Government & Politics

Gov. Sam Brownback appoints Antonio Soave of Overland Park as Kansas commerce secretary

Antonio Soave
Antonio Soave

Gov. Sam Brownback on Wednesday announced the appointment of Antonio J. Soave, an Overland Park businessman, as Kansas commerce secretary.

Soave, 51, is chairman and CEO of Capistrano Global Advisory Services, which identifies and negotiates international business joint ventures and acquisitions. He is expected to join the Commerce Department in December.

“Antonio’s experience working with businesses in a wide range of industries, including rail, construction, oil and gas, biotech and manufacturing, gives him an excellent understanding of industry needs and how Kansas can help those companies grow and create jobs,” Brownback said in a news release.

Soave was an adjunct professor of international economics and finance at the Walsh College of Business in Troy, Mich. He served as the executive director of the Benedictine College School of Business in Atchison, Kan. Soave holds a law degree from Michigan State University and a master’s in international law from the University of San Diego.

“It is an honor to serve the state of Kansas in this position,” Soave said in a statement. “Kansas is a great state for businesses looking for a skilled workforce and tax-friendly environment. In fact, it is one of the best states in the nation when considering pertinent factors such as overall business climate, quality of life, quality of health care and quality of education, as well as ease of doing business.”

Pat George retired as commerce secretary in July. An earlier appointee, George Hansen of Leawood, withdrew his name, citing business dealings between a family member and the department as a potential conflict of interest.

The appointment of Soave requires confirmation by the Kansas Senate.

Edward M. Eveld: 816-234-4442, @EEveld