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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Movers and Shakers, the holidays edition

20

December

Attorney General Pam Bondi is losing one of her press aides. Jennifer Krell Davis will join the Florida Ports Council as vice president of public affairs on Jan. 2.

Davis, a graduate of the University of Florida's law school, worked in Bondi's office this year as deputy communications director and press secretary. Before that she was communications director for the Department of State, handling media requests for the 2008 and 2010 elections. Previous career stops include the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Bar and the Florida House.

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Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins announced the hiring of Rob Siedleck, , as assistant secretary for substance abuse and mental health. He starts Jan. 5.

Siedleck, former secretary of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, replaces David Sofferin, who is leaving the agency for a new job in Georgia. Sofferin will be executive director of Behavioral Health Services of South Georgia, a nonprofit.

Siedleck has worked for Florida government before, having served as chief of staff of the Department of Health for two years. A Fort Lauderdale native, he earned his bachelor's degree at Harvard and his law degree from Cornell.

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U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio snagged Janelle Pepe, a Ron Sachs Communications senior account executive, to lead his Tallahassee office, located in the Capitol. Pepe, a Florida State alumna, also worked for Adam Hasner in the House Majority Office.

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Kevin Cate Communications announced the addition of Eric Conrad, a senior partner at Democratic and progressive consulting firm WWD Strategies. Conrad met Cate on Barack Obama's presidential campaign in 2008. He worked as deputy campaign manger of Perry McGriff's unsuccessful quest for state Senate (lost to Sen. Steve Oelrich). A 2010 University of Florida graduate, his specialties are social media and messaging.

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The Florida Commission on Human Relations, the state's anti-discrimination agency, named Tampa attorney Gilbert Singer its chairman for the next two years and Michelle Wilson its executive director.

Singer, a shareholder in the Marcadis Singer law firm, was appointed by former Gov. Jeb Bush in 2002 and reappointed by Govs. Charlie Crist and Rick Scott. Wilson, formerly the commission's budget director, has served as interim co-executive director since the departure of Derick Daniel in June.  

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Some big pieces of news for the St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald bureau: Herald staff writer Toluse Olorunnipa will leave the paper's real estate beat in Miami to join the Times/Herald bureau in January. He replaces Marc Caputo, who moved to Miami to become the Herald's political writer. Olorunnipa, a Tallahassee native, is a graduate of Stanford University and joined the Herald in 2009.

Michael C. Bender will leave the bureau for a new gig as Bloomberg's Florida reporter in January. Bender, a Cleveland native, will remain based in Tallahassee. A graduate of The Ohio State University, he joined the Times in September 2010.

Send personnel news to Katie Sanders at ksanders [at] tampabay [dot]com or via Twitter @KatieLSanders.

[Last modified: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 6:19pm]

    

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