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WDVA Executive Biographies

Secretary | Deputy Secretary | Assistant Deputy Secretary
Division Heads/Special Staff | Board Member Biographies

John A. Scocos

Secretary John Scocos photoJohn A. Scocos was appointed the first cabinet Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs by Governor Scott Walker. As the Secretary he is the chief advocate for the nearly 400,000 veterans of Wisconsin. In this capacity he is responsible for the leadership and management of the Department to include strategic and long-range planning initiatives aligning with the Department's vision.

Secretary Scocos has a long and distinguished record of service to his state and country. He last served as the Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (formerly Regulation and Licensing). He was responsible for the overseeing and coordinating day-to-day operations of the Department's administrative staff, Division of Board Services, Division of Enforcement, Division of Management Services, Division of Professional Credentialing, Division of Safety and Building, and the Division of Environmental and Regulatory Services.

He also formerly served as Secretary, Deputy Secretary and Executive Assistant at the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, and as Chief Clerk and Sergeant at Arms of the Wisconsin State Assembly. The accomplishments achieved during his tenure at WDVA include: the passage of the Wisconsin GI Bill Tuition Remission Program, the Wisconsin Veterans and Surviving Spouses Property Tax Credit for totally disabled Veterans and their unremarried surviving spouses, and the creation of the skilled nursing facility of the Wisconsin Veterans Home at Union Grove, as well as the plans for the Wisconsin Veterans Home at Chippewa Falls.

Scocos was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1981 as an Armor Officer. He served more than 31 years of military service and retired at the rank of Colonel. He served on active duty from 1981 to 1990 and then joined the United States Army Reserve. He was mobilized in both 2007 and 2008 for service in Iraq. In 2010 he served as a Military Assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Scocos' civilian awards include: the 2006 Wisconsin Department of the American Legion Leadership Medal, the 2006 Wisconsin State Council of Vietnam Veterans of America Distinguished Service Award, the 2006 Disabled American Veterans Distinguished Service Award, the 2007 Elks Club Citizenship Award, and in 2007 and 2008 he was awarded the Military Order of the Purple Heart Department of Wisconsin Outstanding Service Award. Additionally, Scocos received the Department of Veterans Affairs of the United States of America Secretary's Award for Leadership and Dedication 2008, the 2010 AMVETS Legislative Advocacy Award, and the 2012 Spirit of Service Award from the Wisconsin Jewish War Veterans. In 2014, Scocos received the National Commanders Medallion Award from the National American Indian Veterans.

Scocos' military awards and decorations include: The Legion of Merit, The Bronze Star Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster), Meritorious Service Medal (3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal (2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Iraqi Campaign Medal (1 Bronze Star), Global War on Terrorism Medal and the Combat Action Badge.

Scocos holds a Bachelors Degree in History from Mankato State University and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Touro University. He is married to Dr. Kelly Ann Williams. They currently live in Fitchburg, WI with their children.

Deputy Secretary
Michael Trepanier

Michael Trepanier was appointed by Secretary Scocos and serves as the Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. As Chief of Staff, he has responsibility for the Department’s day-to-day operations. As a member of the senior management team, he also coordinates and directs strategic planning and program development for the Department.

Trepanier received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School.

His military service record includes a combined total of five years in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve. While on active duty, he served in the 1st Cavalry Division and was deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom II for fourteen months.

Trepanier’s prior state service includes being the Department’s Executive Assistant, a post he held twice. He was also a Division Administrator at the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (formerly Regulation and Licensing). Additionally, he served as a Legislative Assistant to a former state legislator.

Executive Assistant Michael Trepanier photo

Assistant Deputy Secretary
Kathleen Marschman

Kathy Marschman was appointed by Secretary Scocos and serves as the Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. As a member of the senior management team, she serves as the chief legislative liaison and directs policy making and the Office of Public Affairs.

Kathy formerly served as the Administrator of WDVA's Division of Veterans Benefits where she oversaw that Division's programs and benefits.

Prior to joining the WDVA, Kathy worked more than ten years as an aide in the Wisconsin State Legislature. She retired from military service after more than 24 years in the Army Reserve and National Guard, including several years of activated service. Her active duty service included the establishment and command of one of the Army’s first-in-the-nation units designed to provide command and control, administration, medical case management, and transitional services to wounded, injured, and ill reserve component members.

Kathy is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin Law School. She resides in Sun Prairie.

Kathleen Marschman photo