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Movers and Shakers: Super PAC hires new press director; changes at DCF and DMS

Congressional Super PAC hires new communications director

Dan Conston takes the reigns as communications director for the Congressional Leadership Fund, the Super PAC focused on maintaining the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. Conston will oversee the expansion of the organization’s press operation for the 2012 elections.

Formerly, Conston was communications director for House Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam.

He also managed communications for the Republican Party of Florida, helping to elect Sen. Marco Rubio, Gov. Rick Scott, and others during the 2010 election cycle.

Putnam taps new appointees

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam appointed Michael “MJ” Johnston as chief information officer. Johnston previously managed a private IT consulting firm.

Putnam also named Susan Nardizzi as the director of the Division of Marketing and Development. Nardizzi held senior marking positions at Taco Bell Corporation, Inc., Shoney’s, Inc. and LongHorn Steakhouse, where she led marketing, brand strategy, consumer research and insights, advertising, product development and merchandising.

New executive director at Consumer Energy Alliance-Florida

The Consumer Energy Alliance-Florida, which works to improve consumer understanding of energy security, announced Kevin Doyle as the new executive director.

Doyle is currently president of Wexford Strategies, a Jacksonville-based government affairs and political consulting firm and is on the board of directors at Workforce Florida, the state’s workforce and employment advisory agency.

Previously, he was director for U.S. Senator Mel Martinez, where he briefed his boss on state issues and policy initiatives and acted as a liaison between federal and state government agencies.

He was also a White House appointee at the 21st Century Workforce Office in the U.S. Department of Labor under the George W. Bush administration.

Stewart jumps from DCF to DMS

The Governor’s office announced that Scott Stewart is jumping from the Department of Children and Families to the Department of Management Services.

Stewart currently oversees budget and contract services, human resources and information technology  for DCF. Previously, he served the agency as chief information officer.

Stewart replaces Jack Miles, who resigned from his $140,000 per year job in February.

Wilkins takes on new cost-cutting duties

Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins will be the state’s first Chief Operating Officer for Government Operations.

Wilkins will keep his current position with DCF, and report to Chief of Staff Steve MacNamara. Gov. Rick Scott said last week he expects Wilkins to implement the same cost-cutting measures he used to slice $59 million from DCF.

Scott names Carlucci for Ethics Commission

Gov. Rick Scott named former Jacksonville City Councilman Matthew Carlucci to the Florida Ethics Commission. The 55-year-old insurance agent served on the city council for 11 years, and pushed for strong ethics laws and the creation of a city ethics office, according to The Florida Current.

Attorney General Pam Bondi hires new press secretary

Attorney General Pam Bondi's office hired a new press secretary. John Lucas formerly led the Associated Press' TV operation in Tallahassee from 2002 to 2009 and was bureau chief for the Florida News Network from 1993 to 2002.

Previously, Lucas anchored at Gainesville’s WCJB in Gainesville and reported for WTXL in Tallahassee.
Lucas replaces Jennifer Krell Davis, who left for the Florida Ports Council in December.

Movers and Shakers is a (now weekly) roundup of personnel changes. Send tips to Brittany Alana Davis at or via twitter @Britt_alana.