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Former Staffer Unwinds at Unwined | Hill Climbers

Holly Feraci, a seasoned political professional who’s worked as a former aide to Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, and ex-Rep. Ernie Fletcher, R-Ky., as well as high-powered firms Greenberg Traurig and MS&L, has traded pushing policy for crushed grapes.

The Rhode Island native wrote in an email that she always felt that work got in the way of her true passions, among them wine and food. That’s why she’s left the world of marble hallways and white papers to serve as the marketing director for UnWined Wine & Gourmet (3690 King St.), a specialty wine, craft beer, gourmet food and cigar shop based in Alexandria, Va.

Her new line of work calls for lots of drinking, but she can hold her liquor pretty well, she told CQ Roll Call. “There are days where I’ll taste up to 36 wines and I still have to work,” she laughed. Drawing on the children’s fairy tale, she and her colleagues refer to that process as kissing frogs in order to find the princes: the perfect wines they’ll share with customers. She called the work “as fulfilling as it gets.”

Woodall Staffer Goes to Sanford’s Office

Jennifer Drogus is taking her communications skills from the office of Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., straight to the communications director post in Rep. Mark Sanford’s office.

Drogus said she hasn’t yet fielded any inquiries about the tumultuous love life of South Carolina’s new-again Republican representative, but it’s only been a few days on the job. The Virginia Beach native said she’s hit the ground running; meanwhile, Derick Corbett, chief of staff for Woodall, is covering the press duties back in the old boss’s office.

Nadler Aide Makes Coast Comeback

Ilan Kayatsky has left his role as communications director for New York Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler’s office to head a new communications outfit at the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund in San Francisco.

Kayatsky is originally from the Bay Area and told CQ Roll Call he got the new gig after meeting the group’s executive director. He’s there to help modernize the organization’s communications department, but that doesn’t mean he won’t miss the excitement of collaborating on compelling issues with House colleagues, he said.

Broun Staffer Heads Home

Meredith Griffanti, communications director for Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., has decamped to her home state. A few months after her boss made public his intention to run for the Senate in 2014, Griffanti has taken a position in Atlanta with the corporate communications office of Equifax, the consumer credit reporting agency.

“All the best and thank you for making my job such a pleasure,” she wrote in an email to her contacts. “I greatly value the connections I have made with each of you.”

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