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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Movers and Shakers, the Halloween edition

31

October

Gretl Plessinger, communications director of the Department of Corrections, is taking the same job at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Her last day is Nov. 15. Plessinger worked as a reporter and assistant news director at WFSU in Tallahassee for four years before joining the agency in 2006. She studied communications at Indiana State University.

In a note about her depature to agency staff, Corrections Secretary (and former FDLE deputy commissioner) Ken Tucker said Plessinger is the agency's longest-serving communications director.

"And while I hate to lose her, it stings a little less knowing that my former agency will get the benefit of her expertise, and I know she will be a great fit there," Tucker wrote.

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Florida's Planned Parenthood arm hired a new lobbyist. Replacing Stephanie Kunkel at the Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates is Emily Jane Caponetti, formerly the communications director for the Women's Campaign Forum, an organization thats works to elect candidates favoring abortion rights. Before her time with that group, Caponetti was the director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of South Florida and the Treasure Coast. An American University alumna, Caponetti had also managed field operations for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in Iowa.

Kunkel is now Florida director of the Political Institute for Women.

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William Stander has opened a public relations firm bearing his name: WHISPER, as in, William H. Stander Public Relations, Inc.

Stander was state government relations and assistant vice president of Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, and he will continue to represent the group as a consultant.

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Former Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp is now chief executive officer of VR Laboratories, a company that develops plant-based food and drinks and pharmaceuticals in Lee County.

"VR Laboratories will bring more than 200 new jobs and an estimated $40 million annually into Lee County's economy," Kottkamp said in a statement. "Southwest Florida is my home and to facilitate the growth of this organization and establish its presence in Lee County is truly an honor. This is where we will do business and create jobs. Ultimately, we want to contribute to making Southwest Florida the center of the burgeoning global botanical pharmaceutical market."

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Sarah Carroll has joined the Florida Sheriffs Association. Her title is assistant executive director of operations. Carroll previously lobbied for the Florida Association of Counties and worked as press secretary at the Department of Children and Families under the direction of former Attorney General Bob Butterworth and Secretary George Sheldon. Carroll has a master's degree in criminology from FSU and a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas-Dallas.

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CoreMessage added Carrie Thompson to its team as an account executive. She most recently worked as the legislative affairs director at the Department of Lottery. She has also worked for former Govs. Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist in public and legislative affairs.

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Send Movers and Shakers nominations to Katie Sanders via ksanders [at] sptimes [dot] com or on Twitter @KatieLSanders.

[Last modified: Monday, October 31, 2011 6:57pm]

    

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