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March 18, 2010

Gloria Dittus Lauches New PR Firm

Image003 Washington PR icon, Gloria Story Dittus, is capitalizing on her 30 years of communications experience to launch a new game-changing public affairs firm: Story Partners.  

She has built two previous firms: Direct Impact and Dittus Communications. Story Partners will have offices in Washington, New Orleans and Birmingham, Alabama and is led by an experienced group of public affairs professionals.

In addition to Gloria, here are a few team members:

Loran Aiken – veteran presidential (McCain) and Congressional campaign vet;  senior positions with Powell Tate Weber Shandwick and Smith & Harroff

Rick Heartsill – 25-year grassroots and communications expert; press secretary to Congressman Bill Nichols, Chief of Staff to Congressman Sonny Callahan

Shelton Jones – public affairs veteran with Dittus Communications, Porter Novelli and Powell Tate

Norma Jane Sabiston – 25 year Congressional veteran; former Chief of Staff to Senator Mary Landrieu, Political Director for Senator Breaux, Legislative Assistant to Congressman Billy Tauzin

Amos Snead – former House leadership press secretary for Republican Whip Roy Blunt, press aide for House Energy & Commerce Committee, Dittus Communications

Jill Neff Watson – former media producer (20 years) with CNN, later with APCO

Deborah Sauri – award winning creative director, previously worked as Creative Director at Dittus Communications

Collier Craft – formerly with Dittus Communications; has political and public affairs experience in Washington and Alabama; started his communications career in the office of the Alabama Senate Pro Tem

Stephanie Fontenot – campaign and new media political experience; was previously working with Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel to help launch The Daily Caller

Kate Cazayoux – background in political strategic management; worked on Governor Jindal’s gubernatorial campaign and with Sanderson Strategies Group in Washington

Cantor Names Whittemore Deputy Press Secretary in Whip Office

Megan Whittemore House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) today announced the appointment of Megan Whittemore to serve as Whip Office Deputy Press Secretary:

“Megan brings exceptional energy, enthusiasm, and experience to our leadership office communications team. We welcome her talents to help deliver our message and manage media coverage. She will play a critical role working with media outlets in Virginia to deliver important and breaking news impacting the Commonwealth and VA’s 7th Congressional district. Megan will provide additional support with national media initiatives, appearances, and events.”

Whittemore previously served as the Research Producer for “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.” She also covered Capitol Hill for Fox News Channel and FoxNews.com. During the 2008 presidential election cycle, Whittemore produced primary, convention, and election coverage for the Fox News Political Unit.

Megan Whittemore is a graduate of The George Washington University School of Media & Public Affairs, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She will be completing her Masters in Political Management from GW’s Graduate School of Political Management this spring.  (PF tipster)


March 17, 2010

Bonjean Contribuing to U.S. News

Veteran GOP strategist Ron Bonjean has joined U.S. News as a contributor to their Jefferson Street blog. His first post can be found here(PF Tipster)


March 16, 2010

Woods Hires Fleischer As He Returns To Golf

Tiger Tiger Woods is planning to return to the PGA Tour in in two weeks.  Additionally, Woods has hired famed consultant Ari Fleischer to help him make an honorable return to the game. Reports today indicated Tiger will be ready to play March 25 in the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando.

A source with ties to Fleischer, who started Ari Fleischer Sports Communications in 2008, said Woods is nervous about making a sudden public return. With a public apology under his belt, Woods knows the next step is to start proving he' ready to earn back lost respect.

We have no doubt Ari will be good for the Tiger brand.  He's a seasoned pro and can offer him the advice he needs -- especially in this critical time in his career. (various media reports)

Political Strategist Tracy Sefl & Former Assistant AG Cybele Daley Named to RAINN Board of Directors

Rain RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization has announced the appointment of two prominent leaders to its board of directors.  Cybele Daley, vice president of Van Scoyoc Associates and former Acting Assistant Attorney General, and Tracy Sefl, senior vice president of Navigators Global in Washington, DC, to help lead the organization as it expands its victim service, public education and public policy programs.
Sefl is a political strategist who has been described as "one of the best in the business" by The Tim Russert Show and "tough as nails" by The Washington Post. Prior to joining Navigators Global, she was vice president at The Glover Park Group in Washington, DC, where she led successful national media efforts for issue advocacy campaigns and corporate causes and advised the Hillary Clinton for President campaign on national media strategy and tactics. Sefl is also a published author on women’s health issues, and researched the causes of sexual violence during her Ph.D. studies in sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Before joining Van Scoyoc in 2008, Daley was Acting Assistant Attorney General, where she oversaw the Office of Justice Programs and its $2 billion budget.  While at the Justice Department, her leadership helped police and prosecutors increase the use of DNA and other crime-fighting technologies to combat rape. Her current practice entails both the high-tech hardware and complicated policy issues of criminal justice.

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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 - Contributor
    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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