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About Us 

Governor Scott Walker 

Economic Impact Report


Governor Scott Walker signed the 2011-13 state budget, creating the new Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) – formed by combining the Department of Regulation and Licensing and parts of the Department of Commerce.

The Department of Safety and Professional Services is responsible for ensuring the safe and competent practice of licensed professionals in Wisconsin. The department also administers and enforces laws to assure safe and sanitary conditions in public and private buildings. It provides administrative services to the state occupational regulatory authorities responsible for regulation of occupations and offers policy assistance in such areas as evaluating and establishing new professional licensing programs, creating routine procedures for legal proceedings, and adjusting policies in response to public needs.

The Department is organized into five divisions and the Office of the Secretary. The divisions are Policy Development, Management Services, Legal Services & Compliance, Credential Processing, and Industry Services.

The Department licenses and regulates more than 200 different types of credentials. The agency also provides centralized administrative services to nearly 100 boards, councils, and advisory committees. The boards, councils, and advisory committees have varying levels of responsibility and professional oversight based on statutory provisions. 

Click here to view the DSPS Economic Footprint report and learn more about how the Department effects business and economic growth in Wisconsin.


Secretary Dave Ross 


Born and raised in Superior, Wisconsin, Secretary Dave Ross graduated from Superior Senior High School in 1970 and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Dave grew up in a small business family and was self-employed for over 20 years in an upholstery business. He knows the hard work it takes to run a business and is keenly aware of the importance of a reasonable tax and regulatory climate.

Secretary Ross joined Governor Scott Walker’s cabinet as the Secretary of the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) in January 2011. DSPS licenses more than 200 professional fields and houses over 70 boards and councils. The Department also includes the Division of Industry Services, formerly the Department of Commerce, which protects the safety, health, and welfare of Wisconsin’s residents through professional oversight of trades professionals and their projects.

Prior to coming to DSPS, Secretary Ross served as the Mayor of Superior for 8 years. Secretary Ross was married in 1973 to his wife, Lynn, and together they have four daughters and 15 grandchildren.



Deputy Secretary
Jonathan B. Barry



Jonathan B. Barry was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) in July, 2015.  He brings to the department years of experience as a farmer, business executive, non-profit director, public sector manager, and elected official.  Prior to his current DSPS appointment, he was Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and Administrator of the Division of Enforcement at the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.  He also served as Development Director of Dane County’s largest youth employment and training organization, Operation Fresh Start, Inc.  During this time, he helped to greatly expand Wisconsin Fresh Start, a statewide network of non-profit programs centered on assisting at-risk youth to learn basic employment skills, construction skills and to complete educational credentials.

Deputy Secretary Barry served as the elected Dane County Executive from 1981-87, as a State Representative from 1976-81, and as a Dane County Supervisor from 1973-76.  Additionally, he served as a member of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, the Wisconsin Technical System Board and on various gubernatorial commissions.

Deputy Secretary Barry has operated an 85-acre grass-fed beef and produce farm near Mt. Horeb since 1970.  In 1973, he was a creator, organizer and first manager of the Dane County Farmers’ Market on the Square in Madison.  He has been President of several businesses including the WTG Corp., Gammex-RMI and the W.T. Rogers Co.  He is a part-owner of Tyrol Basin Co.

Deputy Secretary Barry earned a Bachelor of Science degree from UW-Madison in 1968.



Assistant Deputy Secretary
Eric Esser


Eric Esser was appointed Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Department of Safety and Professional Services in February 2015.

Eric is originally from Waunakee, WI and graduated from Edgewood College with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.

Prior to joining the Department of Safety and Professional Services, Eric worked in the offices of State Senator Alan Lasee from 2005-2011 and State Senator Alberta Darling from 2004-2005. He also served on the Waunakee Community School District Board of Education from 2008-2011. Eric served as the Director of Gubernatorial Appointments in the Office of Governor Scott Walker from 2011-2015.