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Milwaukee Regional Office

Meet Our Leadership Team


Duane Honeycutt

Director: Duane Honeycutt

Duane Honeycutt was appointed Director of the Milwaukee Regional Office on April 21, 2014. As Director of the Milwaukee VA Regional Office, Mr. Honeycutt is responsible for over 670 full-time employees and for administering benefits for potential clientele of over 400,000 Veterans and their dependents living in Wisconsin. Mr. Honeycutt also oversees pension and survivor benefits provided in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Mr. Honeycutt previously held the positions of Director of the Chicago Regional Office from November 2008 Through April 2014. He has completed assignments of Director (acting) at the Phoenix, Newark, and Hartford Regional Offices as well as the VBA Records Management Center in St. Louis.  Mr. Honeycutt has also held leadership positions in the Cleveland Regional Office as well as VA Central Office. He began his VA career as a Veterans Claims Examiner at the Detroit VA Regional Office in November of 1993.

Mr. Honeycutt is an alumnus of the Senior Executive Service Career Development Program 2010, Assistant Director Development Program 2006, Federal Executive Institute 2005, Leadership VA Class of 2003, and Leadership Enhancement and Development Class of 1999. Mr. Honeycutt served on active duty in the US Army as an Infantry Squad Leader with the Seventh Infantry Division (Light). Using his GI education benefits, Mr. Honeycutt received an Undergraduate degree in Human Resource Development from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan and has completed postgraduate work at Central Michigan University.

Keri Brezgel

Assistant Director: Keri Brezgel

Keri Brezgel was assigned to the position of Assistant Director, Milwaukee Regional Office in February 2013. She assists the Director in managing the Compensation & Pension and Veteran Readiness & Employment benefits provided to a potential clientele of over 400,000 Veterans and their dependents living in Wisconsin.  Keri began her career with the Department of Veterans Affairs in December 1993 as a Rating Analyst in the Milwaukee VA Regional Office. She was later promoted to a Rating Veterans Service Representative and served in the Milwaukee VARO for seven years. Keri then worked in VA Central Office in Washington D.C. for five years, first as a Consultant for C&P Service on the Procedures and Program Operations staffs, followed by a Management Analyst for the Associate Deputy Under Secretary for Policy and Program Management. In June 2006, Keri was selected as the Assistant Director in the Chicago Regional Office prior to returning to Milwaukee.

Keri has a Master of Arts Degree in Communications and is a graduate of Leadership VA and the Assistant Director Development Program. Keri has contributed to articles published in Human Communication Research.

Jesse Severe

Assistant Director: Jesse Severe

Mr. Jesse Severe was promoted to the position of Assistant Director, Milwaukee Regional Office in March 2012. Jesse began his VA career at the Milwaukee Regional Office in 2001, serving as a Veterans Service Representative, Veterans Claims Examiner, and Assistant Coach. In 2005, Jesse moved to the Nashville Regional Office where he was promoted to Supervisory Veterans Service Representative (Coach). In 2008, Jesse moved to the Southern Area office in Nashville first as a Management Analyst, and starting in 2009, as the Supervisory Management Analyst. With Southern Area, he had a wide range of responsibility over support for the twelve field offices and HRC in the Southern Area jurisdiction. In 2011, Jesse was accepted into the Assistant Director Development Program. He served details in the Office of Field Operations, as Assistant Director of the Houston Regional Office, and as Assistant Director of the St. Louis Regional Office prior to returning to Milwaukee.

Jesse was born and raised in Sheffield, Iowa. He received a B.A. in History, Religion and Philosophy from Wartburg College in 1996 and an M.A. in Chinese language and history from the University of Iowa in 1998.

Denise Niemczyk-Mullins

Fid Hub Manager: Denise Niemczyk-Mullins

Denise Niemczyk-Mullins began her VA career in 1993 as a Veterans Claims Examiner. Denise has held various positions in the Veterans Service Center, Pension Management Center, and Fiduciary Hub.  Positions Denise previously held include Veterans Claims Examiner, Authorizer, Quality Specialist, Rating Specialist, Assistant Coach, Coach, and Assistant Fiduciary Hub Manager.  Denise graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with degrees in Public Administration, Political Science, and Broad Field Social Science.  She was selected as the Milwaukee Fiduciary Hub Manager in July 2017.

Mary S. Hankes

Support Services Division Chief: Mary S. Hankes

Mary S. Hankes began her VA career in August 1991 at the Milwaukee RO as Veterans Service Representative in the Adjudication Division, where she processed Compensation, Pension, and Education claims. She has held various positions as Authorizer, Quality Specialist and Coach in the Veterans Service Center and Pension Management Center. In 2008 she was selected as the Support Services Division Chief.

Barbara S. Nehls

Veterans Service Center Manager: Barbara S. Nehls

Ms. Nehls began her career with the Milwaukee Regional Office in August 1991. She was selected as the Veterans Service Center Manager in May 2013. She has spent her entire career at the Milwaukee Regional Office and has held various positions, including Veterans Claims Examiner, Rating Specialist, Coach, and Assistant Veterans Service Center Manager.

Ms. Nehls graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

Chris Fischer

Pension Management Center Manager: Chris Fischer

Chris Fischer took this position in December 2008. As Pension Management Center Manager, he administers approximately $231 million in monthly federal benefits to 242,858 beneficiaries living in Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.