State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has promoted veteran staffer Jim Odiorne to fill the regulatory agency’s chief deputy role, which had been vacated when Kreidler’s former chief of staff Mike Watson retired in February. Odiorne is both a lawyer and accountant. He had joined the agency in 1996 under former commissioner Deborah Senn and served as deputy commissioner in charge of an agency division.
Kreidler, a fourth-term Democrat, announced the move in press release, which said:
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has named longtime staffer Jim Odiorne to be the agency’s new chief deputy, effective April 24.
“I have complete confidence that Jim is the right person to serve in this critical leadership role,” said Kreidler. “He has the respect of the professionals we regulate and fully supports our important consumer protection mission.”
Odiorne has a long tenure at the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, having served as the deputy commissioner for the Company Supervision division since 1996. He came to the agency in 1989 from Texas, where he served as the assistant state auditor, worked in private practice as an attorney, and worked for the Texas Department of Insurance in a number of positions, including senior deputy commissioner.
Odiorne, who is both an attorney and a certified public accountant, graduated from the University of Texas and from Baylor University School of Law. He was awarded a governor’s distinguished manager award in 2005.
“With the implementation of health care reform, it’s a very busy time for our agency,” said Kreidler. “Having Jim as chief deputy strengthens my executive team and I’m confident that his knowledge and expertise will help guide the agency through the work that lies ahead.”
Kreidler easily won re-election in November and underwent heart surgery earlier this month.