Governor Schwarzenegger Announces Appointments


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced the following appointments:

Elmy Bermejo, 52, of San Francisco, has been appointed deputy secretary of external affairs for the State and Consumer Services Agency. She has served as special assistant to Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata since 2004 and a partner of Tommy’s Heavenly Margarita Mix since 2005. Previously, Bermejo was a field representative for Senator John Burton from 1995 to 2004 and district director for Congresswoman Lynn C. Woolsey from 1993 to 1994. She is board president of the Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) and a member of the Women’s Foundation of California. Bermejo has also served on the Commission on the Status of Women since 2003. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $101,952. Bermejo is a Democrat.

James Camp, 42, of Orange, has been appointed communications director for the California Conservation Corps. Since May 2007, he has served as deputy director for communications for the Department of Fish and Game. From 2002 to 2007, Camp was a private consultant for political and public relations campaigns including Californians for Schwarzenegger, Bill Jones for U.S. Senate and Duf Sundheim for California Republican Party Chairman. Previously, he was political director for Bill Simon for Governor from 2001 to 2002 and held the same position with the California Republican Party from 1998 to 2000. Prior to that, he served as a deputy campaign director for Matt Fong for U.S. Senate from 1997 to 1998 and account executive for The Highland Group from 1996 to 1997. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $92,652. Camp is a Republican.

Donald Currier, 48, of Folsom, has been appointed assistant secretary of legal affairs and chief counsel for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Since 2006, he has served as chief counsel for the California State Lottery. From 2004 to 2006, Currier served as a deputy cabinet secretary for the Office of Governor Schwarzenegger. He previously held the positions of staff counsel for the Department of Veterans Affairs; director of the division of certification, assignments and waivers for the Commission on Teacher Credentialing; chief deputy director and chief legal counsel for the Governor’s Office of Criminal Justice Planning; and counsel to the Assembly Committee on Public Safety. Currier served as a deputy district attorney for the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office from 1991 to 1995 and was a police officer and detective with the Sacramento Police Department from 1982 to 1991. He serves as a colonel in the Army National Guard and is the deputy commander of the 49th Military Police Brigade. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $150,112. Currier is a Republican.

Jon De Morales, 65, of Templeton, has been appointed as executive director of Atascadero State Hospital (ASH). He previously served in this position from 1990 to 2000 and currently serves as acting executive director. De Morales also served as interim executive director of ASH between 2000 and 2001. In 2006, he served as assistant deputy director of long term care services for the Department of Mental Health and also served as the acting chief of the department’s sex offender commitment program. Between 2005 and 2006, De Morales was a consultant to ASH and the Napa State Hospital. He began his career with the state in 1961 as a psychiatric technician at ASH. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $109,968. De Morales is a Republican.

Paul Feist, 46, of Stockton, has been appointed assistant secretary for communications for the Labor and Workforce Development Agency. He most recently worked for the San Francisco Chronicle from 1999 to June 2007, first as the Contra Costa bureau chief and most recently as the capitol bureau chief. Prior to joining the Chronicle, Feist worked for the Stockton Record from 1986 to 1999 where he was a reporter, enterprise editor and metro editor. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $98,004. Feist is registered decline-to-state.

Jehan Flagg, 46, of Elk Grove, has been appointed assistant director of external affairs for the Department of Housing and Community Development. She has served as director of communications for the Labor and Workforce Development Agency since 2004. From 2000 to 2004, Flagg served as principal of the Flagg Communications Group, a public affairs firm. Previously, she served as director of member services for the California Transit Association from January 1996 to December 1996. Prior to that, Flagg served as resources/special projects and advertising manager for the League of California Cities from 1985 to 1995. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $98,885. Flagg is registered decline-to-state.

Barry Hibbard, 40, of Bakersfield, has been appointed to the California Economic Strategy Panel. He has served on the Panel since 2005. Hibbard has served as vice president of commercial and industrial development for the Tejon Ranch Company since 1998. He previously specialized in sales and leasing for the Karpe Real Estate Center from 1989 to 1997. Hibbard is a member of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties and serves on the Police Activities League Board as well as the Bakersfield Museum of Art Board. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary. Hibbard is a Republican.

