Meet The Executive Team
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Matt Flinner, Chief of Staff
Matt Flinner joined the Department of General Services executive team as Chief of Staff in July 2022. In this role, he supports the Secretary and executive leadership team in advancing the agency's mission, implementing strategic objectives, and positioning the agency to deliver exceptional value to all its customers.
Prior to joining DGS, Matt served as Director of Transformation at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) where he launched a monthly leadership development program, repositioned the agency's brand strategy, and led the commonwealth in improvement projects. During his time at L&I, the transformation office grew 200%. Before his commonwealth employment, he led education outreach and strategic planning initiatives at the Better Business Bureau in St. Louis, Missouri. Matt has 16 years of private sector experience in sales, customer service, operations, project management, and continuous improvement.
Matt is a graduate of the University of Missouri – Columbia, where he earned his bachelor's degree in Business Management.
Kenneth Hess, Deputy Secretary for Procurement
Kenneth Hess serves as the Deputy Secretary for Procurement, in this position, he oversees the goods and services procurement, supplies and surplus and the management of the commonwealth’s vehicle fleet.
He previously served with the Department of General Services the Commonwealth from 2004 to 2011 as the Director of the Bureau of Supplies and Surplus Operations. Most recently, he held supply chain leadership positions with TE Connectivity and Patton Electronics. He has more than 25 years of experience with PA firms in Logistics, Purchasing, Fleet, and Operations roles.
Hess holds a Master of Science in Business Administration from Bucknell University, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bloomsburg University of PA and an Associate in Applied Science degree from Penn College of Technology.
Kerry L. Kirkland, Deputy Secretary for Diversity, Inclusion & Small Business Opportunities
Mr. Kirkland serves as the senior public official to represent and advise Governor Tom Wolf's Administration and the Department on all matters related to the development of statewide policies and programs to substantially increase the participation of small diverse businesses (SDBs) and small businesses (SBs) in Commonwealth contracting and in Pennsylvania's overall economy.
Under his leadership, the Department of General Services (DGS) commissioned the first Commonwealth Disparity Study, purchased a state-of the art contract compliance data collection and tracking system, and implemented the Commonwealth's Small and Small Diverse Business development program.
He formally served as Associate Deputy Administrator and Regional Administrator, US Small Business Administration; Vice President, US Black Chamber of Commerce; and Executive Director, Pennsylvania Democratic Party. Mr. Kirkland is the Co-Founder of the American Contract Compliance Association, the largest membership-based contract compliance training organization in the world. He is the founder of the African American Political and Leadership Roundtable.
Mr. Kirkland served with a four-member delegation from the United States to South Africa. While there, he facilitated equity management training and provided technical advice to members of President Nelson Mandela's leadership team.
Mr. Kirkland is the recipient of numerous distinguished awards including: the W.E.B. Dubois Award for Excellence, the Parren J. Mitchell Award for Outstanding Minority Business Development Service, the Arthur A. Fletcher Vanguard Award, and the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Civil Rights Award.
He holds a Master's Degree in Human Services (MHS) from Lincoln University. Mr. Kirkland is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and is an Honorably Discharged United States Air Force (Vietnam) Veteran.
Beth Christian, Acting Deputy Secretary for Administration
Beth Christian serves as the acting deputy secretary for administration in the Department of General Services (DGS).
In this capacity, she serves as the chief operating officer for more than 960 employees in Pennsylvania’s primary agency for general services including human resources, budget, risk and insurance management, information technology, print and media services, and real estate transactions for the commonwealth. Beth’s focus centers on creating an amazing experience for the agency's employees and customers.
Most recently, Beth served DGS for 10 years as director of the Bureau of Real Estate where she oversaw property sales and acquisitions, leasing, and space design for the state. She incorporated her 25+ years of boots-on-the-ground experience in administration, contracting, and real estate with her vision to create a world-class real estate service organization. She previously served in various leadership roles in the Department of Human Services and began her commonwealth career in the Department of Labor and Industry.
