ALL HANDS ON DECK. After four years aboard an aircraft carrier, Darrin Munoz is the newly minted correspondence director for Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo. The youngest of seven in a family from Newcastle, Wyo., Munoz joined the Navy after graduating from high school and landed on the USS Theodore Roosevelt. He participated in Operation Allied Force, the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, and later "broke the record for most days out to sea without hitting a port" when his vessel was deployed on a seven-month operation shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. "We were working 18 hours a day on the flight deck," he recalls. Following his stint in the Navy, Munoz was eligible for education benefits under the G.I. Bill, and he returned home to enroll at the University of Wyoming. As a student, he worked part-time writing grants for Albany County, Wyo., which provided him with "good writing experience" for his current job. After graduating with a degree in history, Munoz remained at the University of Wyoming to earn a master's degree in public administration before joining Barrasso's staff as a legislative correspondent in June 2008. He likes the feverish pace on Capitol Hill, but said, "You got to keep your head on a swivel. There are a lot of issues coming in and out."
GOOD STROKE. Also changing positions in Barrasso's office is Laura Mengelkamp, who was promoted to press secretary in May. Mengelkamp graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2008 and joined Barrasso's campaign staff prior to his victory in the November 2008 election, when he was elected to his first full term. In February 2009, she joined Barrasso's Washington staff as a press assistant. Mengelkamp was on the other side of the press clippings in 2007 when, as a junior at Wyoming, the Web site for CBS College Sports wrote about her third-place finish in the Bobcat Desert Classic, a golf tournament for women's college teams. The site noted that Mengelkamp "recorded her eighth career top-five finish" at the event.
STRATEGIC THINKER. John C. Woloski is the new senior vice president of strategic initiatives at NCI, Inc., which provides information technology, engineering, logistics and professional services to the federal government. He was most recently vice president of Army Northeast Operations at Computer Sciences Corp., where he was responsible for a portfolio of projects with annual revenues of $400 million. Woloski received a degree in engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, a master's degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from Long Island University.
This article appears in the June 19, 2010, edition of NJ Daily.