2008 Republican National Convention

RNC Committee on Arrangements 
Headquarters: St. Paul, MN    ...opened in May 2007
updated July 2, 2009 Note: This is by no means a complete listing and the department groupings are approximate.

100 Days Out press release
see also
: officers and other Convention-related committees below >
August 30, 2007 grab 
(day launched)

Chairman Jo Ann Davidson
(appointed by Ken Mehlman and unanimously approved in Jan. 2007)  Co-Chairman of the Republican National Committee; elected in 2005 and re-elected on January 19, 2007.  Chaired the RNC's Site Selection Committee (appointed by Ken Mehlman in Jan. 2006).  Bush-Cheney ’04 Ohio Valley Regional Campaign Chair.  A member of the Ohio House of Representatives for 20 years and served as Speaker of the House from 1995-2000.  Chairman of the Franklin County Republican Party Central Committee for 25 years.  As Chairman of the Ohio House Republican Campaign Committee from 1986-2000, leading the effort to return the Republicans to the majority in the Ohio House of Representatives in 1994, for the first time in 22 years.  Resident of Reynoldsburg, Ohio.


Deputy to the COA Chairman/COA Liaison Gabi Plumlee
Plumlee joined the RNC staff in March 2005 as deputy director of member events and relations.  Prior to joining the RNC, she served as events coordinator for Nevada Victory 2004 where she was the ground contact handling all Presidential, Vice Presidential, and surrogate visits in the state of Nevada during the 2004 Bush/Cheney campaign.  Previously an account executive at Cooley Advertising in Phoenix, Arizona.  Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and is a graduate of Arizona State University with a degree in broadcasting. 

President and CEO Maria Cino
(announced March 6, 2007)  Deputy Secretary of Transportation (nominated by President George W. Bush on April 6, 2005, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate a month later; served as the Acting Secretary of Transportation from July 7, 2006-Oct. 4, 2006, following the resignation of Norman Mineta).  Deputy chairman at the RNC during the 2004 cycle, appointed June 2003.  Assistant Secretary and Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service at the U.S. Department of Commerce, appointed in May 2001.  Deputy Chairman for Political and Congressional Relations at the RNC.  National Political Director for Bush for President in Austin, TX, responsible for hiring and supervising the national field operation, organizing the campaign's leadership in the 50 states and territories, and establishing staffed headquarters in 22 early primary states.  Public policy and government affairs consultant for Wiley, Rein & Fielding in Washington, DC.  Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), 1993-97.  Chief of Staff for U.S. Rep. Bill Paxon.  Graduate of St. John Fisher College in Rochester.  Native of Buffalo, New York.  [interview]

Executive Assistant to the President & CEO: Amy Grangeia
(started in March 2007)  Previously confidential assistant to Maria Cino when she was Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation.  B.A. in communications and business from Villanova University, 2005.

Staff Assistant to the President & CEO: Elizabeth Ankney
From Ottawa Hill, OH.

Vice President Mel Raines
(announced June 22, 2007)  Most recently, Raines served as Assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney for Political Affairs.  Previously, Raines served as the Director, Government Affairs Outreach and Communications, for Altria Corporate Services, Inc.  She also held positions at the 2000 and 2004 Republican National Conventions, the Republican National Committee (RNC), and in the office of United States Senator Daniel Coats (R-IN).  B.A. degree from Indiana University-Bloomington.
       Assistant to the Vice President: Maggie Boyd
       Government relations analyst for the DC office of the Blank Rome law firm.  Native of St. Louis.



Chief Financial Officer Dan Puhl
(announced June 22, 2007)  A licensed Certified Public Accountant, Puhl will be joining the convention from Fairview Health Services, a Minneapolis-based corporation. He also serves as an Adjunct Instructor in accounting, finance and business at Academy College in Bloomington, Minn. An Army reservist, Puhl previously held positions as Controller for Highland Electric and Fairview Press.   B.S. degree from the University of Minnesota; master’s degrees from Metropolitan State University and U.S. Army War College.  Puhl is a native of Saint Paul, Minn.