Marilyn Hoopes, 55, of Plymouth, has been appointed to the Amador County Fair Board of Directors (26th District Agricultural Association). She has served on the Board of Directors since 2002. Hoopes has served as an attorney in private practice since 1987 and a state contract administrative law judge for the California Office of Administrative Hearings since 1999. Additionally, she has owned and operated Karmere Vineyards and Winery of Shenandoah since 2004. Hoopes is a member of the Plymouth Foothills Rotary, Foothills Conservancy and the Amador County Grape Growers Association. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary. Hoopes is a Democrat.

Larry Mankin, 59, of Santa Clarita, has been appointed to the California Economic Strategy Panel. Since 2003, he has served as president and chief executive officer for the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce. Mankin previously was president and chief executive officer for the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce from 1999 to 2003 and was president of the Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce from 1991 to 1999. Prior to that, he served as president and chief executive officer for the Council Bluff Chamber of Commerce in Iowa from 1984 to 1991 and was executive vice president for the Central Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce from 1979 to 1984. He is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives and the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Alliance. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary. Mankin is a Republican.

Don Norte, 45, of Hollywood, has been appointed to the Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. He has worked for the West Hollywood Department of Transportation and Public Works since 1990. Norte currently serves as a parking services and development officer in the Parking Operations Division. He is a member of the California Public Parking Association and the International Parking Institute. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary. Norte is a Republican.

Rita Norton, 63, of Riverside, has been appointed to the Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. Since 2000, she has served as director of procurement and job development for Arc Riverside, a non-profit corporation devoted solely to improving the welfare of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Previously, Norton owned and operated the Downtown Hearing Aid Center in Riverside from 1966 to 1999. She is a member of the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary. Norton is a Republican.

Roman Porter, 34, of Sacramento, has been appointed communications director for the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). He has worked for the FPPC since February 2007, most recently as acting communications director and previously as a political reform consultant. Porter served as an account executive for the public affairs firm, Ziegler and Associates in 2006. From 2004 to 2006, Porter worked for State Senator Joe Dunn as a Senate fellow and then as a legislative aide. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $84,264. Porter is a Democrat.

Tim Rios, 37, of Fresno, has been appointed to the California Economic Strategy Panel. He has served on the Panel since 2005. Rios is a senior vice president and community development manager for Wells Fargo Bank, where he has worked since 1997. Additionally, he is the national spokesman for Wells Fargo’s Latino Business Services. Rios previously served as a vice president and small business banking administrator for the Union Bank of California from 1995 to 1997. Prior to that, he was a commercial banking officer for Valliwide Bank from 1991 to 1995. Rios is a member of the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary. Rios is a Republican.

David Sandino, 48, of Davis, has been appointed chief counsel for the Department of Water Resources (DWR). Since 2006, Sandino has served as acting chief counsel for DWR and previously held the position of senior staff counsel from 1989 to 2006. From 1987 to 1989, Sandino served as a deputy county counsel for the Yuba County Counsel’s Office. He is a member of the Davis Police Advisory Committee and a former commissioner of the Davis Planning Commission. Sandino is also former chair and commissioner of the Davis Natural Resources Commission. He earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Santa Clara University School of Law, a Master of Law degree from the University of London, King’s College and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Davis. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $125,000. Sandino is a Democrat.

Kourtney Vaccaro, 41, of Sacramento, has been appointed assistant chief counsel of the enforcement division for the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). She has served as an attorney for the law firm Best, Best & Krieger since March 2007 and was previously employed with the firm from 2002 to 2005. Vaccaro previously served as senior commission counsel of the enforcement division for the FPPC from 2006 to 2007. Prior to that, she was an attorney for Freeman, D’Aiuto, Pierce, Gurev, Keeling & Wolf from 2003 to 2005 and from 2000 to 2002. Vaccaro was also an attorney with the law firm Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard from 1996 to 2000. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $119,496. Vaccaro is a Democrat.