Around the Capitol / On the Move
Rep. Dennis Bonnen has announced and filed for House Speaker. Rep. John Zerwas has announced he will drop out of the race for Speaker.
Mattie Heath is leaving Sen. Kelly Hancock’s office to become the Legislative Director for Sen. Kel Seliger. She will be replacing Becky Womack who is leaving for a position with the Texas Society of Architects.
Taryn Feigen is the new Legislative Director for Rep. Celia Israel. She previously was the Assistant Director of External Affairs for the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation.
Jim Suydam, former reporter and Press Secretary at the General Land Office under Jerry Patterson and speechwriter for George P. Bush, is joining Texas A&M University as Director of Media. He most recently was with Bravarro, an Austin public affairs firm.
Benjamin Williams is now the Chief of Staff for Rep. John Wray. He previously served in the same position with Rep. Jim Murphy.
Patricia Shipton, COS to Speaker Joe Straus is leaving that position as Straus’ tenure as Speaker comes to an end. Andrew Blifford, Straus’ Director of Budget and Policy will take over the position for the remaining months.
Amy Rister has s new position as Senior Adviser to Rep. Terry Canales. She previously held numerous roles in the Capitol, including Chief of Staff to Rep. Poncho Nevarez.
Jeff Stokes has left his position as Director of Legislative Affairs for the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association and is working again as Legislative Director for Rep. Poncho Nevarez.
Jason Hassay has started a new position as Special Counsel for Sen. Sylvia Garcia. Hassay previously worked for former Sen. Carlos Uresti as his Chief of Staff and Special Counsel.
Two promotions in Gov. Greg Abbott’s office: Jordan Hale will move from Director of Administration to Deputy Chief of Staff and Sarah Hicks will add Senior Advisor to her title in addition to continuing to serve as Budget Director. (h/t The Quorum Report)
Patricia Vojack is the new Chief of Staff for Rep. Mike Schofield. Vojack has held a number of positions in the Capitol and most recently worked as an E-Discovery Attorney at Integreon.
Jordan Michalik, former House staffer and Democratic campaign staffer has taken a position as Associate Program Manager at Indeed.com
Correction: I misspelled Brigitt Hartin‘s name in the last edition. Hartin has moved from COS to Rep. Greg Bonnen to the Senate Education Committee.
Cam Scott, Senior Director for Government Relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, is leaving that position to take a position with the Nurse Family Partnership and will be moving to Colorado.
Mitzi Stoute Faniola, formerly COS to Rep. Dennis Paul, starts today as the Executive Director of the Texas Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs.
Allison Brooks has left Sen. Jose Rodriguez‘ office and will be joining Texas Star Alliance as a Government Affairs Specialist.
Katy Reagan has started a new position as a Legislative Manager for Texas Association of Counties. She previously worked at Davis Kaufman.
Aqua Texas has appointed Terry Franks as its new Director of Utility Solutions. Franks previously served as COS to outgoing Rep. Jason Isaac.
Rebecca Marques has left the ACLU of Texas to take a position as the Texas State Director for the Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT rights organization. (h/t The Quorum Report)
State Agency News
Commissioner of Workers’ Compensation, Cassie Brown, named Debra Knight the new Deputy Commissioner of Compliance and Investigations at the Division of Workers Compensation at the Texas Department of Insurance. (h/t The Quorum Report)
TDHCA has named CFO David Cervantes as acting executive director. Current ED Tim Irvine retires in November. (h/t The Quorum Report)
Jan Graeber, Chief Actuary at the Texas Department of Insurance, is leaving after 24 years to take a position in DC with the American Council of Life Insurers. (h/t The Quorum Report)
Jeremy Mazur is the new Director of Government Relations for the Railroad Commission of Texas. Mazur has worked as a staffer two House members and was most recently the Deputy COS for Sen. Van Taylor.
The Texas Workforce Commission recently announced its new Commissioner, Robert Thomas, who will represent the public on the Commission. Before his appointment he served as principal of the Thomas Consulting Group.
Stacey Napier is the new Vice Chancellor of Government Relations as UT Austin, replacing Barry McBee who has been named COS to Chancellor James Milliken. Napier was formerly the ED of the Texas Department of Information Resources and also worked in Gov. Greg Abbott’s office.
Bryan Preston, Director of Communications for the General Land Office, resigned from his position last week.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or text us at 512-431-5385 to let us know of other moves, birthdays, lobby sign ups, birth announcements, events, and happenings that you and your Capitol colleagues would like to read about.