Chair McMorris Rodgers Announces House GOP Conference Digital Team Expansion, Communications Team Transitions

House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) today announced several additions to the House Republican Conference leadership staff, which includes an expansion of the Conference digital team and transitions within the House Republican Conference communications team. Chair McMorris Rodgers released the following statement with the announcement of these key staff transitions and appointments:

“I’ve always focused on letting innovation and new technologies guide us in developing ways to connect with the American people, so I’m thrilled to announce the expansion of the House Republican Conference digital team, which now includes three digital strategists focused on driving our message on the digital platforms people use every day.

“I also continue to add top-notch talent to the communications team at the House Republican Conference. I’m pleased to announce that Molly Drenkard, who previously held the position of Press Secretary in my congressional office, has joined the leadership office communications team as National Press Secretary. House Republicans are focused on issues that matter to people, and Molly joins a team of communicators–including Kathryn McQuade, Mikayla Hall, Kara Hauck, and Nate Hodson–who are helping our members take our message to every corner of America.”

Following are the complete digital and communications team descriptions.

House Republican Conference Digital Team:

Digital Director Katelyn Brantley was newly promoted from Deputy Digital Director, where she now plans and executes the House Republican Conference’s strategic digital messaging, online community building, and growth hacking efforts. Previously, Brantley worked for the American Enterprise Institute and Regnery Publishing in communications and publicity. She is a graduate of the University of Florida where she studied Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience.

Digital Communications Strategist Elizabeth Butz is the newest addition to the digital team at the House Republican Conference, where she maintains and optimizes GOP.gov as well as Conference’s strategic email efforts. Before joining the House Republican Conference, Butz worked in international development and communications. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia and majored in International Affairs and Journalism.

Digital Assistant Annie Richardson oversees all social media platforms and their content development. Before joining the House Republican Conference’s digital team earlier this year, Richardson worked for Representative Joe Wilson (SC-02), managing his social media accounts and creating all digital content. She is a graduate of Presbyterian College and majored in English with minors in Political Science and Southern Studies.

House Republican Conference Communications Team:

National Press Secretary Molly Drenkard focuses on Chair McMorris Rodgers’s national media and messaging efforts and serves as the primary contact for booking Chair McMorris Rodgers for all media outlets. Prior to transitioning to National Press Secretary, Drenkard served as Press Secretary for Chair McMorris Rodgers’s congressional office. Prior to joining the Chair’s office, Drenkard served as Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a free market association of state legislators. At ALEC, Drenkard spearheaded outward-facing strategic messaging and stakeholder relationship development. Drenkard is a graduate of the Washington State University Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

Media Affairs and Events Coordinator Kathryn McQuade oversees national media relations, major events, and productions for the House Republican Conference. A broadcast news veteran, McQuade is the primary contact for booking House Republicans on all national television, radio, print, and online media outlets. When she joined the Conference team in January, McQuade brought with her extensive career experience in media and communications. A two-time Peabody Award-winning producer, career highlights include work at Fox News (On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, Justice with Judge Jeanine), CNN (Larry King Live, Piers Morgan Tonight) and NBC News (Meet the Press).

Internal Communications Manager and Copy Editor Mikayla Hall was recently promoted to take on a new role leading the House Republican Conference’s internal content, where she develops support content to equip House Republicans and their staff  with the overall communication strategy. Hall has been on the House Republican Conference’s communications team since 2015, previously serving as Speechwriter for Chair McMorris Rodgers.

Communications Director Kara Hauck, who has served as the head of the communications team since December 2015, will continue to serve in that role. In addition to overseeing Conference’s operations and member services, Deputy Chief of Staff Nate Hodson will continue to oversee the long-term strategy and messaging of the communications and digital teams. Hodson has led Conference’s strategic communications efforts for Chair McMorris Rodgers since she was first elected to the Conference Chair leadership post in 2012.