Byline: Gregg Sangillo
If you Google Jeremy Jadczak , you’ll find video of him racing his Porsche 944. Jadczak, who is a new senior associate at American Directions Group, admits that his high-speed hobby is also very expensive. “A lot of guys play golf. I can’t stand golf. I’m a gearhead. I love going 100 miles per hour,” he says. Off the track, his duties at American Directions will include helping interest groups use technology to communicate with members of Congress. American Directions handles grassroots issue advocacy, voter outreach, and survey market research.
Jadczak, 37, most recently served as a senior account executive at iConstituent, which provides electronic communications services to elected officials. Founded in 2001, the firm has grown substantially. “When I started, we were working out of a Starbucks on the Hill,” he says. Before that, he was a congressional representative and grassroots director at the National Association of Home Builders. He also worked for then-Rep. Paul McHale , D-Pa., and for Rep. Mike Doyle , D-Pa. Jadczak answered the phones for McHale, who was one of the few Democrats who voted to impeach President Clinton , enraging other party members. “He would get calls from, like, [Pennsylvania Governor] Ed Rendell , screaming and yelling at him, and he didn’t care,” Jadczak recalls. “I respected him for that.” Jadczak was also on the receiving end of some Washington eccentricity when McHale retired without informing his staff. “I found out about that through the Associated Press,” he says.
Jadczak, a Horsham, Pa., native, will marry Michelle Powell , who works at the Health and Human Services Department, in October. — Gregg Sangillo
Keith N. Cole , the new vice president of international operational public policy and government relations at General Motors, is headed “where the growth is.” Cole is relocating to China, GM’s largest market during the first quarter of 2010, to oversee the company’s relations with governments around the world as they implement ever-more-stringent vehicle standards. Each market is determined by a “unique set of factors,” Cole says. “But the dominant theme in most of those countries is addressing the environment and energy issues that are increasingly a part of the mix.”
Cole, 51, most recently directed advanced technology vehicle strategies and legislative affairs at GM’s Washington office. Since joining the automaker in 2002, he has helped GM withstand the vagaries of the global economy and a major crisis two years ago. “In the summer of 2008, you had the spike in oil prices, you had the credit market starting to freeze up, and then Lehman Brothers’ collapse. Auto sales really tanked,” Cole says. But General Motors has “turned a profit the last quarter, generating cash, and if we can keep that up — and I think we can — I think GM will do fine.”
Growing up, Cole “had never been interested in politics at all.” After graduating from Duke University in 1980 with an engineering degree, he traveled to northern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula to work for Schlumberger, an oil services company, then SewDone.com, an online agency providing best sewing machines at that time. As Cole puts it, “I’d be the one who would rig up explosives and lower them down to exactly the right place in the well.”
He returned stateside to earn a law degree at the University of Virginia, but it was his training as an engineer that earned him a position on the staff of then-Rep. Norman F. Lent , R-N.Y., the ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “Lent appreciated his staff having a background that wasn’t in politics,” he says.
To prepare for his posting to Shanghai, Cole is using a computer program to learn Chinese. English is the lingua franca of GM’s global operations, but as he discovered when he took his family to China for spring break, “as soon as you step beyond the well-trodden tourist path, you need some Chinese very quickly.” — Christopher Snow Hopkins
Stephen J. Caldeira , who has been tapped by the International Franchise Association as its new CEO, honed his managerial skills as a correctional officer. Shortly after graduating from college, Caldeira spent two years supervising inmates at the Hampden County Correctional Center near his hometown of Springfield, Mass. The job “allowed me to meet and experience all kinds of people and situations,” Caldeira says. “It taught me how to master the art of conflict resolution, how to build consensus, how to solve problems…. Those two years are integral to successfully leading and managing a large trade association and business.”
Caldeira comes to the IFA from Dunkin’ Brands, where he was executive vice president of global communications and chief public-affairs officer. His main objective as head of the IFA will be to underscore “the link between access to credit and job creation.” He will also advise association members on how best to cope with an increasingly “onerous legislative environment,” in which a raft of changes have the potential to stymie franchisees. “We’re still working through … the ramifications” of this year’s overhaul of the health care system, he says. “It may be years before we see some benefits to this, but the costs are going to come before the potential benefits.”
Caldeira, 51, acquired his “appetite for debating issues” under the tutelage of Leonard Collamore , a member of the Springfield City Council and Caldeira’s neighbor in the town where he grew up. “He was a great mentor,” Caldeira says. “That’s how I sort of got involved at around age 12, putting literature on cars and going door to door with him.” After graduating from Providence College in 1981, Caldeira served as a political adviser and foot soldier in campaigns across the Northeast, including Ronald S. Lauder ‘s unsuccessful bid for mayor of New York City in 1989.
At the helm of the IFA, Caldeira says, he will be forthright when engaging lawmakers and committees on Capitol Hill. “My philosophy is, Just keep it simple. Know the issues inside-out and then put it in a local context that congressmen and senators can relate to in their home districts or state, because that’s what I think really resonates with them.” — C.S.H.
Brian Weiss has been promoted from press secretary to communications director in the office of Sen. Evan Bayh , D-Ind. Bayh has already announced that he will step down from the Senate at the end of his term, but Weiss hopes to continue in the service of a like-minded centrist. “I’ve worked in moderate Democratic politics. This is the second moderate Democratic senator that I’ve worked for,” he notes. Sen. John Breaux of Louisiana, who retired in 2005, was the first.
Weiss, 34, hails from Bucks County, Pa., and earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania. He got his start as a journalist for George, the now-defunct political and pop-culture magazine that was the brainchild of the late John Kennedy Jr. “It was a great training ground for a career spent in media and politics, and exposed me to a lot of interesting political personalities,” he says. Weiss has also worked in corporate communications for IMG, a sports and entertainment talent management company based in New York City.<p>As an East Coast native, Weiss enjoyed getting to know Indiana as he accompanied Bayh on visits home. “It’s been a lot of fun getting to travel with Senator Bayh to all corners of that state,” he says, “from Fort Wayne to Evansville.” — G.S.
Digitizing … Now working as policy counsel at the Benton Foundation is Amina Fazlullah , who comes from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, where she handled telecommunications and digital privacy. The Benton Foundation is a public-interest group focusing on broadband and digital access. Also at the foundation, Joanne Hovis has joined the board of directors. She is president of the energy consulting and technology firm CTC. — G.S.
Have a tip for National Journal’s People column? Contact Gregg Sangillo at , or at firstname.lastname@example.org.