Director of Financial Services and Administration
Jan McBride Sumrall
(announced June 22, 2007)  Most recently, McBride served as Director of Financial and Administrative Services for the Big Buddy Program; Baton Rouge, La.   Previously, McBride served as Deputy Director for Operations, Budget and Administration at the 2004 Republican National Convention.  She was raised in Baton Rouge and holds a B.A. degree from Louisiana State University.
Deputy Director of Administration
Ryan Graham

Deputy Director of Financial Services
Thomas Maxwell

Chief Information Officer Max Everett
(announced June 22, 2007)  Previously, Everett served as Branch Chief of Travel and Remote Support in the Executive Office of the President.  He also served as Managing Director of Information Technology at the 2005 Presidential Inaugural Committee, and as Director of Information Technology at the 2004 Republican National Convention.  B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin; law degree from the University of Houston.

Network Administrator
Timothy Masterson
Systems administrator at The Fresh Connection, Inc. and flooring expeditor/installation coordinator at Home Depot.  A.A.S. in network administration from Academy College, 2007, A.A.S. in security administration from Academy College, 2008 and B.S. in computer science from Academy College, 2008.
Supervised the operation of Helpdesk and Multi-Vendor technical specialists.  Planned, coordinated and supervised deployment of 400 Blackberry devices to Blackberry Enterprise Server users and Google Application users.  Planned, implemented and supervised the RNC network and IP telecommunications infrastructure to four locations in the Saint Paul metropolitan area.  Completed requirements analysis of desktops and laptops for all departments.  Coordinated the ordering, delivery and installation of all desktops and laptops used for the convention.  Responsible for the configuration and deployment of 125 network and end user printers.

Travel Coordinator
Katherine Heinemann

Intern Coordinator
Julie Ann Schmidt
Experience includes a bit less than 5 years work on Capitol Hill, starting in 2002 as an intern in Rep. John Linder's office, then working as a legislative correspondent, legislative assistant, and as professional staff on the House Homeland Security Committee.

Counsel Paul Vinovich
Former counsel to the Committee on House Administration.


Director of Operations, Media Operations, Production and Official Proceedings Mike Miller
From Knoxville, TN.  Miller has directed media operations for every Republican Convention since 1972. He covered the 1964 and 1968 conventions as a correspondent for the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain.  Miller also operated Elkmont Productions, a public affairs consulting firm.

Deputy Director of Operations and Logistics
Paul Sorenson
Legislative assistant House Speaker Dennis Hastert.  Graduate of Manchester College.  Native of Greentown, IN.

Credentials Manager
Logan Dryden
(started at the Committee in July 2007) Worked for the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget Joel Kaplan in Washington, DC.  Graduate of the University of Texas in Austin, 2005.  Native of Amarillo, TX.

Senior Events Manager
Nancy Peele
(March 2008)  Director of special projects for the DC office of the Jones Walker law firm for over 10 years.  Worked for a year on Capitol Hill.  Graduate of Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, 1994.  Native of Baton Rouge, LA.

Deputy Director of Media Operations Gordon Pennoyer
(effective October 1, 2007)  Most recently worked in the Alumni & Development office at the Millbrook School in Millbrook, NY.  In the 2004 cycle Pennoyer worked as associate director for operations for the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, absentee ballot coordinator for Victory NH (the fall Republican campaign in New Hampshire), and then oversaw the Republican Party's efforts to recruit and coordinate more than 5,000 volunteers for the 2005 Presidential Inaugural Committee.  B.A. in political science from Kenyon College, 2003.
Assistant: Hayden Pruett
Previously worked on Capitol Hill as an office manager for Rep. John Boozman (R-AR). Graduate of the University of Alabama, 2006. From Huntsville, AL.

Media Operations Manager/Associate Deputy of Media Operations: Branda Napper

Media Operations Coordinators (3) including Robert Todd

Senior Advisor for Official Proceedings
Aimee Strudwick
(Rachel Card Kahler left in July 2008)  Served as chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of Commerce David A. Sampson.

Deputy Director of Official Proceedings
Kim Mosser
Mosser worked as an assistant to Mike Miller on the 2004 Republican National Convention after graduating from Northwestern.  From Fairfield, NJ.

