August 10, 2015

Margaritis Joins Hilton Worldwide as Executive VP of Corporate Affairs

Bill MargaritisHilton Worldwide today announced that William Margaritis will become the company’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs starting in late August, based in the company’s global headquarters in McLean, VA. Margaritis previously served for 15 years as Senior Vice President of Global Communications and Investor Relations at FedEx Corporation.

At Hilton, Margaritis will oversee internal and external communications, government relations and corporate responsibility globally. He will report to Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton Worldwide and will serve as a member of the company’s Executive Committee.

Margaritis comes to Hilton with 33 years of experience, having managed various facets of corporate and marketing communications, government affairs, investor relations and employee communications.  At FedEx, Margaritis led the strategic repositioning and rebranding communications programs for the company through an integrated customer and employee campaign.  He was also the architect of the Purple Promise, an award-winning internal cultural employee engagement multimedia initiative to create a common rallying platform for 300,000 team members across multiple operating companies around the world.  Margaritis implemented innovative strategic reputation programs that helped FedEx consistently earn top-tier rank in Fortune’s Most Admired Companies and Great Places to Work lists. 

Prior to FedEx, he served as Vice President of Public Relations & Marketing Communications for Europe, Africa, Middle East and Southwest Asia at Bechtel Corporation, based in London, UK. Previously he was the Manager for State Government Affairs for Occidental Petroleum Corporation, and also served as a Special Assistant for Intergovernmental Affairs at the Commerce Department in the Reagan Administration.  Margaritis began his career as a legislative assistant in the Michigan Senate and also served as the deputy director for the Reagan-Bush 1984 Presidential Campaign in Michigan.

He holds a bachelor’s of arts degree in Business from Michigan State University and is a past chairman of the board of the Arthur W. Page Society, the professional association of chief communications officers.  (Release)

July 19, 2015

Cruz adds Slobodien to U.S. Senate Office as Communications Director, Watson as Media Booker

Rachael SlobodienU.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced on Friday that he has named Rachael Slobodien as his new Communications Director and Heidi Watson as Media Booker and Press Assistant.

Slobodien previously worked at The Heritage Foundation as Manager of Media Affairs where she led the regional communications team and crafted messaging and strategy for Heritage’s Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity.

She has previously served as Press Secretary to then-U.S. Rep. Barbara Cubin (R-WY), as Senior Media Associate at Heritage in 2010 and as Communications Manager at the National Taxpayers Foundation.

A native of Little Rock, Slobodien holds a Bachelor’s degree from Washington and Lee University.  She is currently earning a Law Degree from The George Washington University.

Watson most recently worked as Press Assistant for the House Committee on Small Business, where she led social media efforts and contributed to graphic design and messaging under Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH).

Watson moved to Washington, D.C. from Oklahoma in January 2015, she first interned for U.S. Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA). Prior to working on the Hill, her experience includes serving as Constituent Services Manager and Assistant Appointments Director for former Oklahoma Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon. She also worked as Campaign Assistant during Shannon’s bid for the U.S. Senate in 2014.

Watson earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma and is a native of Ardmore, OK. (PF tipster)

July 12, 2015

Remainders: Gleischman to GPG; Mason to Albright-Stonebridge; Haulsee to Senate HELP Cmte; Litman to Google

RemaindersHere are some recent items that we missed:

  • Max Gleischman has joined Glover Park Group as Vice President.  He was most recently Director of Communications and Spokesperson for U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power.  Previously, he served as Communications Director for then-Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and for former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI).  (PF tipster)
  • Julie Mason, currently the White House Director of Special Projects in the Office of Vice President Biden, has started working as Vice President for Communications at the Albright-Stonebridge Group.  Previously she was Communications Director for Dr. Jill Biden, spokesperson at AOL Time Warner and a communications staffer in the Clinton White House for five years.  (Politico “Playbook)
  • Pinehurst, NC native Taylor Haulsee has been named Deputy Press Secretary for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee for Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN).  She previously worked at FP1 Strategies.  (PF tipster)
  • Riva Litman has joined Google’s global communications and public affairs team in DC.  She was previously Communications Director for House GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA).  (Politico “Influence”)

July 08, 2015

Former Journalist and Obama Aide Douglass Named Global Head of Communications at Bloomberg

Linda DouglassBloomberg LP today that Linda Douglass will be joining Bloomberg Media Group as Global Head of Communications in September.

Douglass will oversee communications strategy and press relations for Bloomberg Media’s global multi-platform products, including digital, print, television, video, radio, and live events.

Douglass is a veteran in the fields of communications, media, and journalism.

She served most recently as the Senior Vice President for Global Communications at Atlantic Media, where she oversaw communications strategy for such initiatives as the digital transformation of The Atlantic and the launch of Quartz.

Prior to that, Douglass worked for President Obama in various roles, including Director of Communications for the White House Office of Health Reform and senior advisor to his 2008 presidential campaign. She has had a long career as a broadcast journalist, covering politics and government.

Douglass has worked as a journalist in Washington D.C. and, earlier, in Los Angeles. She was a Washington-based correspondent for CBS News, specializing in health care and campaign finance.

She later joined ABC News, where she spent eight years as the Chief Capitol Hill Correspondent, receiving the Everett Dirksen Award for Excellence in Coverage of Congress.  (PF tipster)

July 06, 2015

AP’s Pickler Joins Glover Park Group

Nedra PicklerStrategic communications and government affairs firm The Glover Park Group (GPG) today announced that Nedra Pickler has joined as a Managing Director.  Pickler will work in the Strategic Communications practice, providing strategic and media counsel for the firm’s clients.

