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Two Jefferson City residents among 15 appointed to posts by governor

by Ryan Pivoney | June 6, 2021 at 5:05 a.m. | Updated June 6, 2021 at 9:49 a.m.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced 15 appointments to various boards and commissions Thursday, naming two Jefferson City locals to appointed positions.

Spencer Bartlett and Kristina Bernskoetter, both of Jefferson City, were among the list of appointees. Bartlett will serve on the Administrative Hearing Commission, and Bernskoetter will join the Children's Trust Fund Board.

Bartlett is currently general counsel at the Missouri Department of Revenue, a position he has held since 2019. Previously, Bartlett was an assistant prosecuting attorney in Boone County before becoming deputy general counsel for the Department of Revenue in 2017.

The Administrative Hearing Commission currently consists of three administrative judges, known as commissioners, that conduct hearings and make decisions in cases involving a state agency and citizen or private entity. The commissioners also hear disputes regarding motor vehicle franchises. Bartlett will become the fourth commissioner June 8 and serve a six-year term.

"I am honored by the appointment by Gov. Parson, and I am very excited about this next chapter in my legal career," Bartlett said.

Once sworn into the Administrative Hearing Commission, Bartlett will no longer be able to practice law, so his last day at the Department of Revenue will be June 7.

Since 2009, Bernskoetter has served as the executive director of the Missouri Head Start Association. She also serves on the board of directors for the Missouri Community Action Network and Region VII Head Start Association. Prior to her current position, Bernskoetter was the director of governmental affairs for the Columbia Chamber of Commerce and Central Missouri resident manager for Ronald McDonald House Charities.

The Children's Trust Fund is the state's foundation for child abuse prevention. The board of directors consists of 17 members, including 13 members of the public, two members of the Missouri House and two members from the state Senate.

Bernskoetter will serve a three-year term.

Parson also filled a seat on the State Technical College of Missouri's Board of Regents, appointing K. Douglas Mertens, of Columbia.

Mertens recently served as the director of business development for Summit Materials Inc. in Denver, Colorado, after being president of Mertens Construction Company Inc. He is a current board member of the Thompson Foundation for Autism and a member of the Missouri Association of General Contractors. He was previously on the oversight boards of the Fulton Area Development Corporation and Heartland Port Authority.

State Technical College of Missouri, located in Linn, is the state's only public institution pursuing technical education at the associate of applied science level. The Board of Regents is responsible for managing the state college.

"I appreciate Gov. Parson making appointments to boards a priority," State Technical College President Shawn Strong said. "We have more active board members now than we have had in many years. Mr. Mertens is an exceptional choice given his background."

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