Official Proceedings Coordinator: Kathryn Webb

Executive Producer David J. Nash
(announced March 13, 2008)  Fifth straight convention for Nash, a veteran television and stage producer.  Nash started on Broadway as a stagehand and has worked on more than 200 shows.

Program Director
Ed Goeas
President and C.E.O. of The Tarrance Group.  More than thirty years of working professionally in politics; he has served as political director of the NRCC, a field operative for the RNC, campaign manager in several campaigns, and chief of staff to a congressman.

    Assistant: Katie Handel

Program Director
William I. (Bill) Greener
Greener worked on program planning and execution on the 2000 Republican National Convention and served as convention manager for the 1996 Republican National Convention.  He is a founding partner of the firm, Greener and Hook, LLC (1998); also serves on the faculty of The George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM).  Previously partner at the firm of Smith & Harroff for seven and a half years.  Vice president for public affairs for Wheelbrator Technologies, Inc. in 1990; vice president for corporate communications and state affairs at the International Paper for three years; deputy chief of staff for political operations at the Republican National Committee; communications director for the RNC; director of public affairs at the Department of Energy during the Reagan Administration; director of media operations for the NRCC; communications director for the Illinois Republican Party; communications director for the 1980 Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Illinois; served in the communications offices of the Treasury Department and the Ford White House.  Graduate of Washington and Lee University, 1972 and pursued graduate-level studies in psychology at Miami of Ohio University.

General Contractor
Freeman - Greg Lane


Convention Manager for Caucus Operations
William D. (Bill) Harris
(started as a senior advisor)  Partner at the MITA Group and president of William D. Harris and Associates.  Served as convention manager and CEO for the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City and has been involved in the planning and management of RNC conventions since 1984, when he served as Sergeant at Arms.  First convention attended was in 1972.  Executive director of the NRSC in the 1994 cycle.  B.A. from the University of Alabama.

Deputy to the Convention Manager for Caucus Operations
Manning McPhillips, Jr.
An account manager and support specialist for the MITA Group.  Served as the 72-Hour coordinator for the RNC in North Carolina in the 2004 campaign.  Principal aide to William D. Harris, the CEO of the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City.  Worked in the Office of Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL) and earlier on his 2002 re-election campaign.  Degree in international business from the University of Mississippi.

Caucus Operations StaffAndrew Plehal

Director of Communications and Spokesman Matt Burns
(announced June 22, 2007)  Prior to joining the COA, Burns served as press secretary at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He previously served in New York Gov. George Pataki’s Administration, and at the 2004 Republican National Convention.  Burns, a northern New York native, holds a B.A. degree from Monmouth University (NJ).

Deputy Director of Communications (Kenneth) Ryan James
(started at the Committee in Feb. 2008)  Previously communications director in the Office of Congressman John Boozman; started there in Aug. 2006.  Executive producer at KRGV-TV; assistant news director at KAIT-TV.  Arkansas State University.

Press Secretary Joanna R. Burgos
(started June 2008)  Senior account executive at Racepoint Group.  Communications staffer on Romney for President, Inc..  Assistant press secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2005-07.  Public affairs specialist at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, 2004-05.  Worked in Media Affairs at the White House.  Graduate of the University of Florida, 2004.  Also serves as communications director for Roots of Hope, Inc. (focuses on Cuban youth).

Deputy Press Secretary Melissa Subbotin
Press secretary to Gov. Jim Gibbons (NV) through Feb. 2008; started working for Gibbons in his congressional office as a press assistant in Feb. 2005.  Staff assistant to Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell.  Bachelor's degree in political science from San Diego State University, 2004.  From Fair Oaks, CA.

Deputy Press Secretary for Specialty Media Yohana de la Torre
(announced July 9, 2008)  Currently owner and managing editor of the Gulf Coast Times in Fort Myers, FL. She previously served as a communications specialist for Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) and at the Republican National Committee.  Fluent Spanish speaker and native of Miami.

Senior Writer
Lindsay Hayes
Senior associate at Nahigian Strategies in Alexandria, VA.  Worked for over four years as primary speechwriter for Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK).

