Governor Laura Kelly Announces Intention to Appoint Commerce Secretary David Toland to Become Lieutenant Governor

Governor Laura Kelly today announced her intention to appoint David Toland, Secretary for the Kansas Department of Commerce, to become her Lieutenant Governor when current Lieutenant Governor Lynn Rogers vacates the position in January.

“Replacing Lynn Rogers is no small task, but of all the candidates I considered, David is ready to hit the ground running in his new role,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “I have been impressed throughout his tenure as Commerce Secretary by his enthusiasm, energy, and commitment to economic development and business recruitment. I look forward to our continued partnership as he takes on his new responsibilities in the Lieutenant Governor’s office.”

The Lieutenant Governor vacancy was initiated by Governor Kelly’s decision to appoint Lieutenant Governor Lynn Rogers to become the Kansas State Treasurer. Secretary Toland will be sworn in as Lieutenant Governor in January. He will continue to serve as Commerce Secretary while taking on the duties of the Lieutenant Governor.

“David and I have worked closely over the past two years on our shared initiative to lead the Office of Rural Prosperity,” Lieutenant Governor Lynn Rogers said. “I am impressed by his work ethic and his commitment to improving the lives of Kansans statewide. I know that he will make an excellent Lieutenant Governor and that he will smoothly transition into the new role.”

The Lieutenant Governor works with state commissions and on issues most important to the Governor. In the event that the Governor cannot perform his or her duties, the Lieutenant Governor takes on the role of the Governor. The office of the Lieutenant Governor is on the ballot at the invitation of the Governor and serves four years, elected during midterm years.

“I’m deeply honored to serve Governor Kelly and the people of Kansas in this additional capacity as Lieutenant Governor, and to continue the important work launched by Lieutenant Governor Rogers with the Office of Rural Prosperity,” Commerce Secretary David Toland said.  “Jobs and economic growth have never been more important than now, and building on the tremendous gains of the economic development team at the Department of Commerce will continue to be my focus going forward.  I’m grateful to be working alongside the ‘Economic Development Governor’ as we build on the state’s business development successes and accelerate the state’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Several officials with Kansas businesses and chambers of commerce spoke out in support of Toland’s appointment to the Lieutenant Governor position Monday.

“We commend Governor Kelly for her nomination of Secretary Toland as Lieutenant Governor,” said Blake Benson, President of the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce. “Secretary Toland has been a tireless advocate for our state’s business community and understands the importance of both rural and urban areas to the success of the Kansas economy. Secretary Toland’s efforts have been particularly instrumental in helping our state’s businesses weather the pandemic and will now play an even larger role in moving the Kansas economy forward.”

“I was very excited to hear of David Toland’s appointment as Lt. Governor for the State of Kansas,” said Patrick Fucik, T-Mobile Director of State Government Affairs. “Legacy Sprint had a great relationship with David serving as Director of the Department of Commerce and that has transitioned into working with him closely with the new T-Mobile. On behalf of T-Mobile, we all congratulate David on the appointment to Lt. Governor, and we look forward to working with him in that position as well continuing to work with his team at the Dept. of Commerce.”

“Under Secretary Toland’s leadership, the Kansas Department of Commerce has worked with local chambers of commerce and economic development professionals across the state to land 120 projects during 2020,” said Tracey Osborne Oltjen, President and CEO of the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce. “With an economic investment of more than $2 billion and 13,242 jobs, these projects will produce dividends that benefit all Kansans. Our communities will benefit from his partnership approach as he leads in his dual role as Lt. Governor and Secretary of Commerce.”

“I applaud Governor Kelly’s decision to elevate Secretary David Toland to the role of Lt. Governor,” said former Kansas Governor John Carlin. “The economic well-being of the state could not be more important right now, as we recover from unprecedented challenges and get our state back on the road to growth. As our new Lt. Governor, I have every confidence that David Toland will continue the progress he began as Commerce Secretary, where he has brought renewed energy and bold strategic direction to our state’s economic development efforts. I have no doubt that his leadership will continue delivering results for Kansans.”

“Truly beneficial economic development can only be achieved when all parties involved are genuinely focused on people and progress. Secretary Toland was instrumental in making Kansas the perfect fit for URBN, ensuring not only that it will be our home for today but also setting the foundation that best positions us to succeed together for many years to come,” said Dave Ziel, Chief Development Officer for Urban Outfitters, Inc. “Amidst the unprecedented challenges that obscure any clarity of what the future holds and a ‘new normal’ may one day be, Secretary Toland’s creativity and adaptability were on full display. The economic investment that continues to pour into the State during these times is testament to approach Secretary Toland has taken and has positioned Kansas to not only survive during these difficult times but to prosper in spite of them.”

“I believe this is an excellent choice by Governor Kelly,” said Blake Schreck, President and CEO of the Lenexa Chamber of Commerce and President of Team Kansas. “Secretary Toland has done an outstanding job rebuilding the Commerce Department, and has the respect of local business communities and economic development agencies all across the state. The model of combining the duties of the two offices has worked well in the past. Secretary Toland understands policy and process and how they relate to economic growth, so he has the skill set. I think this a great fit.”

