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Joe's Staff Alumni Directory

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The directory below contains current employment and contact information for many former Simitian staff members.  You’ll find each staff member listed alphabetically under the public office (Supervisor, Assembly, Senate) in which they worked.

Former staff members who worked in more than one office are listed by most recent position.

County Supervisor (2012 - Present)

  • Alison Still served as Scheduler/Executive Assistant for Joe from May 2014 until September 2014.
  • Mindy Sanchez served as Office Manager and then Scheduler for Joe from September 2013 until May 2014.
  • Ray Mueller served as Chief of Staff from January 2013 until July 2014.
  • Elizabeth Cuesta served as Office Manager for Joe throughout Joe's tenure on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors from 1997-2000. She then served as Office Manager for Santa Clara County Supervisor Liz Kniss. Elizabeth joined Joe's office in 2012 and retired in September 2013 after 20+ years of service to Santa Clara County.
State Senate (2004 - 2012)

  • Terry Adams served as Scheduler during Joe’s first term in the Senate. Currently, Terry produces a variety of programs for KGO Newstalk Radio AM 810 and engineers live and remote broadcasts for its sister station, Hot Talk 560 KSFO Radio. In addition, she serves as a free lance producer and teleprompter operator for live studio webcasts at Stanford University. Terry can be reached at adamstm9@yahoo.com.
  • Hank Brady
  • Sabra (Foley) Diridon served as Senior Field Representative for Joe during his tenure in the California State Assembly and in the California State Senate. Most recently, she was the Northern California Deputy Finance Director for a presidential campaign.
  • Melissa Figueroa served as Press Secretary for Senator Simitian from 2009-2011 in his Capitol office. During her time in the Legislature, she also staffed the Senator on veterans affairs and human services issues.  Melissa now serves as the Deputy Secretary of Communications for the State and Consumer Services Agency and can be reached at Melissa.figueroa@scsa.ca.gov.
  • Rose Filicetti served as Senior Field Representative in Senator Simitian’s Santa Cruz Office from 2011-12. She continues part-time work as Executive Director of the Santa Clara County School Boards Association and in leadership or governance roles for a variety of community service/fundraising nonprofits, including Leadership Santa Cruz County, the Digital NEST (technology access and workforce development for local youth) and the UCSC Dreamweavers (support for Dream Act undocumented immigrant students). Rose can be reached at rose@sczconnect.org 
  • Lisa Gardiner worked as Joe's press secretary during his last year in the State Senate. She is currently Communications Cirector for State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson. She can be reached at lisargardiner@yahoo.com
  • Taylor Glass served as a Legislative Aide during Joe's tenure in the Senate from 2009-2012.  He is now a Legislative Consultant for Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra where he handles natural resources, water, transportation, evironmental quality and housing policy.  Taylor is also a part-time law student at the University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, attending classes in the evening. Taylor can be reached at taylor.glass@asm.ca.gov
  • Heather (Barbour) Gonzalez served as a Committee Consultant and Legislative Aide for Joe during his first term in the State Senate. She worked primarily on education and privacy issues. She currently works as a Specialist in Science and Technology Policy at the Congressional Research Service.
  • Alan Gordon
  • Matt Haney was a Senate Fellow in Joe’s office during the 2005-2006 session.  After his fellowship, Matt was awarded a George J. Mitchell Scholarship, through which he studied international human rights in Ireland.  In 2008, he was a youth and student organizer for a presidential campaign, and he recently co-founded a non-profit.  In 2010 Matt graduated with a JD and MA in Education from Stanford University’s School of Law.  He’s currently studying for his Bar exam and serves as the Executive Director for the UC Student Association.
  • Stephanie Hineline served as Joe’s Scheduler from 2010-2012. She is currently with the Senate Office of Research working as the Liaison between SOR and the Governors Appointments Office in the Senate. She can be reached at stephanie.hineline@sen.ca.gov
  • Cory Jasperson served as Principal Consultant and later Chief of Staff at the end of Joe’s tenure in the California State Senate. He also served as a Policy Aide during Joe’s first term on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and as a Legislative Aide during Joe’s time in the California State Assembly. He currently serves as Director of Governmental Affairs for the Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts. Cory can be reached at 916-215-9463 or via email at cory.jasperson@jud.ca.gov.
  • Jaspreet Johl served as Office Aide and Capitol Constituent Liaison for Joe during his tenure in the California State Assembly and in the California State Senate.  She is currently attending the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law. 
  • Nina Kapoor was a Senate Fellow in Joe’s office during the 2006-2007 session.  After her fellowship, Nina worked in the office of Assembly member Felipe Fuentes on energy policy issues.  In early 2010 she joined KP Public Affairs as a lobbyist to work with clients in the energy, transportation and environmental arenas.
  • Susan Klein served as Office Manager during Joe's last term in the Senate, 2007-2012.  Susan is currently retired.  
  • Kris Kuzmich served as Principal Consultant to the Senate Select Committee on Privacy during Joe’s second term in the State Senate. She now works for the Senate’s Budget Committee and can be reached via email at kris.kuzmich@sen.ca.gov.
