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Members of the Commission

Saied Assef is President and Founding Member of Bellin Anesthesia Associates since 1994 and a staff anesthesiologist with the Bellin Memorial Hospital in Green Bay, Wisconsin since 1992. Dr. Assef serves and is Chair of the Board of Directors of Physician Partners Limited. Dr. Assef also serves on the Board of Bellin Health-ThedaCare Healthcare Partners and a former member of the Board of Directors for the Bellin Health Systems. Dr. Assef received his B.A. degree in Biochemistry, Magna Cum Laude, from Occidental College, California. He received his M.D. from Stanford University, Stanford, California. He maintains membership with the American Society of Anesthesia, American Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesia and the American Society of Regional Anesthesia. Dr. Assef received Senate confirmation in March 2012.

Mark Barrette was a general practice dentist in Beaver Dam where he has practiced in the same location for 35 years. He attended Purdue University majoring in Chemical Engineering and graduated from Indiana University School of Dentistry in 1976. Since 1976, he has been a member of the Dodge, Columbia, and Marquette County Dental Society and served as chair of the Peer Review Committee from 1980-2005. He also served on the Legislative Committee for the Wisconsin Dental Society from 1990-2005. Since 1981, Barrette has been a representative of the Wisconsin House of Delegates for the Dodge, Columbia, and Marquette County Dental Society and has served as a mentor for the Marquette University School of Dentistry since 2003. Barrette served on the YMCA of the Dodge County Board of Directors from 1985-1994. He is a member of the Beaver Dams Lions Club and served as president in 2008. In 2010, he received the "Melvin Jones Award" for distinguished service to the community. The Senate confirmed Barrette's appointment in March 2012.

Eileen Burnett is a graduate of Marquette University College of Nursing. She worked as an oncology nurse and a Medicaid fraud investigator prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom. While raising her five children, she owned and operated a home based, medical, linen business. She is a long time civic activist and community organizer with a lifelong commitment to the protection of the dignity of all life, particularly the unborn. Dedicated to neighborhood preservation, Eileen has salvaged and personally assisted in the renovation of neglected historic homes. She currently sits on the Board of Directors of Animarum Salus, and formerly served on the Board of Directors of The Power of Life and Wisconsin Abstinence Coalition. Burnett was confirmed by the Senate in March 2012.

William E. Cullinan, Ph.D. is a professor of Biomedical Sciences and dean of the College of Health Sciences at Marquette University. He also serves as director of the Integrative Neuroscience Research Center at Marquette. Cullinan received his bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Marquette in 1981 and earned his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Virginia in 1991. He did post-doctoral research at Mental Health Research Institute at the University of Michigan (1991-95) before joining the Marquette faculty in 1995. His research laboratory, which has received funding from the National Institute on Mental Health and the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, focuses on brain circuits involved in the regulation of stress and their relation to neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders. He has authored numerous research articles and chapters on functional neuroanatomy, stress neurobiology, and neuroendocrinology. Dr. Cullinan teaches courses in anatomy, neuroanatomy and neuroscience at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as to medical students and medical residents. He received the university’s highest award for teaching excellence in 2002. He also established and directs an annual summer Neuroanatomical Dissection seminar that draws professionals and educators from across the country. Dr. Cullinan received Senate confirmation in March 2012.

Frank J. Daily is a retired senior partner with Quarles & Brady in Milwaukee. He has specialized in the trial of major product liability cases, and is a leader in the Firm’s national Product Liability Practice Group. Daily attended the University of Iowa and is a cum laude graduate of Marquette University and its Law School where he served as an Editor of the Marquette Law Review. He is a Fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and has represented numerous manufacturers on a regional and national basis. He has tried numerous product liability jury cases representing both plaintiffs and defendants in both state and federal courts throughout the country. Daily has lectured extensively on product liability law and trial practice subjects at Marquette, Wisconsin and Harvard Law Schools, and is past president of the Marquette University Law Alumni Association. He is a member of the Circle of Champions at the University of Alabama and a member of the Board of Trustees, Farrah Law Society at the University of Alabama School of Law. He also is a life member of the American Law Institute, a sustaining member of the Products Liability Advisory Council and the Wisconsin representative on the Lawyers Committee for the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). Daily was appointed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to the Commission in September 2012 and elected chair in August 2015.