Pickler, a veteran journalist, joins GPG after spending 17 years at The Associated Press (AP), most recently serving as a White House reporter covering the second term of the Obama Administration. Pickler previously covered the second Bush Administration. In both of those roles, she covered breaking news, questioned both presidents extensively and reported from abroad on presidential trips across five continents.

Pickler also served as federal courts reporter in Washington, DC, and covered presidential campaigns for the AP during both the 2004 and 2008 election cycles. Pickler was part of the AP team nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign and received several awards from the AP during her tenure, including the John L. Dougherty Award for coverage of the Ford-Firestone tire scandal, and was twice the recipient of the global Beat of the Week award for breaking news reporting. She started her career in the Michigan bureau of the AP. (PF tipster)

June 22, 2015

BPC Announces Comms Vet Traynham as New Vice President of Communications

Robert TraynhamThe Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) today announced the hiring of veteran communications professional Robert Traynham as Vice President of Communications.

Traynham will be responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategic communications program and leading a team to ensure BPC public relations, events, media, print and digital content are all aligned with the organization’s mission and to improve its reach.

He has previously worked in the private sector for Comcast as their Washington Bureau Chief and host of a public affairs show, and for 10 years in the U.S. Senate as a Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director for Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) and the Senate Republican Conference. He was also a senior advisor for Bush-Cheney 2004 re-election campaign.

He is a native of Yeadon, PA.  He currently serves on the board of trustees of his alma mater, Cheyney University and often appears on MSNBC as a political analyst. (PF tipster)

Elleithee Leaves DNC to Start Institute of Politics and Public Service at Georgetown

Mo ElleitheeRoll Call reported that Democratic National Committee (DNC) Communications Director Mo Elleithee has left the DNC to serve as the first Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service at the McCourt School of Public Service.

He was a founding partner of political consulting firms Hilltop Public Solutions and Three Point Media, from which he’s been on leave while at the DNC. He’s also advised countless Senate and gubernatorial candidates, working extensively with Virginia Democrats

In 2012, he was a media adviser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s independent expenditure campaign. Six years earlier, he ran the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s independent expenditure effort against then-U.S. Sen. George Allen (R-VA).

He’s worked on four presidential campaigns, most recently as Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2008 spokesman.

Georgetown feels like home for Elleithee. A proud and vocal Hoya fan, he graduated from the School of Foreign Service in 1994. Since 2011, he’s been an adjunct professor at McCourt, where he teaches a class on campaigns.

Elleithee is a native of Tucson, AZ.  (Roll Call)

Berger Named VP of Outreach Strategies

Abby BergerOutreach Strategies, LLC (OS), a mission-driven communications and public affairs firm focused on advancing sustainability, social and environmental solutions, has named Abby Berger as Vice President.

Berger joins OS from her role as Director in Golin’s Washington, D.C., office, where she focused on energy and corporate sustainability as part of the public affairs practice. During her five years with the global public relations firm, Berger led media, social marketing and stakeholder engagement programs for corporate and government clients including Dow and The Virginia State Corporation Commission’s energy conservation education campaign, Virginia Energy Sense.

Prior to her time at Golin, Berger managed marketing efforts as a consultant to federal agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Small Business Administration and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Berger also held on-site communications roles with the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Veterans Affairs.

Berger earned a B.S. in Communications Studies from Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication and an M.A. in Public Communication from American University. She began her career in sustainability as an intern for the London-based Associate Parliamentary Sustainable Waste Group. (PF tipster)

May 29, 2015

Subbotin Sillin Heads West to San Fran

Melissa Subbotin SillinMelissa Subbotin Sillin has left Washington, DC, where she was Communications Director for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, under Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), to join her husband Nat Sillin in San Francisco.

She will work for strategic communications form Larson Communications.

Before OGR, she was Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), Press Secretary for the 2008 Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, MN and Press Secretary for former Gov. Jim Gibbons (R-NV).

She’s a graduate of San Diego State University.  (PF tipster)

May 19, 2015

FleishmanHillard Hires Naylor, Roth

FleishmanHillard today announced that Administration, campaign and Capitol Hill veteran Nathan Naylor and public affairs specialist Caroline Roth joined the firm’s public affairs practice in Washington, D.C.

Nathan NaylorNaylor comes to FleishmanHillard after serving as the Vice President for Global Communications at BSA|The Software Alliance and leading Public Affairs and Communications at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Naylor is a former Communications Director for U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and a former Assistant Press Secretary to Vice President Al Gore.  He is also a veteran of the Presidential Advance office and has led teams both nationally and internationally on behalf of then President Clinton, First Lady Clinton and Vice President and Mrs. Gore.

He is a graduate of American University.

Caroline RothRoth comes to FleishmanHillard from Rasky Baerlien|Prism and previously worked on Capitol Hill for then Deputy Whip Peter Roskam (R-IL) and served as a staff writer for National Journal’s Hotline.

She earned her master’s degree from the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management in 2010 while clerking for the public relations team at BGR Group.  She began her career as a communications specialist for the DuPage County Board in Wheaton, IL.  (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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    Laura Gross is currently president of Scott Circle Communications. She has served as deputy director of communications at the DNC, was Gov. Howard Dean's Communications Director and she worked in the press office at USAID during the Clinton administration. Her experience also includes time in the PR department of National Public Radio and she was part of Vice President Gore's advance team when he was in The White House.
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    Blain K. Rethmeier is currently the Senior Vice President for Public Affairs for the American Insurance Association (AIA). Rethmeier joined AIA from the White House where he served as Special Assistant to the President for Communications and directed communications for the National Economic Council and Homeland Security Council. Prior to joining the White House, Rethmeier served as Press Secretary for the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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