Television Liaison
Lindsey Mask
Press secretary for Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) and Republican staffer for the House Education and Labor Committee.  Press secretary for Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), 2005-06.  Speechwriter for the Texas commissioner of education.  TV anchor and reporter for an ABC affiliate in Michigan.  Degree in mass communications and speech communications from Texas State University.

Regional Media
James Davis
(started working for the Convention as communications coordinator in Jan. 2008)  Public affairs analyst in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, 2006-07.  Director of congressional research/legislative liaison in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, 2003-05. M.P.A. (2008) and undergraduate degree (2003) from Georgia College and State University.

Web Team Campaign Solutions-Chris Brooks

Director of External Affairs Anthony Foti
(announced Oct. 10, 2007; starting in Fall 2007..."duties will include outreach to the business community; federal, state, and local government offices; interest groups; and members of the general public."  includes coordination of the volunteer program)  A senior policy advisor at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in Washington, DC, representing clients before Congress on a broad range of issues, including transportation, appropriations and international trade. In 2004, Foti served as the director of the RNC's 72 Hour Task Force Legal Volunteer Program.  In 2000, he was an assistant to the RNC’s advisory committee for the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, where he managed surrogate media activities and assisted with floor operations, and he was appointed by the Bush-Cheney 2000 transition office as coordinator of the Transition Advisory Committees, where he directed the operations of the committees that advised the president-elect on policy and management matters.  District director to Congressman Bill Paxon (R-NY) from 1994-98 and Western New York regional director for New York State Assembly Minority Leader John Faso.  B.A. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Deputy Director of External Affairs Leah Harrelson
Assistant scheduler in the Office of the Majority Whip, U.S. House of Representatives, 2000-01.  Attended Baylor University.

Deputy Director of External Affairs Robyn Knecht
Previously served as Director of Governors Office Relations & Events at the Republican Governors Association.


Director of Delegate Services
Shannon Boozman
(announced June 22, 2007 as Deputy Director of Hotels, Venues and Master Calendar)  Prior to joining the convention, Boozman served as Director of Association Outreach for the U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce.  She previously served as the Deputy Chief of Protocol at the Department of Commerce. Prior to joining the Bush Administration, Boozman held positions in special services with the 2005 Presidential Inaugural Committee and as associate director of hotels and function space at the 2004 Republican National Convention.  Worked in the finance department at the RNC, 2001-03.  B.S. degree from the University of Arkansas.  Native of Rogers, Ark.
Deputy Director of Hotels, Venues and Master Calendar Anne Stewart
(started at the Committee in May 2007 as hotels and venues manager) Special assistant at the White House Project, 2005-07.  Managing director of special services on the Presidential Inaugural Committee.  Worked at the Republican National Committee from July 2003-Nov. 2004, starting as a staff assistant, then scheduler in the chairman's office, and deputy events director for the Northeast on Victory 2004.  Degree in business administration from Meredith College, 2003.  From Fayetteville, NC.

Hotel Manager for Delegate Services
Taylor Curilla
Management analyst at the Republican National Committee.  Volunteer deployment coordinator for the Nevada Republican Party during the 2006 election.  Graduate of the University of Dayton, 2005.  Native of Fox Chapel, PA.

Venue Coordinator
Emily Dahl
Previously group sales and marketing manager for The Melting Pot in Chicago.  Graduate of Augustana College.  Lincolnshire, IL native.

Director of Transportation Dana Sullivan
(announced June 22, 2007 as Director of Administration and Human Resources)  Prior to joining the convention staff, Sullivan served at the State Department as Special Assistant and Chief of Staff to Ambassador to Ireland James C. Kenney.  She previously held other positions at the State Department, including service in the offices of the Deputy Secretary and White House Liaison.  Sullivan also worked for Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.  The Andover, Mass. native holds a B.A. from Gettysburg (Pa.) College.
     Transportation Assistant
Shelley Capito

Transportation Coordinator
John Borja


Director of Security Frank Spicka
(announced Oct. 10, 2007..."will work in close partnership with local, state, and federal law enforcement in planning, coordinating, and implementing a comprehensive security plan for the convention.")  Previously, Spicka was a senior-level law enforcement professional with the United States Secret Service (USSS) for more than 24 years.  Bachelor's degree in political science from Stanford University.  Saint Paul, Minn. native.
Deputy Director of Security Don Winger
(announced Dec. 19, 2007)  More than 30 years of law enforcement experience.  Currently dean of the School of Professional Programs and director for the Police Science program at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota.  Maplewood Police Chief from 1998-2002 and previously worked for 27 years at the City of Saint Paul Police Department including as District Commander.  Bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, master's degree from the University of Saint Thomas (Minn.), and is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) National Academy.  He is also a Vietnam veteran.


