepared statement. “I know that Kelly will be instrumental in ensuring that we build on our incredible progress.”

“Business leaders’ number one concern is ensuring they have access to a talented workforce, and I am incredibly proud of the work we’ve been able to do thanks to Gov. Hogan’s leadership to prepare Maryland workers for 21st century jobs,” Schulz in a statement. “Having a leader at Commerce who understands workforce needs will help us grow our private sector and continue to foster an environment where businesses thrive and create even more jobs.”

As DLLR secretary, Schulz has led a department that oversees the licensure of more than 250,000 professionals throughout Maryland, including the state’s CPAs. The DLLR is the parent organization of Maryland’s State Board of Public Accountancy.

Shortly after her appointment as DLLR secretary, Schulz told me one of her priorities would be to strengthen “important partnerships” with CPAs and other professionals throughout the state, and that she sought an “honest conversation” with CPAs in an effort to make sure the Board of Public Accountancy “is working on everybody’s behalf.” Listen to my 2015 conversation with Schulz in its entirety.

Schulz will replace Michael Gill, who has led the Department of Commerce since Hogan took office in January 2015. Gill plans to return to the private sector as chair of Columbia-based Evergreen Advisors.

Schulz’s appointment is yet more evidence that the CPA ties to Maryland government continue to strengthen. In November, CPAs Arthur Ellis and Brian Feldman won seats in Maryland’s Senate while MACPA member William Wivell won one of two seats representing District 2A in Maryland’s House of Delegates.

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