  • Michele Lew served as District Director during Joe’s tenure in the California State Assembly and the California State Senate. She is currently President and CEO of Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI), the largest community-based organization serving the Asian American community in Santa Clara County.  Michele may be reached at (408) 975-2730.
  • William Leiter was a Senate Fellow and then a Legislative Aide in Joe's office during the 2010-2012 session. He then worked as a digital strategist for Trilogy Interactive, where he managed online campaigns for U.S. senators and the CA Democratic Party. Currently, he is the deputy digital director for FWD.us, a non-profit advocating for the tech community. You can reach him at william.leiter@gmail.com
  • Nancy Lynott served as Scheduler in Joe’s Capitol office during his second State Senate term. She is now retired. Nancy can be reached via email at njlynott@yahoo.com.
  • Maureen McCarty served as a Senior Field Representative during Joe’s tenure in the California State Senate.  She is currently working as an analyst for Santa Cruz County Supervisor Mark Stone. Maureen can be reached at (831) 454-2200 or via email at maureen.mccarty@co.santa-cruz.ca.us.
  • Shannon McKinney served as Legislative Aide for Joe during his tenure in the California State Senate.  She is currently Senior Consultant to the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee.  Shannon may be reached at (916) 319-3965 or via email at shannon.mckinney@asm.ca.gov.
  • Jennifer Moreno served as a Senate Fellow in Joe’s office during the 2009-2010 session.  Jennifer now works as a legislative aide in the office of Assemblymember Betsy Butler, focusing on Education as well as Arts and Entertainment. Jennifer can be reached via email at jennifer.moreno@asm.ca.gov
  • Caroll Mortensen
  • Ryan Ojakian
  • Rei Onishi served as a Senate Fellow in Joe’s office during the 2004-2005 session, then as a Legislative Aide in 2005-2006.  After spending time studying and working in Japan, Liberia and Washington D.C., Rei will finish a joint degree from Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2011.  Upon graduation, he will clerk for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta. Rei can be reached via email at ronishi@post.harvard.edu.
  • Priscilla Ouchida served as Chief of Staff during Joe’s tenure in the Assembly, then as Legislative Director during his first term in the Senate.  Having retired from a long career of public service, Priscilla now spends her time traveling, volunteering, taking photographs, and remodeling her house. 
  • Anand Parikh served as a Senate Fellow in Joe’s office during the 2008-2009 session.  He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and currently attends NYU Law School.
  • Annette Porini
  • Sarah Rosendahl served as a Senior Field Representative during Joe’s first Senate term.  She is currently working as a Legislative Aide for San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley. Sarah can be reached at srosendahl@co.sanmateo.ca.us.
  • Anthony Sanchez served as a Senate Fellow in Joe’s office during the 2007-2008 session.  Since his fellowship, Anthony has worked on a number of political campaigns in the Bay Area, and currently works for the Berkeley City Council. Anthony can be reached via email at anthonysanchez07@gmail.com.
  • Heather Scott
  • Kristi Stauffacher served as Joe’s Legislative Director from 2008 to 2011.  She is now Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the California Environmental Protection Agency.  Kristi can be reached at 916-322-7315.
  • Brenda Taussig served as Senior Field Representative in Joe's District Office in Palo Alto during his second term in the Senate. She is now the Government and Community Relations Manager for El Camino Hospital, which has campuses in Mountain View and Los Gatos. She can be reached at brenda.taussig@elcaminohospital.org
  • Michelle Thomas served as Office manager, Scheduler and Legislative Assistant in Joe’s Sacramento office from 2006-2008. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Public Administration with an option in public policy at CSU East Bay. She currently works as a district representative for State Senator Ellen Corbett and can be reached via email at michelle.thomas@sen.ca.gov.
  • Renee Wadsworth served as an Office Aide in Joe’s Sacramento office during the 2005-2006 session.  She is currently working at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in Washington, DC, as Manager of State Relations and plans to pursue a master’s degree in public policy and urban planning.  She may be reached at (202) 626-7384.
  • Marisol Wauters served as Office Manager for Joe during his tenure in the California State Senate.  In June 2009, she graduated with a masters degree in Urban Planning.
  • Carlee Weiss served as Office Manager in the Palo Alto District Office during Joe’s tenure in the California State Assembly and the California State Senate.  She is currently retired, though she keeps busy with interior design work and travel. Carlee can be reached via email at carlee.weiss@comcast.net
  • Brock Winstead was a Field Representative and later District Director during Joe's time in the California State Senate. He can be reached at brock.winstead@gmail.com and on Twitter at @brockwinstead.
  • Keith Weissglass served as a Field Representative during Joe’s second term in the State Senate. His responsibilities included district media relations, online communication, and constituent outreach. Keith later received an M.B.A. from the UC Davis Graduate School of Management. He now works at Gartner Consulting, where he advises state and local government agencies.
  • Phil Yost served as Press Liaison in the District Office from June 2010 until the end of Joe's second Senate term in December 2012. 
  • Sarah (Mason) Z’berg served as Scheduler, Legislative Aide, and Press Liaison in the Capitol Office during Joe’s first term in the California State Senate.  She currently works for the Senate Business and Professions Committee.  She may be reached at (916) 651-4104 or sarah.mason@sen.ca.gov
State Assembly (2000 - 2004)


