McMAKIN PROGRESS. Van Ness Feldman has promoted Ben McMakin to lead its public policy team. McMakin, who has been with the firm since 2005, is a former legislative director to Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. McMakin spent 17 years on Capitol Hill, including as legislative director to two Democratic lawmakers from Oregon: Sen. Ron Wyden and former Rep. Mike Kopetski. During the late 1980s, McMakin was a staff assistant to the late Sen. Alan Cranston, D-Calif. As head of the public policy practice at Van Ness, McMakin replaces Curt Rich, who took a job as vice president for energy and environmental policy at United Technologies. Van Ness Feldman's chairman is Howard Feldman, who was chief counsel to the Senate Government Operations Permanent Investigations Subcommittee during the 1970s. Firm member William Van Ness was chief counsel at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee under the late Sen. Henry (Scoop) Jackson, D-Wash. The firm has offices in Washington and Seattle.
GOP RAPPER. Ryan Tronovitch has moved from his position as a deputy press secretary to Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, to being a regional press secretary at the Republican National Committee. Tronovitch formerly worked as an aide to Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., and as communications director to former Rep. David Davis, R-Tenn. Tronovitch was a spokesperson in North Carolina for the McCain-Palin 2008 presidential campaign. Before Tronovitch got involved in Washington politics, he worked as a private investigator in Binghamton, N.Y. He earned his bachelor's degree from State University of New York at Cortland.
FOOD MARKET. Pamela Stegeman has signed on as vice president of business planning and development at the Food Marketing Institute. She previously worked as president of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council. Earlier in her career, she spent eight years at the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which included work as vice president of supply chain and technology. Stegeman has also been vice president of marketing at the U.S. Office Products Company. She has held positions with Sprint, Procter & Gamble, and Colgate-Palmolive. She earned her undergraduate degree from Hamilton College and an MBA from Cornell University. An Arlington, Va.-based organization, FMI conducts food safety research and industry relations programs for food retailers and wholesalers. People who have registered to lobby for FMI include Andrew Harig, a former associate trade adviser at the Senate Finance Committee and John Billings, legislative director to former Rep. Charlie Bass, R-N.H., and a policy adviser to Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Ill.
This article appears in the April 17, 2010, edition of NJ Daily.