Parson welcomes 2 to executive cabinet

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Gov. Mike Parson announces Wayne Wallingford as the new director of the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) and welcomed Valeri Huhn as the new director of the Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH).During a press conference at the State Capitol Wednesday, Gov. Parson announced Wayne Wallingford will head DOR, effective Monday.

“Wayne has proven himself as a leader in state government and has extensive executive level management experience in the corporate world and as a decorated U.S. military veteran,” Gov. Parson said. “We look forward to him implementing his vision at the Department of Revenue and providing the best possible service to the citizens of Missouri.”

Wallingford served in the Missouri State Senate from 2013 – 2020 and currently serves as a member of the Missouri House of Representatives.

Wallingford has also served as the chief people officer for the McDonald’s corporation in Southeast Missouri, as the vice president of operations for iSOLD IT in Central Missouri and in various regional management positions for the Taco Bell corporation.

In his nearly 25 years in the United States Air Force, he served as chief of the Intelligence Division in the U.K. and chief of the Electronic Intelligence Analysis Division in Hawaii, among other positions.

During the press conference, Gov. Parson also welcomed Valerie Huhn as a member of the executive cabinet and the next director of the Missouri Department of Mental Health, effective Saturday.

“Valerie has extensive knowledge and experience in state government and has been a key leader at DMH for nearly eight years,” Gov. Parson said. “Valerie replaces Director Mark Stringer who leaves behind some big shoes to fill, but we are confident in her abilities and excited to welcome her to the team.”

Huhn has served as the deputy director of the Missouri Department of Mental Health since 2020 and has been a part of the DMH Senior Management Team since 2014. She has a vast background in state government, which began in 2000 as a budget and planning analyst for the Office of Budget and Planning. Huhn brings leadership experience from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the Office of Administration and the Department of Social Services.

On Dec. 9, the Missouri Mental Health Commission announced it had selected Huhn to become the next DMH Director.

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