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Former Chief of Staff Returns Home

Former Chief of Staff Returns Home. Late last month, Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) announced that his former Chief of Staff Amy Plaster, who left Capitol Hill four years ago, would be returning from the private sector to her old job in the Congressman’s office.

Plaster, 39, replaces outgoing Chief of Staff John Van Fossen, who is leaving to become director of external affairs for the Van Andel Institute. Van Fossen was named chief of staff after Plaster left in 2000 to join Eastman Kodak Co. as director of federal government relations. Plaster had been part of the Congressman’s staff since he first came to the Hill in 1993. She initially served as Hoekstra’s legislative counsel before being named chief of staff in 1995. She later served as chief counsel and oversaw the Congressman’s work for the House subcommittee on oversight and investigations.

Originally from Norton Shores, Mich., Plaster earned a bachelor’s in political science and philosophy from Hope College. She went on to earn a law degree from American University.

“I am enthusiastic about the challenges and opportunities of returning to Congressman Hoekstra’s staff and again working for West Michigan,” Plaster said in a statement.

Connolly Bids Adieu to Education and Workforce Committee. After five years as a professional staff member for the Education and Workforce Committee, David Connolly left the Hill last month to work for the Capitol Associates Inc. public relations firm.

Connolly, who worked on a variety of employment issues during his time on the committee, will now work on health, pension, education and appropriations issues for Capitol Associates. The

former member of the Army Corps of Engineers and JAG Corps also previously represented the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on immigration and refugee issues and tax policy.

Connolly is a New York native who graduated from Fordham University and Brooklyn Law School.

New Peach State Press Secretary. Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) tapped Jennifer Hoelzer as his new spinner in his Capitol Hill office early last month.

Hoelzer will cover Bishop’s press issues, write all of the Congressman’s speeches and newspaper columns and is in the process of developing an e-newsletter for the office. She replaces Selby McCash, who worked for the Congressman for nearly a decade. McCash is retiring after nearly 18 years of work on the Hill.

Hoelzer, 25, previously worked for Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) as a constituent and communications liaison and also for the National Security Council Office of Press Communications as an intern. The Stow, Ohio, native holds bachelor’s degrees in international politics and Russian from George Washington University and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University.

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