Lynn M. Leazer is a freelance Spanish interpreter and translator since 2005. She holds certifications as a Spanish>English translator from the American Translators Association and as a court interpreter from the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts and the Wisconsin Supreme Court. She works primarily in Dane County Circuit Court, for various federal legal/judicial agencies in the Western District of Wisconsin, and for various community-based service agencies. Prior to her career as an interpreter/translator, Ms. Leazer was a high school and middle school teacher of Spanish and English from 1991-2005. She holds degrees (B.A.—Spanish and English, 1977 and M.A.—Spanish Language and Literature, 1999) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a member of the American Translators Association and the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators. She was appointed to the Commission in January 2012.

Emily S. Mueller has served on the Circuit Court bench for Racine County since 1992. Prior to her appointment to the bench, she was a partner in the Racine law firm of Thompson & Coates, Ltd. where she practiced for fourteen years. Judge Mueller is a 1978 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School where she has been an instructor in the General Practice Course and sits on the board of the Friends of the Remington Center. She is a frequent faculty member for state judicial training programs, and has served as Associate Dean of the Wisconsin Judicial College, Chair of the Civil Benchbook editorial committee, and Program Chair of the Wisconsin Judicial Conference. Her other statewide work includes service as a member of the Civil Jury Instructions and Records Management Committees and the Criminal Justice Study Commission. In the Racine community, Judge Mueller has chaired the boards of Gateway Technical College, Civil Legal Services, the Racine Arts Council, and the Racine Theatre Guild, where she is an active volunteer. She has also served on the boards of the Health Care Network, Taylor Home, the YMCA, and Big Sisters of Greater Racine. She was appointed to the Commission in December 2010.

Joseph L. Olson is a Partner with the law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich LP. Mr. Olson is a trial and appellate attorney primarily focusing on class action. Mr. Olson also serves as co-chair of his firm's risk management committee. Mr. Olson's achievements and skill have been recognized by numerous organizations including being listed in The Best Lawyers in America(r) for Commercial Litigation (2015-2016). He was also recognized as a Rising Star in Employment Category, by Law360 (2015). In addition to his law practice, Mr. Olson serves as Vice-President of Michael Best Strategies, a full service government relations firm, and as a Director of Concordia Publishing House, the largest Lutheran Publisher in the World. Attorney Olson was appointed to the Commission in December 2015.

Paul F. Reilly, Judge for the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District II, since August 2010. From 2003-2010 Judge Reilly served in the Wisconsin Circuit Court – Waukesha County, serving rotations in Criminal, Civil and Family courts. Judge Reilly was in private practice from 1987- 2003 with a concentration in civil and municipal law. Judge Reilly is also a member of the Wisconsin Judicial Faculty and the Civil Jury Instruction Committee. Judge Reilly is a past president of the Waukesha County Bar Association and a past member of the Board of Governors for the State of Wisconsin. Reilly was appointed to the Commission in December 2010.

Executive Director Jeremiah C. Van Hecke graduated from Northwestern University in 1996 and received his J.D. from Tulane Law School in 1999. Most recently, he was an Assistant District Attorney in the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office. From 2005-2008, Van Hecke was engaged in the private practice of law in Milwaukee and Chicago with a primary emphasis in civil litigation. After graduation from law school, Van Hecke was also a prosecutor in Miami-Dade County, Florida. He is admitted to practice law in the State of Wisconsin, in the US District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin, and in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Van Hecke is a member of the Association of Judicial Disciplinary Counsel and the National Center for State Courts for Judicial Ethics.


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