  • Karen Brunton served as a Senior Field Representative during Joe’s tenure in the California State Assembly.  After leaving the office in 2004, Karen worked as a Policy Associate for the Steven and Michele Kirsch Foundation, graduated law school at University of Washington in Seattle, and managed an Alaska State House campaign.  Karen is currently a Litigation Associate at Perkins Coie, LLP in Seattle she can be reached by email at karenbrunton@gmail.com.
  • Megan Swezey Fogarty served as Nonprofits Liaison from 2001-2003. She continues to host Joe’s television show, Capitol Focus, and is currently Postgraduate and Alumni Program Director at the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University. Megan may be reached via email at megan.fogarty@stanford.edu or by phone at (650) 725-2870.
  • Judy Kramer served as Nonprofits Liaison during Joe’s tenure on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and during the early part of his tenure in the California State Assembly.  She is currently retired, but remains active as a community volunteer.  Judy may be reached at (650) 494-3222 or via email at jahkramer@aol.com.
  • Jamille Moens served as Policy Aide and later as Press Secretary during Joe’s tenure on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.  She also served as Legislative Aide and Press Secretary during his tenure in the California State Assembly.  She is currently Business Services Manager at the Department of Utilities for the City of Sacramento.  Jamille may be reached at (916) 808-5988 or via email at jmoens@cityofsacramento.org.
  • Lark Park served as Legislative Aide during Joe’s tenure in the California State Assembly.  Lark transferred to the Office of Senator Gloria Romero in 2005, and now works for the Senate Human Services Committee. 
  • Daryl Savage served as Executive Assistant during Joe’s tenure in the California State Assembly.  She is currently Chair of the City of Palo Alto Human Relations Commission. Daryl can be reached at DarylSavage@gmail.com.
  • Deanna Sessums served as a Senior Field Representative during Joe’s tenure in the California State Assembly.  She is currently Regional Manager for the Monterey Region of the League of California Cities.  Deanna recently completed an MPA degree at San Jose State and can be reached via email at dsessums@cacities.org.
  • Andrew Silverman served as an Assembly Fellow in Joe’s office during the 2002-2003 session.  Andrew subsequently graduated from USC’s law school, passed the California State Bar, and is currently an attorney assigned to the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice in Washington, DC. He can be reached via email at andrew.silverman12@gmail.com
  • Preston Taylor was an Assembly Fellow in Joe’s office during the 2001-2002 session.  He subsequently served as a Legislative Aide and as a Senior Assistant, working in both the Capitol and District Offices.  After leaving the office, Preston earned an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and worked in China and India.  Currently he works as a Worldwide Product Marketing Manager for Lenovo in Raleigh, North Carolina. 
  • Dena Wilson served as Scheduler and Legislative Aide on aging issues during Joe’s tenure in the California State Assembly. After leaving the office in 2004, Dena worked as an Associate Consultant in the Speaker’s office, then as an Associate Consultant in Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero’s office.  She currently works as a Policy Analyst in the Secretary of Education’s office. 
Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors (1997 - 2000)