“With the selection of Secretary Toland to be Lt. Governor, Governor Kelly is telling us that growing our economy and creating jobs is a high priority,” said John Petersen, Shareholder at Polsinelli. “This is good news for Kansas. Sec. Toland has brought an unprecedented level of professionalism, focus and energy to growing the Kansas economy, and these same traits will serve him well as Lt Governor.”

“As we developed a plan to expand our pizza manufacturing operations in Salina, Secretary Toland was very helpful in connecting our company with the leaders and resources of the state of Kansas. His commitment to helping enable businesses to grow their presence and bring jobs to Kansas is clear,” said Dimitrios Smyrnios, executive chairman of CJCJ Food, Americas. “We appreciated the opportunity to work with him and the Governor on finalizing plans to expand our facility and add jobs. It was a pleasure working with David and we congratulate him on his new role as Lieutenant Governor.”

“The KCK Chamber congratulates Secretary of Commerce, David Toland, on his appointment by Governor Laura Kelly to Lieutenant Governor of Kansas,” said Daniel Silva, President & CEO, KCK Chamber of Commerce. “The KCK Chamber looks forward to continuing to build upon an already strong relationship with Secretary Toland as he assumes expanded responsibilities and duties as Lt. Governor of Kansas. Secretary Toland’s collaborative and innovative approach has yielded partnerships for positive impact across Kansas, especially in Wyandotte County.”

‘Speaking from my 30 years of experience in economic development and being actively involved in Team Kansas, Keda, wkreda and as the 2019 NREDA award of Excellence recipient, I personally feel that partnerships are critical to business development in our community,” said Joann Knight, Executive Director of the Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation. “I have been incredibly impressed with the team that Secretary Toland has assembled and the direction they are focused on for economic development. His strong leadership ability has made a very positive impact on Kansas.”  stated Joann Knight, Executive Director of the Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation.”

“The Greater Wichita region has seen tremendous support for our businesses as well as actionable opportunities for new investment under Secretary David Toland’s leadership at the Department of Commerce,” said Jeff Fluhr, President, Greater Wichita Partnership. “We congratulate the Secretary on the expansion of his role as Lieutenant Governor. His leadership will benefit education, quality of place for urban and rural communities, and improve the lives of Kansans to accelerate our economic development future.”

“We congratulate Secretary Toland on his appointment as Lt. Governor,” said Chuck Cadena, Head of Corporate Affairs, Spirit AeroSystems. “In his role as Commerce Secretary for the State of Kansas, he has focused his efforts on creating growth opportunities for businesses and our economy. We look forward to working with him as Lt. Governor.”

“Secretary Toland knows Kansas and he strives determinedly to see our state grow and prosper,” said Christy Hopkins, Greeley County Community Development Director. “He is an open, communicative leader who has taken decisive steps to elevate Kansas’ opportunities and prospects. Working with a diverse group of statewide stakeholders, he and his team have strengthened our economy and continue to find ways to move Kansas forward, even in uncertain times.  Secretary Toland’s deep knowledge of Kansans, of its communities, of its assets, and its challenges, will serve him well as Lt. Governor.

Our congratulations to now Lieutenant Governor of Kansas David Toland,” said Joe Reardon, President & CEO, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. “We have the deepest regard for David Toland whose leadership was instrumental in securing the economic Border War truce between Kansas and Missouri.  As Secretary of Commerce, he has worked to collaborate with the entire KC region in our efforts to grow the Kansas City area economy.  We look forward to continuing to work with him as Kansas’ new Lieutenant Governor.”

“Secretary Toland and the Department of Commerce have been very active, engaged and supportive of Fuller Industries and businesses across the state, especially during the last year when everyone’s been dealing with the pandemic,” said Mark Chalfant, CEO of Fuller Industries. “We greatly appreciate his leadership within the Commerce program and look forward to his continued leadership into the new year and beyond. This leadership during an uncertain and unprecedented time has been greatly valued.”

“As our economy works to withstand and ultimately recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic development, and support of efforts to put Kansas on track for economic success is more critical than ever,” said Steve Kelly, Vice President of Economic Development at the EDC of Lawrence & Douglas County. “During my time at the Kansas Department of Commerce, I have seen the Commerce Secretary serve as Lt. Governor. It can work and work well. It is important for all Kansans that David Toland be successful in this new dual role.”

“I have had the opportunity to work with Secretary Toland on several projects and opportunities in the Wichita area over the last year,” said Marty Cornejo, Partner at Cornejo and Sons, Inc. “The commitment he and his staff have given me and our team is a true testament of his bipartisan relationships and commitment to our State for growth and job creation. There is no doubt Secretary Toland’s new role will bring a forward-thinking approach. I look forward to having his passion as our new Lieutenant Governor.”

“It has been my pleasure to work with Secretary Toland,” said Charlie Newell, Orizon CEO. “He has always taken time to understand our business, share ideas on how the State might assist us, listen to our problems, and when possible arrange assistance through his many business connections.”