Beth serves on the STEM-UP Network Advisory Board, a group encouraging more women to enter into STEM careers; the Society for Human Resource Management; the National Association of Facility Administrators Board of Directors; Diversity & Inclusion Professionals of Central PA; a graduate of the Harrisburg University Leadership Development Program; an alumna of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Leadership Development Institute; a relentless advocate for the neurodivergent; a volunteer NICU cuddler, volunteer MS Ambassador and shares her passion for public service as a mentor in the Commonwealth’s Mentor-mentee Program and in the Women in Leadership (WiL) Mentor Program.
Beth resides with her amazing husband, Jeff, five rescue cats, and their puppy, MoJo. She is blessed to be a mom to two adult children and GiGi to her granddaughter.
Jason Snyder, Acting Deputy Secretary for Property and Asset Management
Jason Snyder serves as the acting deputy secretary for Property and Asset Management. In this position, he oversees property administration, police & safety, facilities & maintenance management, energy &resource management, and energy sustainability initiatives for the commonwealth.
With more than 17 years of state government service, all with DGS, Snyder most recently worked as the director of the Bureau of Facilities Management where he oversaw the area of the agency responsible for maintenance projects; custodial, grounds and the various trade operations in the Capitol Complex, state office buildings in Reading and Scranton, and the executive residence. Snyder has held a number of positions throughout his career since he stared at the department's carpenter shop.
Deputy Secretary, Public Works
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Shawn Smith, Chief Counsel
Shawn Smith serves as the chief counsel for the Department of General Services. In this position, he provides advice, counsel, and expertise on complex and sensitive department legal matters to senior executive officials and the Office of General Counsel. He oversees a staff of attorneys and support staff who cover the department’s legal needs in procurement, real estate, non-highway construction projects, Capitol Police, facilities & maintenance, and litigation for the department. In addition, the office covers government operations and human resources issues.
Smith has more than 21 years of legal experience with 17 of those years with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Having most recently served as the deputy chief counsel with the Governor's Office of General Counsel, the Department of General Services since 2016, and also as the department's Policy Director since 2020.
Smith has served as both executive general counsel and deputy general counsel in the Governor's Office of General Counsel, where he oversaw all areas of contracting, grants, procurement and regulations for the 36 executive agencies under the governor's jurisdiction and the 500 attorneys of the Office of General Counsel. In addition, he served as the assistant counsel/prosecuting attorney for the Governor's Office of General Counsel, Department of State.
Smith holds Bachelor of Art degrees in History and Legal Studies with a minor in Philosophy from the State University of New York at Buffalo and his Juris Doctorate from the Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University.
Claire Ramsay, Director of Business Transformation
Claire Ramsay serves as the department's director of transformation.
The Office of Transformation implements DGS strategic plan objectives and ensures operational alignment with the agency’s mission, vision, and goals. In addition, the office leads the agency’s efforts to build a continuous improvement culture focused on effective, efficient, and safe solutions.
In her position, Claire serves as a consultant and thought leader for DGS bureaus and employees to improve their operations. Her broader work includes the removal of interagency and external communication barriers; developing performance management systems to measure success; increasing employee engagement; streamlining processes to reduce waste and inefficiency; facilitating meetings and trainings; and supporting DGS in delivering exceptional service for its diverse customers.
The Office of Transformation manages multiple projects and initiatives. Recently, the office’s portfolio has encompassed the translation of workforce data into visual platforms; developing program area key performance metrics; mapping complex business processes; improving the user experience of DGS digital resources; and launching a regular professional development series for agency leaders.
Prior to becoming the director of transformation, Claire served as the chief of the DGS Bureau of Publications, Administration, and Customer Service Division from 2018 to 2021. She oversaw the bureau's fiscal activity, including budgeting, forecasting, and reporting. She also oversaw administrative activities, including procurement, customer service, and marketing to ensure the health of the bureau. Her efforts enabled the bureau to deliver quality print, mail, and design while serving as a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars.
