Gov. Tim Walz has reappointed Michael Vekich as chairman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority.

Vekich "has done an incredible job as chairman, and we're lucky to have someone with his vast experience continue to lead the authority," Walz said in making the announcement Friday.

Vekich, a Republican, first took over as chairman in 2017, replacing Kathleen Blatz, a former state Supreme Court chief justice who served in an interim role after the resignations of Chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen and Executive Director Ted Mondale. Kelm-Helgen and Mondale had faced a backlash for using two taxpayer-owned luxury suites at U.S. Bank Stadium to entertain friends and family.

Vekich, a CPA, is a veteran of many boards, commissions and public agencies, including the Minnesota Lottery.

His CPA firm, Vekich Chartered, specializes in turning around companies beleaguered by bad governance and financial problems.

"The U.S. Bank Stadium team has worked through a number of issues and challenges," Vekich said. "The result is a well-managed, multipurpose facility that serves our state in diverse ways that go way beyond football and large sporting events. I look forward to working with the Walz-Flanagan administration, the Minnesota Legislature, my fellow commissioners and all of the stadium's many stakeholders."

Mary Lynn Smith