Landing a Promotion With Martinez

Posted April 25, 2008 at 4:42pm

Tom Weinberg grew up on Florida’s east coast and loved watching the NASA space shuttles launch from Kennedy Space Center. As the new chief of staff for Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), he is going to do everything he can to maintain the space program that he literally looked up to as a child.

[IMGCAP(1)]“They were part of my life,” Weinberg said.

Weinberg, 58, has a long history of working with Martinez. He was promoted to his new perch from the position of deputy chief of staff. And he served as Martinez’s deputy county administrator when Martinez was the mayor of Orange County.

“Tom’s contributions are invaluable,” Martinez said in a statement. “I know he’ll continue to serve me and Florida well in this new capacity.”

Weinberg, from Rockledge, Fla., worked in other capacities within Orange County government before his job with Martinez. He also taught community college courses and served in the National Guard.

He said that in addition to NASA, he wants to pay special attention to health care issues. This desire traces back to a project he tackled with Martinez when both of them worked for the Orange County government. The two started up a series of clinics in Florida for the underinsured.

Weinberg is a 1971 graduate of Florida State University and earned his degree in criminology. He plays racquetball and surfs in his spare time.

His wife is an attorney, and he has three stepchildren and two sons, both of whom are University of Florida graduates. He will be commuting between Washington, D.C., and his home in Orlando for his new job.

“He’s an incredible leader, and he has a real gift to learn things quickly, and get things done,” Weinberg said of his boss. “That’s the kind of guy I like to work for.”

Hiking Into a New Job. “I don’t come off as being very athletic, but I’ve hiked Half Dome in Yosemite National Park,” Candace Dodge told Climbers in an interview. Whether those hiking skills will come in handy for her new position as executive assistant and scheduler for Rep. Howard McKeon (R-Calif.) is debatable. But McKeon’s enthusiasm for his new aide is not.

[IMGCAP(2)]“I couldn’t be more pleased that Candace so willingly accepted the role of executive assistant for me in Washington, D.C.,” McKeon said in a statement. “Her experience and native Californian roots made her the perfect candidate for the job. Candace brings with her impeccable professionalism and a strong work ethic and is a welcome addition to our team.”

Before joining the staff of McKeon’s personal office, Dodge served as executive assistant and scheduler to Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.).

Dodge, 24, is originally from Roseville, Calif., which is in Doolittle’s district. She graduated from California State University at Sacramento in 2005, with a degree in communications and public relations.

She is a member of the Capital City Church.

“I’m really enjoying D.C. and the Hill, and Congressmen McKeon has been just great,” Dodge told Climbers.

“It’s an honor to work for somebody who you really believe in,” she added. “It makes your job a lot more rewarding.”

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