Claire also served in the COSTARS program as a program manager and marketing manager. Her career with the commonwealth began at the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue where she was a lottery drawing official/clerk typist 3.
Claire studied at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, and graduated from the Pennsylvania Office of Administration's Leadership Development Institute in 2019 and the emerging Leader Program in 2016.
Troy Thompson, Press Secretary
Troy Thompson serves as the Director of Communications for the Department of General Services. In this position, he is responsible for the development and implementation of the department's internal and external communications strategies. Troy works with the various bureaus and offices within the department to identify outreach and promotion opportunities, coordinate events, develop content on the services they provide. He also responds to media inquiries, conducts interviews and serves as the official spokesperson for the department.
Troy has worked for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the past 26 years and started his career in state government as an intern with the Labor and Industry Press Office. He worked his way up through the ranks and has served in various press roles at the departments of Labor & Industry, Aging and Health. Prior to joining DGS, he was Press Secretary at the Department of Labor & Industry.
Troy is a graduate of Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Public Relations and Mass Communications. He also received his MBA from the Pennsylvania State University Capitol Campus.
A native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Troy resides in his hometown with his wife and favorite four-legged friend, Ruger. He is the proud father of two adult daughters.
Eryn Spangler, Director of Legislative Affairs
Eryn Spangler serves as the director of legislative affairs for the Department of General Services (DGS). In this capacity, she is the liaison for DGS in the department’s dealings with the General Assembly and the Governor’s Office of Legislative Affairs.
Eryn’s primary roles as a director are assisting with legislative and constituent inquiries related to DGS program areas, spearheading legislative priorities and initiatives of the department, and providing guidance on legislative measures brought forward by the General Assembly.
Prior to joining DGS in June of 2022, Eryn’s experience in Pennsylvania state government began in 2016 and has included working with the Governor’s Office of Policy and Planning, the Governor’s Office of Communications, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and the Senate Democratic Caucus.
In her current role, Eryn utilizes the knowledge gained through her previous experiences in policy, communications, and legislative affairs to advocate for DGS and the essential services the department provides to the commonwealth.
Eryn is a graduate of Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in history.
Sandra Aguilera, Policy Director
Sandra Aguilera serves as the Policy Director, in this position, she is responsible for recommending changes in policy to improve efficiency and effectiveness for a better functioning agency and government. She helps guide, coordinate, and lead major internal and external policy initiatives for the Governor’s Office and DGS Secretary. Aguilera helps ensure alignment among the Offices of Communications, Legislative Affairs, Chief Counsel, and relevant program areas.
Prior to coming to DGS, Sandra Aguilera served as the Deputy Director of Civic Engagement for the Bureau of Elections at the Department of State. She has worked in public service for a decade including working for a federally elected official. While there she led all engagement and outreach efforts for the south-central region. Aguilera holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from Penn State Harrisburg and a B.S. in Communications and Public Relations from Millersville University. She lives in Cumberland County with her family and their dog, Ali.
Darwin Paz, Digital Director
Darwin Paz serves as the digital director for the Department of General Services. In this role, Darwin is responsible for the development of the department’s digital strategies - including optimizing web and social media content and maintaining the agency's digital footprint. Darwin also works with the various bureaus within DGS to explore opportunities to elevate digital services and reach Pennsylvanians where they are.
Before joining the department, Darwin served as a deputy chief digital officer for Governor Tom Wolf and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. During his time with the Governor's Office, Darwin oversaw digital operations across eight state agencies, supported enterprise digital transformation efforts, and informed content strategy concerning elections, environmental, and fiscal issues.
Before joining the commonwealth, Darwin supported digital strategy and international media relations for the Papal visit to Philadelphia in 2015. Darwin has a decade of experience helping people, governments, and global events tell their stories and serve their constituents. Darwin holds a bachelor's degree from Temple University where he studied strategic communications and political science.