  • John Brazil served as Land Use & Transportation Policy Aide for Joe during his tenure at the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.  He currently manages the City of San Jose’s Bicyclist & Pedestrian Program.  John may be reached at (408) 975-3206.
  • Amy Carta served as Health Policy Aide for Joe during his tenure on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.  She is currently the Assistant Director for the Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System.  Amy may be reached at (408) 885-4551 or via email at Amy.Carta@hhs.sccgov.org
  • Joyce Iwasaki served as Executive Assistant for Joe during his tenure on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. Joyce can be reached at j.iwasaki@yahoo.com
  • Seth Masket, Ph.D. served as Law and Justice Policy Aide for Joe during his tenure on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.  He is currently an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Denver.  Seth may be reached at (303) 900-8621 or via email at smasket@du.edu
  • Cathryn Ming-Hyde served as Senior Policy Aide for Land Use, Housing, and Transportation for Joe during his tenure on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.  She is currently serving as Constituent Services Director for US Representative Michael M. Honda, who represents California’s 15th Congressional District.  Cathy may be reached at (408) 558-8085 or Cathy.Hyde@mail.house.gov.
  • Paul Murphy served as Health Policy Aide for Joe during his tenure on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. He is currently Policy Director for Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, District Two. Paul also served as a Senior Policy Analyst for Santa Clara County Supervisor Liz Kniss, and President of the Horace Mann School Foundation in San Jose.  Paul previously worked for the Santa Clara Family Health Plan and the Harvey M. Rose Accountancy Corporation.  Paul may be reached at (408) 386-9717 or via email at lindenmur@aol.com.
  • Michelle Poche Flaherty served as Joe’s Chief of Staff during his tenure on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. She went on to serve as a Regional Director for the California Trade & Commerce Agency and Special Assistant to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norm Mineta before returning to local government as Assistant County Manager in Washoe County, Nevada. She currently serves as the Organizational Development Manager for the City of Rockville, Maryland, and as the President of City on a Hill Consulting, providing executive coaching to government leaders. Michelle may be reached in Rockville at (240) 314-8118 or via email at michelle@cityonahillconsulting.com.
  • Samantha Spielman served as Policy Aide for Children, Family and Education during Joe’s first year on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.  She went on to serve as the Political Director for Northern California AIPAC and then as the Director of Project Management for the Creative Department of macys.com. She now is an active volunteer in her East Bay community and can be reached via email at samspielman@aol.com
  • Susie Thom served as Scheduler for Joe during his tenure on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.  She was Director of Human Resources at Entech Analytical Labs, Inc. and is currently Administrative Director for the 2009 Senior Games.  She is a member of the City of Palo Alto Library Advisory Commission.