Deputy Director of Operations and Logistics

Joby Boland
(announced Oct. 2007)  Most recently served as Vice President of Operations for Quinn Consulting, Inc. in the DC area.  Boland worked for House Speaker Dennis Hastert, including three years as Director of Advance, 2000-06.  In 2004, he directed scheduling, Congressional relations, media affairs, corporate sponsor relationships, and state delegation communication for the Speaker in his role as Permanent Chairman of the 2004 Republican National Convention.  Graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

Director of Official Proceedings
Rachel Card Kahler
(announced May 29, 2008; to July 2008) The fifth GOP convention Kahler has worked onWorked on Capitol Hill for former U.S. Rep. Peter Blute.  Began her career in politics at the age of four, gathering signatures for her father, former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, in his run for the Massachusetts State House of Representatives.

Officers and Committees >
Permanent Chairman - U.S. House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio

Temporary Chairman - U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky

Deputy Permanent Co-Chairs - Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer; former New Hampshire State Chairman Steve Duprey; David Roederer of Iowa; U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida; Kathleen Shanahan of Florida; and Michigan National Committeeman Chuck Yob 

Parliamentarian - U.S. Rep. David Dreier of California

Chief Sargeant at Arms - South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster

Secretary - former Massachusetts Republican State Chairwoman Jean Inman

Treasurer - Tim Morgan, National Committeeman for California

General Counsel - Blake Hall, National Committeeman for Idaho

Chief Page - James S. Bookwalter of Connecticut

Convention Credentials Committee
Chairman Jim Herring (MS)

Convention Rules Committee
Chairman Alec Poitevint (GA)

Committee on Permanent Organization
Chairman Jayne Millerick (NH)

Convention Committee on Resolutions (“Platform Committee”)
Chairman Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA-22)
Senator Richard Burr (NC)

Platform Committee

one man and one woman from each state and territory
Chairman Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA-22)
(announced May 1, 2008)

Co-Chairman Senator Richard Burr (NC)
(announced June 5, 2008)

Executive Director
Steven Duffield
(announced May 1, 2008)  Policy director and chief counsel at the Senate Republican Conference under Sen. Jon Kyl starting in Jan. 2007; previously deputy policy director and chief counsel for the Senate Republican Policy Committee starting in June 2006 and a judiciary policy analyst and counsel for the Committee starting in 2003.  Practiced constitutional law for Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, 2001-03.  Judicial clerk for the Alaska Supreme Court from 1999-2000.  Undergraduate degree from Georgetown University, 1992; J.D. from the University of Chicago,1999.  Native of Vista, CA.

    -On July 11, 2008 the RNC announced the Platform Committee website.
    -On Aug. 9, 2008 the RNC announced six Platform Subcommittees and their leadership.

RNC Committee on Arrangements
Chairman Jo Ann Davidson
see above

Vice Chairman Bob Kjellander
National Committeeman for Illinois.

RNC Committee on the Call
"formally announce the site and dates of the Convention as well as the number of delegates authorized to attend."
Chairman Robert T. Bennett
(announced Oct. 9, 2007) Longtime chairman of the Ohio Republican Party.

RNC Committee on Contests
"resolving issues related to states’ delegate selection processes prior to the 2008 Republican National Convention."
Chairman Jim Herring
(announced Dec. 19, 2007)  Chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party and the RNC’s Chairman of the State Chairmen.  A partner at Herring, Long and Crews, P.C.,  Herring served as a judge on the Mississippi Court of Appeals and was a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve JAG Corps for 25 years.

Copyright © 2007, 2008  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action