About Olmsted County
Olmsted County is the seventh largest county in the state of Minnesota with eight cities (Rochester being the largest), 18 townships, and approximately 163,440 residents. The county is governed by seven individuals elected to serve on the Olmsted County Board of Commissioners, and county services are supported by nearly 1,300 Olmsted County government employees working to provide the foundation of a vibrant community.
Learn more about Olmsted County's core services.
Learn more about Olmsted County's strategy, budget, and performance.
Bios/photos of county leaders
Dr. Heidi Welsch has served as Olmsted County administrator since 2017.
She began working for Olmsted County in 2013 as director of Family Support and Assistance in Olmsted County. Prior to this, she worked for Dakota County as director of Policy and Analysis as well as the deputy director of Employment and Economic Assistance. She has also worked in city, metropolitan, and state government in Minnesota. Heidi started her career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger, West Africa.
Heidi obtained a Doctorate in Public Administration from Hamline University, a master's degree in geography from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and a bachelor's degree in geography and anthropology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Pete Giesen has served as deputy county administrator for Olmsted County since 2017. He oversees the work in the Physical Development division. Departments in this division include Environmental Resources, Facilities and Building Operations, Parks, Planning, Property Records and Licensing, Public Works, and the Soil and Water Conservation District.
He has worked for Olmsted County for more than 35 years. Most of his career was spent working in Public Health in various capacities, including as director of Public Health from 2011 - 2017. Prior to this, Pete served as an environmental health manager, public health emergency preparedness coordinator, project consultant, and senior environmental health specialist. Prior to serving as deputy administrator for Physical Development, Pete worked as a deputy administrator overseeing the work of teams that previously comprised the General Government division.
Pete obtained a bachelor's degree in biology from Northland College and a master's degree in health science/community health from Mankato State University.
Travis Gransee is the deputy county administrator for Olmsted County's Health, Housing, and Human Services division. Prior to that, Travis was the director of Community Corrections.
His career in Olmsted County began in 2002 at the Juvenile Detention Center as staff and then a supervisor. In 2004, he moved to Community Corrections as a probation officer. He was promoted to program manager in 2013. Prior to this, Travis worked at Woodland Hills in Duluth for six years as a staff, supervisor, and manager and for one year at the Harris County Juvenile Detention Center in Houston, Texas. Travis’s professional achievements include working within a division in Olmsted County that innovates and understands the positive impact of an integrated approach on serving the community. He works with many highly skilled professionals who are interested in improving the lives of the people it serves.
Travis holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology from the University of Minnesota – Duluth. He is also a graduate of the University of Minnesota Human Services Leadership Program and completed the Collaborative Leadership Fellows Program.
Information about our elected officials
Information about and photos of our Olmsted County Board of Commissioners are available on the board of commissioners page on this website. The Sheriff's photo and bio and the County Attorney's photo and bio are also available on this website.
Olmsted County's mission, vision, and overarching goals
See the Olmsted County mission/vision page on this website. Information about our county's overarching goals, strategy, budget, and performance is also available on this website.
Olmsted County logo files
Olmsted County media liaisons
If you are trying to coordinate an interview with an Olmsted County leader or representative, please contact the appropriate Olmsted County media liaison.
Olmsted County press releases
All press releases (since late 2020) are archived on this website. See the Olmsted County press release archive.
If you would like to be added to the Olmsted County press release distribution list, please email PACSupport@olmstedcounty.gov.
Olmsted County social media
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