HELENA — Gov.-elect Steve Bullock made his first cabinet appointments Friday, naming the three people who will lead the departments of labor, corrections and commerce.
Bullock must still fill several other top administrative positions before he takes office in January, and he said additional announcements will be made in the coming weeks.
Bullock named Pam Bucy as the head of the Department of Labor and Industry, Mike Batista to lead the Department of Corrections and Meg O'Leary to the Department of Commerce.
They will replace outgoing Gov. Brian Schweitzer's appointees, Commerce Director Dore Schwinden, Labor and Industry Commissioner Keith Kelly and Corrections Director Mike Ferriter.
The appointments are subject to confirmation by the state Senate.
Bullock said he interviewed all three after his transition team went through the responses to their general appeal for applications, and those selected represent the best and the brightest to lead the state.
"This is a group of Montanans I think truly does reflect our values," Bullock said.
Bucy was the chief legal counsel for the Labor Department who recently lost to Republican Tim Fox in the race to succeed Bullock as attorney general. She was previously executive assistant attorney general under Mike McGrath.
Bucy pledged to work with business and labor to streamline the licensing process, build worker skills, create a safer work environment and to lower worker compensation insurance rates.
Batista has been the administrator of the Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation for the past 19 years. Before that, he worked for the U.S. Department of Justice as an intelligence manager and was an investigator for the state justice department.
O'Leary, the only one of the three to come from the private sector, is Big Sky Resort's marketing director. In her current job, she said, she has to go out and tell the ski resort's story to bring the business to Montana.
She said she would do that in her new position, only on a much larger scale.
"We have a really great story to tell, and we get to tell that story to the world," she said.