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Commissioner's Office
Phone:  651-284-5010 or 800-342-5354

Commissioner's Office
443 Lafayette Road N.
St. Paul, MN  55155

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Commissioner Nicole Blissenbach

Nicole Blissenbach

Nicole Blissenbach has served as DLI’s commissioner since January 2023 after serving as DLI's temporary commissioner since August 2022. DLI’s mission is to ensure Minnesota’s work and living environments are equitable, healthy and safe. The department serves employees, employers and the public by regulating buildings and workplaces through education and enforcement. 

Prior to assuming the role of commissioner, Blissenbach served as DLI's deputy commissioner and directed the work of the Labor Standards, Minnesota OSHA Compliance, Minnesota OSHA Workplace Safety Consultation, the Office of General Counsel, Research and Statistics, and Projects and Planning work units. She began work at DLI in June 2019 as DLI’s assistant commissioner for Enforcement and Compliance Strategies and Partnerships.

Blissenbach previously worked at Education Minnesota, where she served for nearly 10 years as an attorney in the legal department. Prior to working for Education Minnesota, she worked in a private law firm, where she practiced labor and employment law.

Blissenbach is a Minnesota State Bar Association Certified Labor and Employment Law Specialist. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Morris, and earned her law degree from the University of Minnesota. She is married, has two children and lives in Minneapolis.

Deputy Commissioner Kate Perushek

Kate Perushek

Kate Perushek is DLI’s deputy commissioner. She oversees Apprenticeship Minnesota, the Construction Codes and Licensing Division, Dual-Training Pipeline, Labor Standards, Legislative Services, the Office of Combative Sports and Youth Skills Training.

In February 2021, Perushek was named a DLI assistant commissioner and, since 2019, she worked as DLI's director of Legislative Affairs. Before her work at DLI, Perushek was senior policy advisor to Gov. Mark Dayton in 2017 and 2018 regarding initiatives for DLI and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Prior to that, she worked at the Minnesota House of Representatives for nine years, including a role as legislative director to the Speaker, where she helped develop and pass the Women’s Economic Security Act in 2014, an effort that first drew her to the work of DLI.

Perushek earned a master’s degree in both public policy and social work from the University of Chicago.

Chief of Staff Maureen Ramirez

DLI Chief of Staff Maureen Ramirez

Maureen Ramirez is an experienced leader in public-sector management, policy analysis, community engagement and communications.

Previously, Ramirez worked at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development as the director of the Office of Public Engagement, leading outreach and community relations activities with nonprofit partners, community leaders, small-business owners and job seekers.

Ramirez served on the University of Minnesota Board of Regents from 2007 to 2013 and also served on the ISD 197 West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan school board from 2017 to 2021, including as vice chair.

Ramirez earned a master's degree in advocacy and political leadership from the University of Minnesota – Duluth and an MBA from the University of Minnesota.

Assistant Commissioner for Workers' Compensation Jessica Stimac

Assistant Commissioner of Workers' Compensation Jessica Stimac

Jessica Stimac is DLI's assistant commissioner for workers' compensation. Stimac has 20 years of workers' compensation experience, both in the public and private sectors. She oversees DLI's Workers' Compensation Division, Office of Workers' Compensation Ombudsman and Office of General Counsel.

In February 2024, Stimac was named a DLI assistant commissioner. Prior to her work as assistant commissioner, Stimac served as chief general counsel of the agency, leading DLI's Office of General Counsel since 2018. Before leading the Office of General Counsel, Stimac was a Workers' Compensation Division director from 2012 to 2018, a supervisor in the Special Compensation Fund from 2010 to 2012, and a mediator in Alternative Dispute Resolution from 2006 to 2010. Before joining DLI, Stimac worked as a litigator, practicing in the area of workers' compensation.

Stimac earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Notre Dame and her law degree from the University of St. Thomas School of Law.

Assistant Commissioner Kristy Swanson

Kristy Swanson is DLI's assistant commissioner for operations. She oversees Communications, Enterprise Business Technology, Facilities Management, Financial Services, Human Resources, and Projects and Planning. In addition, she is the liaison between DLI and Minnesota IT Services.

Swanson led the Financial Services unit at DLI since 2016 and has helped lead DLI initiatives, such as Work Comp Campus, building-renovation projects and agency sustainability efforts.

Prior to working at DLI, Swanson was a project manager for the Early Learning Scholarship program’s IT system at the Department of Education. Before that, she was an executive budget officer at Minnesota Management and Budget, focusing on education funding and project managing the development of the enterprise-wide budget system.

Swanson earned a master’s degree in public policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.