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Office of Governor Gary Locke
Contact:  Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136

Locke selects Matt as director of the Department of Personnel

OLYMPIA - Gov. Gary Locke today selected Eugene Matt, as the new director of the Department of Personnel.

Matt, 59, replaces Dennis Karras, who resigned after seven years in the position to work in the private sector.

In announcing the appointment, Locke called Matt the ideal person to lead the department, bringing to the job a combination of leadership and labor/employee relations experience.

"Eugene Matt brings 25 years worth of experience and skills vital to this position," Locke said. "His background in human resources, employee management and organizational restructuring will help us reach our goals of balancing the needs of both labor and management."

Matt said, "I am honored to be given this opportunity. I look forward to working closely with other state agencies and with labor. I also look forward to further improving human resources services to better serve Washington citizens, clients and employees."

"I am pleased to support Governor Locke's appointment to the director job," said Karras. "Gene brings a unique mixture of private sector, higher education and government expertise to the state in a time of great change in the workforce and workplace."

"I have worked with Gene for almost five years," said Linda Lanham, the political director of the Machinists Union. "He is intelligent, articulate and, above all, very fair."

Matt founded his own management consulting firm 13 years ago. As the head of the company he has provided management consulting to the transit industry, local government, higher education institutions and non-profit industries. His services concentrated on human resources and labor relations, as well as performance evaluation and improvement.

In October of 1993, Gov. Mike Lowry appointed Matt to the Washington State Personnel Resources Board. In that position, Matt was responsible for oversight and approval of Washington state human resources and labor relations programs.

Matt begins his job on April 1 at an annual salary of $97,000.

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