November 24, 2014

Former Boehner Flack Buck Returning to Work for Chairman Ryan at W&M Committee

Brendan BuckPolitico’s Jake Sherman reports that Brendan Buck is returning to Capitol Hill to serve as Communications Director for the House Ways and Means Committee, under incoming chairman Paul Ran (R-WI).

Buck previously served as Press Secretary for Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and most recently was vice president at America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).  Buck worked for Ryan as traveling press aide after he was named the vice presidential nominee on the Romney-Ryan campaign.

He’s a native of Atlanta and a graduate of the University of Georgia.  (Politico)

October 31, 2014

Sen. Cardin Names Zink Press Secretary in State Office

Ben CardinU.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) has hired Tim Zink as Press Secretary, based in his primary state office in Baltimore.

Previously, Zink advised the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on communications strategies following oil spills and toxic releases in our nation’s oceans, most notably the 2010 BP/Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Before that he directed communications and marketing for the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, a congressionally chartered non-profit organization, and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, a groundbreaking coalition of fishing, hunting and environmental organizations.

He also previously managed media relations for Trout Unlimited, the country’s foremost organization devoted to the protection of cold water resources.

Zink began his career as an environmental journalist, helping launch Blue Ridge Press, a syndicated column service publishing on environmental issues, and assisting the magazine and television operations of the National Geographic Society.

He holds a B.A. in Journalism from Washington & Lee University.  (PF tipster)

October 28, 2014

Freire Joins Sen. Hatch as New Communications Director

J.P. Freiere (suit)U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch announced Friday that J.P. Freire will be joining his staff as Communications Director overseeing communications for the state of Utah and the personal office.

Freire joins Hatch’s staff after two years of serving as Communications Director and Speechwriter for U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS).  He previously worked as a Senior Communications Strategist in crisis communications, campaigns, and corporate defense for New Media Strategies following nearly eight years as an award-winning conservative journalist, including turns as Associate Editorial Page Editor at the Washington Examiner, Managing Editor at the American Spectator, and Researcher/Writer at the New York Times.  In 2009 he was honored as CPAC’s Journalist of the Year.

Freire holds a B.A. in English from Cornell University, where he also served as senior editor of the Cornell Review.

“J.P.’s experience as a policy-focused journalist, strategic communicator, and effective manager will be a major asset to our team as we coordinate our agenda for the Senate,” Sen. Hatch said.  “J.P. is an honest broker who knows how to discuss complicated issues with reporters, and I’m thrilled to have him as part of my team.”  

Freire is a native of Stamford, CT.  (PF tipster, press release)

September 29, 2014

Ayotte Aide Grappone to Siemens

Jeff GrapponeJeff Grappone, Communications Director for U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and top aide since her 2010 campaign, has joined Siemens in their media relations department, based in Washington, DC.  The news was first reported in Politico’s “Playbook.”

Grappone previously served as Press Secretary to U.S. Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) and on the legislative staff of U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH).  In 2008, he was a spokesman for the presidential campaigns of U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-New York City).

He's a graduate of Georgetown University and a native of Concord, NH.  (Politico “Playbook”)

September 08, 2014

DCI Group adds Zurn as Vice President of Digital Strategies

Suzanne ZurnStrategic public affairs and global issues firm DCI Group announced their recent hire of Suzanne Zurn as Vice President of Digital Strategies.

Zurn brings 20 years of experience using digital and social media to identify, recruit and engage stakeholders on public policy issues.

Zurn joins DCI Group as the firm continues to expand its digital practice. Zurn and Mark Szalay, Vice President of Technology, will head up DCI Group’s growing technology and digital offerings, moving client thinking past traditional public relations channels and generating powerful online grassroots and media campaigns.

Over the past two decades, Zurn has developed an expertise in public affairs campaigns through positions spanning the advocacy, agency and political communities. Zurn comes to DCI Group from The Prosper Group where she was general manager. Zurn’s digital campaigns have earned her many accolades including a Public Relations Society of America’s Silver Anvil for best nonprofit public affairs campaign. She currently co-teaches the Digital Strategy course at the GWU Graduate School of Political Management and is a former board member at Women in Government Relations.

Zurn earned a Master of Arts degree in Political Management from The George Washington University, and graduated cum laude from Washburn University with a bachelor’s in political science and communications. (PF tipster)

September 04, 2014

Claffey Leaves Sen. Chambliss for House Homeland Security Committee

Lauren ClaffeyLauren Claffey, the Communications Director for retiring U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) is leaving his office after five years to become Communications Director for the House Homeland Security Committee under chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX).

Claffey has been replaced in Sen. Chambliss’ office by “fellow Georgian” Virginia Dent.

Claffey got her start interning for Gov. Sonny Perdue (R-GA) and in the press office of U.S. Sen. Jonny Isakson (R-GA), before working her way up from Deputy Press Secretary to press Secretary to Communications Director for Sen. Chambliss.

Claffey is a 2008 graduate of the University of Georgia and has a Master’s Degree from Georgetown University.  (PF reporting)

September 02, 2014

Sen. Paul’s Flack Bagley Smith Named Communications Director for House Majority Whip Scalise

Moira Bagley SmithHouse Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) today announced that Moira Bagley Smith has joined the leadership office as Communications Director.

She most recently served as Communications Director for U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) since his election to Congress.

Prior to her tenure with Sen. Paul, Moira began her career in DC at Roll Call Newspaper before working for the Republican National Committee and subsequently, The Daily Caller.

She is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Kentucky.  (PF tipster)

Romney, Giuliani Alum Alcivar Named Communications Director for Stefanik

Lenny AlcivarTime Warner Cable News – New York reports that Lenny Alcivar has joined Elise Stefanik’s (R-NY) congressional campaign in the North Country as Communications Director.

Alcivar previously served as director of Romney’s 2012 digital rapid response unit and was most recently worked as a Senior Vice President, Public Relations at Hynes Communications.

He also worked on the U.S. Senate campaign of Gabriel Gomez (R-MA) and in the second Bush administration in Washington and the Giuliani administration in New York City.

Alcivar is a native of New York City and a graduate of Kenyon College.  (TWC-New York)

August 24, 2014

Kirby Departs Hastings’ Office for IPAA

Neal KirbyNeal Kirby, Press Secretary for Congressman Doc Hastings (R-WA), the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, announced he is leaving after five and a half years to become Manager of Public Affairs and Communications at the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA).

He is a graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi and a native of Mandeville, LA. (PF tipster)

August 06, 2014

Frischmann Joins Microsoft in DC as Senior P.R. Manager

Kate Cyrul FrischmannKate Cyrul Frischmann has joined Microsoft’s Washington, DC office this week as Senior Public Relations Manager.  She is based at Microsoft’s Innovation & Policy Center in downtown DC.

Kate has spent the majority of her 14-year career on Capitol Hill, where she devised and implemented media strategies for senior Members of Congress on legislative and campaign initiatives. In her new position, Kate will focus on telling Microsoft’s story to U.S. government and public policy audiences.

Kate joins Microsoft from the office of Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), where she has served as Communications Director for the past five years.  Prior to her time with Sen. Harkin, Kate was the Communications Director for Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT).

A native of Connecticut, Kate is a graduate of Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. She resides in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband and young son.  (PF tipster)

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    Matt Mackowiak is a Washington, D.C. and Austin,TX-based Republican strategist and communications consultant and President of Potomac Strategy Group, LLC. In his career he has managed a winning Congressional campaign and worked in the U.S. Senate, at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, at a leading international PR firm, on a presidential campaign in Iowa and in White House presidential advance. Follow him on Twitter - @MattMackowiak

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