Switching Sectors

Posted January 29, 2008 at 4:42pm

Joseph Brettell is the new communications director for Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.). He started in that role early this month after a long tenure in the private sector.

[IMGCAP(1)]Brettell, 27, most recently was the director of government affairs for HNTB, an international transportation infrastructure and design firm. There, his primary job was advising government officials on best practices regarding transportation.

Before his stint at HNTB, Brettell was an executive assistant to the chief executive officer and chief financial officer at the government affairs firm Dutko Worldwide. Brettell said his experience at Dutko taught him “how to work successfully in D.C.”

[IMGCAP(2)]Brettell also ran a variety of local campaigns in Southern California. He graduated from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., in 2003, with a major in mass media communications.

He is a San Diego native, and his wife, Erica, also works on Capitol Hill, in the office of Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.).

In his spare time, Brettell enjoys cooking and sports. He said he is an avid Chargers and Padres fan, which, he added, has “taught me the meaning of long suffering.”

Brettell is a member of the Capital Life Church, a nondenominational Christian church.

A Quick Promotion. Anna Sohriakoff is the new executive assistant and scheduler for Rep. Bill Sali (R-Idaho). She began as his staff assistant three weeks ago and recently was promoted to her new position. She is originally from Hillsboro, Ore.

Sohriakoff, 22, is excited to be working for an Idaho Representative.

“I think my excitement lies from just knowing how Idaho works, and how Idaho is, personally,” she said.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Northwest Nazarene University in 2007, with a major in U.S. history and a minor in political science.

Financial Gurus. The Senate Finance Committee has three new staff members and is keeping them so busy at their new jobs that Climbers could not arrange a time to interview them. But according to an announcement from the committee, Cathy Koch is the panel’s new senior adviser on tax and economic issues. She has worked in the office of Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and has experience at Amgen, the Joint Taxation Committee and Washington Council Ernst & Young.

Dan Virkstis is the new press secretary for the committee. He previously served as communications manager for Whitefish Mountain Resort and as a consultant for le Sappey-en-Chartreuse in France.

Ron Gebhardtsbauer will be the committee’s new senior benefits adviser, coming from the American Academy of Actuaries, where he served as a senior fellow. Gebhardtsbauer previously was a chief actuary of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.

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