- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Gov. Tom Wolf’s nominee to complete the state treasurer’s term said Tuesday that he has worked in various ways to try to boost the entrepreneurial fortunes of others amid a successful business career in which he evolved from engineer to venture capitalist.

Wolf’s announcement that he is nominating Tim Reese, a venture capitalist from the Philadelphia suburb of Glenside, comes two months after Treasurer Rob McCord revealed he was resigning and pleading guilty to federal extortion charges.

Reese, the managing partner in the Ambler-based venture capital firm Forge Intellectual Capital, said he does not plan to run for the office in the November 2016 election. But he said he feels he can leave his mark in the 20 months or so he might be in the office. He has not previously held public office.

“I still think there’s an opportunity to come and help provide some stability, to look at the programs and help put my footprint (on it) though this period of time in the department,” Reese said in an interview.

In a statement, Wolf called Reese “a proven leader with a diverse financial background” that includes consulting, entrepreneurialism and investing.

“His outstanding management experience and fiscal expertise, along with a passion for promoting financial literacy, will help bring stability to the Treasury and refocus the department on its core mission,” the Democratic governor said in a statement.

If confirmed by the state Senate, Reese would become the first African-American to serve as Pennsylvania treasurer, according to the Wolf administration.

Reese, 51, was trained as engineer at Temple University in Philadelphia and started working at Honeywell Inc. before he started a several information technology firms and consulting firms, Forge and the National Minority Angel Network, a national network of investors to help give a start to entrepreneurs who are women, minorities or veterans.

In the meantime, he started a network focused on trying to improve financial literacy and opportunities for minorities. He also is on an advisory committee to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on small and emerging companies.

He needs confirmation from two-thirds of the Republican-controlled state Senate to become treasurer.

The Treasury Department is the custodian of state funds, investing billions of dollars, sometimes through outside investment managers it hires, and paying state government’s workers and bills in tens of millions of transactions per year. The treasurer also sits on boards that have enormous power over how billions of pension, insurance and infrastructure dollars are spent or managed.

McCord, a second-term Democrat, resigned Jan. 30 before he pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted extortion and admitted that he tried to use his position to strong-arm state contractors into donating money to his failed gubernatorial campaign.

His four-year term ends in January 2017, when a successor picked by voters in the November 2016 election will be sworn in. In the meantime, the agency’s chief counsel, Christopher Craig, has been running the Treasury Department as executive deputy state treasurer.

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