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)

August 04, 2014

House Majority Whip Announces Two Members of Communications Staff

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA)House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) announced two members of his communications staff for the ofice of the Majority Whip and his personal office.  Scalise became House Majority Whip on July 31st. 

TJ Tatum, Deputy Communications Director: TJ joins the Office of the Majority Whip after most recently serving as the Communications Director to both the Republican Study Committee and Rep. Scalise in his personal office.  He came to Team Scalise from the office of Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and began his career on Capitol Hill with former Rep. Quico Canseco (R-TX).  TJ is a graduate of Boston College.

Office of the First District of Louisiana

Erika McManus, Press Secretary:  A native of Baton Rouge and graduate of Louisiana State University, Erika joined the office of Rep. Scalise and the Republican Study Committee as Deputy Communications Director.  Prior to her work on Capitol Hill, Erika worked for FOX News Channel in the D.C. Bureau.  Erika also received her MBA from LSU.  (PF tipster)

May 14, 2014

Durbin Flack Gleischman Moving to U.S. Ambassador to U.N. Office

Max GleischmanPolitico’s Mike Allen reports that Max Gleischman is the new Communications Director and spokesperson for U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power.  Gleischman had been serving as Communications Director for Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL).

Allen replaced Nayyera Hag, who was serving as acting director following the departure of Erin Pelton.  (Politico)

May 12, 2014

Alety Departs FSR for Rep. Royce

Saat AletySaat Alety, the Digital Media Manager for Financial Services Roundtable (FSR), started Monday as Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA).

He previously worked as Nevada Digital Director for the Romney presidential campaign and U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL).

He’s a 2010 graduate of Loyola University of Chicago.  (PF tipster)

May 05, 2014

Elmore Moves from AAFA to ACI-NA as VP Comms & Marketing

Scott ElmorePer Politico’s “Influence,” Scott Elmore has left the American Apparel & Footwear Association, where he has served since 2009 as Senior Director, Communications and Marketing, to become the Vice President of Communications and Marketing for Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA).  He starts Monday.

He previously worked in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and for U.S. Rep. Ric Keller (R-FL).

He earned a Master’s in Mass Communication from the University of Central Florida in 2008 and a Bachelor’s in History and Communication from Mount Vernon Nazarene University in 2005.  (Politico’s “Influence” & PF reporting)

April 28, 2014

Heritage’s Izzy Ortega Named Communications Director at NSCW

Izzy OrtegaIzzy Ortega, formerly of The Heritage Foundation, joins National School Choice Week (NCSW) as Director of Communications where he will oversee all media and public relations activities.

NSCW shines a positive spotlight on effective education options for all children, organizing a week-long celebration every January. NSCW 2014 featured 5,500+ events, bringing together unlikely bedfellow across the political spectrum like U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).

Ortega is a graduate of Hamilton College and a native of New York, NY.  (PF tipster)

April 14, 2014

Spokesman Zirklbach Leaves AHIP for PhRMA

Robert ZirkelbachRoll Call’s Jason Dick reports that Robert Zirkelbach, the spokesman and Vice President of Strategic Communications for America’s Insurance Plans (AHIP), is leaving April 23 to join the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) as Senior Vice President of Communications.

As Roll Call reported, “Zirkelbach was in charge of helping AHIP and its head, Karen Ignagni, navigate some of the most treacherous policy and political waters in recent history: the debate over the Affordable Care Act. AHIP worked hand-in-glove with the Obama administration to make sure insurers stayed on board, and Ignagni and her organization took some major licks. The place he’s heading, PhRMA, also got criticized by those skeptical and opposed to Obamacare for doing much the same.”

Zirkelbach was previously Press Secretary for Congressman Jim Nussle (R-IA).  He is a 200 graduate of Central College.

Zirkelbach’s first day at PhRMA is May 5.

AHIP Deputy Press Secretary Clare Krusing will take over for Zirkelbach “for the meantime,” according to Roll Call.  (Roll Call & PF reporting)

March 25, 2014

Thornton Joins House Majority PAC as Communications Director

Matt ThorntonRoll Call’s Abby Livingston reports, “House Majority PAC, a super PAC aiming to elect House Democrats, recently hired Matt Thornton as its new Communications Director. He replaces Andy Stone, who recently left the group for a position at Facebook.”

Thornton previously served as a Senior Communications Adviser for American Bridge 21st Century.  Previously, he was Communications Director for U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and U.S. Rep. Zack Space (D-OH). He also worked on the 2006 gubernatorial campaign of Jim Davis (D-FL) and the 2004 congressional campaign of Allyson Schwartz (D-PA).  (Roll Call / PF reporting)

March 13, 2014

Former Reid Aide Petkanas Named Communications Director for Davis Gubernatorial Bid in Texas

Zac PetkanasThe San Antonio Express-News’ Peggy Fikac reports that Zac Petkanas has been named Communications Director for the gubernatorial campaign of State Sen. Wendy Davis (D-TX).  He began in that role on March 6.

Petkanas is a former Deputy Communications Director for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) re-election campaign and was most recently Communications Director for the Nevada Democratic Party.

Earlier in his career, Petkanas served as Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA) and as Press Secretary for the Ann Kirkpatrick for Congress campaign and for U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), the House Rules Committee chairwoman.

Petkanas is a a 2007 graduate of The George Washington University and a native of Putnam Valley, NY.

Additionally, the Davis campaign hired Lone Star Report’s Hector Nieto as Traveling Press Secretary.  Nieto was previously Texas State Director for Obama for America and Texas Communications Director for Organizing for America.

Rebecca Acuña remains Press Secretary and Bo Delp, who was Communications Director, is now Deputy Communications Director.  (San Antonio Express-News)

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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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