Ripon Society & Franklin Center Honor the “Unsung Heroes of Capitol Hill” with 9th Annual Bipartisan Event

By on December 14, 2020 in Featured News, News

WASHINGTON, DC — The Ripon Society and Franklin Center for Global Policy Exchange held their annual bipartisan event this past Friday honoring “The Unsung Heroes of Capitol Hill,” the Schedulers and Executive Assistants in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate who, in the words of Ripon and Franklin President & CEO Jim Conzelman, “day-in and day-out, give their all to make Congress work.”

“This has been one of the most unique and challenging years many of us have seen in our lifetime,” Conzelman stated in his opening remarks of the virtual event. “Because of the pandemic and the election, the job these fine men and women do became all the more difficult and important.”

According to Conzelman, this was the 9th year that the Ripon Society and Franklin Center have honored this group of congressional staff members on Capitol Hill. It is the first year it has not taken place in-person. “I think it’s very safe to say this year in particular has been one like no other,” he stated, “For many of us, we have had to learn how to function in a workplace that is completely virtual. It is thanks to the people we honor today, the Schedulers and Executive Assistants of Capitol Hill, that the United States Congress functioned as smoothly as it possibly could during these unbelievable times.”

“We recently asked our members to name the Scheduler or Executive Assistant who demonstrated the highest level of professionalism in what are arguably the most challenging jobs on Capitol Hill. The honorees who were nominated not only come from both sides of the political aisle, but they all share a personal quality that is critical to their work — namely, an unwavering commitment and dedication to government service.”

The Scheduler and Executive Assistant Honorees of 2020 included:

Caitlin Affolter – with Senator Steve Daines (R-MT); Zoe Aguillard – with Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA); Alexis Alavi – with Representative Darin LaHood (R-IL); Lauren Allen – with Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV); Faith Ammen – with Representative Jackie Walorski (R-IN); Mauricio Armaza – with Representative Jim Himes (D-CT); Ashley Bailey – with Representative Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA); Amanda Baldwin – with Representative Michael Burgess (R-TX); Amy Barrera – with Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO); Jacqueline Battaglia – with House Republican Whip (R-LA); Emily Bazydlo – with Representative John Katko (R-NY); Emery Boyer – with Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA); Kelsi Brogan – with Representative Dave Joyce (R-OH); Elizabeth Butler – with Representative Lloyd Smucker (R-PA); Migdalia Calderon – with Representative Bill Pascrell (D-NJ); Sterling Carter – with Representative Brad Schneider (D-IL); David Crane – with the National Republican Senatorial Committee; Emma Cunningham – with Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX); Laura Cureton– with Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX); Liz Davis – with Representative Larry Bucshon (R-IN); Regan Delaney – with the National Republican Congressional Committee; Imani Edwards – with Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH); Alli Everton – with Representative Stephanie Murphy (D-FL); Wendy Featherson – with Representative Val Demings (D-FL); Avery Fogels – with Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK); Madeline Gale – with Representative Andy Barr (R-KY); Sarah Gianni – with Representative John Larson (D-CT); Natalie Goodwin – with Representative Susan Brooks (R-IN); Allison Haindfield – with Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE); Molly Harrington – with Representative Paul Mitchell (R-MI); Molly Harris – with Representative Pete Stauber (R-MN); Collin Harrison – with Representative Ron Estes (R-KS); Sydney Harvey – with Representative Tom Suozzi (D-NY); Stephanie Heinrich – with Representative John Curtis (R-UT); Julie Jochem – with Representative Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ); Ingrid Johnson – with Representative Fred Upton (R-MI); Kellie Karney – with Representative Ami Bera (D-CA); Hannah Katz – with Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO); Emily King – with Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA); Courtney Klein– with Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA); Jenna Lawler – with Representative Drew Ferguson (R-GA); Alana Lomis – with Representative Dusty Johnson (R-SD); Ryan Lynch – with Representative Sean Maloney (D-NY); Julie Macmann – with Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH); Sean Manzelli – with Representative Billy Long (R-MO); James Marsh – with Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA); Lindsay McDonough – with Senator Todd Young (R-IN); Brooke Miller – with Representative Buddy Carter (R-GA); Brianna Nagle – with Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL); Nancy Pack – with Representative Will Hurd (R-TX); Sabrina Parker – with Representative Tom Cole (R-OK); Elizabeth Pearce – with Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY); Gabriela Perdichizzi – with Representative Lance Gooden (R-TX); Elly Peterson – with Representative Kelly Armstrong (R-ND); Chloé Wilcox Pickle – with Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI); Marie Policastro – with Representative Brad Wenstrup (R-OH); Tim Ranstrom – with Representative Richard Neal (D-MA); Shelbie Rogers – with the National Republican Congressional Committee; Angela Schulze – with Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC); Tory Scordato – with Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA); Samantha Silvi – with Representative Dan Newhouse (R-WA); Emily Ann Smith – with Representative Ann Wagner (R-MO); Kristen Sonderegger – with Representative Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN); Isabella Spinozzi – with Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL); Brooke Starr – with Representative Greg Walden (R-OR); Nora Taktajian – with Representative Jimmy Panetta (D-CA); Grace Tricomi – with Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC); Elizabeth Virga – with Representative Dan Kildee (D-MI); Landy Wade – with Representative Kathleen Rice (D-NY); Megan Wagner – with Representative Frank Lucas (R-OK); Kim Waskowsky – with Representative Troy Balderson (R-OH); Olivia Widenhouse – with Representative William Timmons (R-SC); Alison Wright – with Representative Ed Perlmutter (D-CO); Rick Yackel – with Representative Tom Reed (R-NY); Ellen Young – with Representative Mike Doyle (D-PA); Angie Youngen – with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH); Emily Zajac – with Representative Bill Huizenga (R-MI).

Friday’s virtual event was attended by a group of 80 participants to celebrate the Schedulers and Executive Assistants of Capitol Hill. Also attending the event and delivering remarks was Assistant to the President and White House Cabinet Secretary Kristan King Nevins, who prior to her time in the White House served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Will Hurd and Second Lady Karen Pence, as well as the Personal Aide and Chief of Staff to Former First Lady Barbara Bush. Secretary King Nevins spoke about her experiences in these positions and offered words of inspiration and congratulations to the honorees.

Conzelman – who spent 26 years serving as the Chief of Staff for former Congressman Mike Oxley (R-OH), concluded the virtual event by thanking the honorees one final time. “You have not only made a difference in the lives of your boss and coworkers. You’ve also made a difference in the life of Congress and our nation.” He closed by reciting the poignant words of Former First Lady Barbara Bush who stated:

“Some people give time, some money, some their skills and connections, some literally give their life’s blood. But everyone has something to give.”

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people. 

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