TechNet Expands Team Nationally

WASHINGTON, June 22 — (PRNewswire) — TechNet, the bipartisan policy and political network of CEOs that promotes the growth of the innovation economy, today announced the addition of new professionals to the organization along with the elevation of current Vice President Betsy Mullins to Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs.  At the same time, TechNet has created a new policy and political coordinating council within the organization that will be led by Mullins and includes TechNet Northwest Executive Director John Drescher, Southwest Executive Director Geoff Wurzel, and California Executive Director Tim Valderrama, among others.

The organization also announced that Dan Turrentine will join the Washington, DC office as Vice President for Emerging Technologies and Special Initiatives while Michelle Consalvo joins TechNet as the Executive Director of the New England regional office.  Prior, Turrentine was National Finance Director for then-U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton and an advisor to Colorado Governor Bill Ritter. Consalvo joins TechNet from AT&T, where she was Vice President of External Affairs for the New England region. Earlier, she was an attorney in private practice.

"Talented, committed individuals are a fundamental ingredient to the success of any organization and we are excited to add such great talent to TechNet," said Rey Ramsey, President and CEO of TechNet.  "We are thrilled to welcome Dan Turrentine and Michelle Consalvo to TechNet – both have deep experience in policy, technology and political affairs and represent terrific additions to our stellar advocacy team.

"I am also delighted to announce the promotion of Betsy Mullins to Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs as her experience and keen understanding of innovation policy issues are second to none," added Ramsey. "We are also very pleased to form a new policy and political coordinating council led by Betsy that also includes the seasoned expertise and leadership of our Northwest Executive Director John Drescher, Southwest Executive Director Geoff Wurzel and California Executive Director Tim Valderrama. This policy council will work aggressively to advocate for the critical innovation policies that will help improve our nation's economic condition and the way of life for all of our citizens."

More about the TechNet team:

Michelle Consalvo – Consalvo joins TechNet from AT&T where she was Vice President for External Affairs for New England.  Her responsibilities included legislative, executive branch and regulatory advocacy in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and Rhode Island.  Prior, Consalvo was an attorney in private practice working with state and local government on behalf of corporations, trade associations and non-profit groups.  Prior to starting her practice, Consalvo worked in a law firm that specialized in government affairs and lobbying and assisted corporate clients in developing and implementing policies in Massachusetts that were consistent with corporate policies state-to-state and on the federal level. As Director of Legislative Services for Associated Industries of Massachusetts, Consalvo advocated for the state's largest employers association. Consalvo also worked for Northeastern University, as Director of State Relations and in the Massachusetts Legislature she served as staff director to the Committee on Ethics and as chief aide to State Representative Kevin Honan. A graduate of Boston College and Suffolk University Law School, Consalvo was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1995.

Dan Turrentine – Turrentine joins TechNet from the Churchill Road Group Ltd, a Washington, DC-based boutique political fundraising and consulting firm he founded in 2007.  This election cycle, Dan was doing the national fundraising for the 2010 re-election of Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, who ended his campaign on January 6, 2010.  He was also the National Finance Director for West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin's federal leadership committee, Country Roads PAC; and a national finance consultant to Roy Barnes 2010 gubernatorial campaign in Georgia. Last cycle, Turrentine managed both the national fundraising for Tom Udall for Senate 2008 and northeast fundraising for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee [DCCC]. He was also a consultant to the think-tank, Third Way. From 2005-6, Turrentine was National Finance Director for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's re-election campaign and PAC.  Prior, Turrentine spent two years fundraising for the DNC, where he worked closely with Chairman Terry McAuliffe. Turrentine is a graduate of Lafayette College.  

Betsy Mullins -- In her new role at TechNet as Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs, Mullins assumes responsibility for the oversight of both TechNet's policy and political operations and reports directly to President and CEO Rey Ramsey.  Mullins has been at TechNet since 2007 and has directed TechNet's legislative and policy activities.  Prior to TechNet, Mullins was Deputy Director of the Democratic Governors Association, the Deputy Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Energy under then-Secretary Bill Richardson and was the Executive Director and Communications Director for the House Democratic Caucus under -Representative Vic Fazio (D-Calif.).  Mullins also worked at the DCCC and as a consultant for the political media firm, Dixon Davis Media. She has a master's degree from the London School of Economics and a bachelor's from Mount Holyoke College.

John Drescher Drescher has served as TechNet Northwest Executive Director since 2005, delivering seasoned expertise and policy results for the Northwest's innovation agenda.  Prior, John's work in technology has included directing the Technology and Democracy Project at the Discovery Institute, serving as Director of Business Operations for Onyx software, and holding senior positions with startups Syncronex and Hablador. John has written for Investor's Business Daily and the Los Angeles Daily News and his writings have been featured in publications including RealClearPolitics.com, The Seattle Times, and The Orange County Register. John taught U.S. History and German at the Culver Military Academy, and served as financial analyst for CS First Boston in Manhattan. Drescher holds bachelor degrees in History and German from Dartmouth College, and an MA in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School.

Geoff Wurzel – Wurzel is currently TechNet's Southwest Regional Node Executive Director and has been with the organization since 2005. Wurzel came to TechNet from National Semiconductor Corporation, where he managed the company's Texas government affairs function and corporate political action committee (PAC).  Prior, Wurzel was the Director for Central and South Texas for the American Electronics Association (AeA) and was Executive Director of the Texas Association of Health Plans.  In his career, Wurzel has represented numerous industry trade groups before the legislature, executive branch and regulatory agencies in Texas.  At TechNet, Wurzel has been instrumental in working on education policy efforts and brings strong expertise in grassroots advocacy, management, fundraising and communications.  Wurzel received his BS in Communications from the University of Texas at Austin.

Tim Valderrama -- Tim Valderrama is currently TechNet's California Node Executive Director and brings extensive and multi-faceted experience from California's political field, including legislative and regulatory work, coalition building, media relations, and political strategy.  Prior to TechNet, Valderrama has more than eight years of experience working in California government, during which time he served as Special Assistant to Assembly Speakers Bob Hertzberg and Herb Wesson, Chief Consultant to an Assembly policy committee, and Legislative Director for Assemblyman Ed Hernandez.  Throughout his time in Sacramento , Valderrama has worked on a wide range of public policy issues and has built numerous relationships with staff and legislators, as well as administration officials who are currently serving.  He is highly respected for both his legislative skills and his ability to gain consensus on tough issues.  

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