The new Vilas County Clerk was sworn in May 2 — the first female clerk for Vilas County in more than 45 years.

Kim Olkowski took the oath of office in the boardroom of the Vilas County Courthouse in Eagle River from David Alleman, who has retired after 15 years on the job.

Olkowski has been the deputy clerk for the last 10 years. She will serve the remainder of Alleman’s unexpired term and face re-election in 2024.

“I’m excited, I’m nervous and I’m very, very honored. I don’t really know just what to say yet,” Olkowski stated. “I was born and raised in the area, and I love working with the people here and serving Vilas County.”

She said she is pleased to work with so many good people at the courthouse, including Sherry Adler, who has been the administrative assistant in the clerk’s office for 12 years.

“Sherry will now be my deputy clerk,” Olkowski said. “She has many years of experience and knowledge. I will be leaning on her a lot. I’ll also be leaning on Darcy Smith, our finance director and Jack Albert, our corporation counsel, along with Richard Kipley and Kris Baranak in Human Resources. “They all have so much experience. We also work closely with all the municipal clerks in the county and have an ‘open door’ for them if they need assistance,” she added.

The county is currently looking to hire an administrative assistant in the clerk’s office to fill the spot being vacated by Sherry Adler.

“I’m very happy with Kim. She comes in with so much more knowledge and is so much better prepared than I was when I came in.” Alleman said.

“We have great people here. Kim is going to be great. I won’t have to worry about Vilas County because it’s in good hands.”

Olkowski takes the reins as the first female full-time Vilas County clerk in 53 years. The last full-time female clerk was Lucy Kukanich Johnson who served from 1957-’69. Deputy Clerk Gertrude Woullett acted as interim Vilas County clerk from January to March 1977, and she was the last woman to hold that position 45 years ago.

Olkowski formerly worked at First National and M&I/BMO Harris banks in Eagle River.

She is married to Mike Olkowski, who formerly was a long-time officer with the Eagle River Police Department.