LANSING — House Democratic Leader-Elect Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) has named key members of his senior staff team. Jack Schmitt has been named chief of staff, Katie Carey will continue as the press secretary for the House Democratic Caucus, Patti Tremblay-Pluta will continue on as caucus legal counsel, Coffiann Hawthorne will serve as policy director and Erin Zettle will be director of constituent outreach. Singh will become the leader of the House Democratic office on Jan. 1, 2017.
“I look forward to working with Jack and the others to advance the House Democratic Caucus’ goals of improving the economic stability, college affordability and quality of life for working families in Michigan,” Singh said. “Additionally, my senior staff team will work tirelessly to make Michigan a more welcoming state and reflect our diverse caucus’ message and policy to that end.”
Most recently, Schmitt worked as the deputy director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters for the past four years where he managed a statewide team that grew from 11 to nearly 20, expanded regional offices throughout Michigan, grew the presence of the organization within the Capitol and helped to run a four-year campaign in support of the organization’s commitment to and support of clean energy legislation. Before that, he served in various legislative roles in both the Michigan House of Representatives and state Senate, along with managing a number of highly competitive state legislative races, including Leader-Elect Singh’s primary in 2012. Jack holds a bachelor’s degree in social relations and policy from Michigan State University.
Carey, who is currently the communications director and press secretary for the House Democratic Caucus, has previously been the spokeswoman for former Gov. Jennifer Granholm and communications director for former Lt. Gov. John Cherry and has also worked in other legislative offices and numerous national, statewide and local campaigns throughout Michigan. Carey earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Grand Valley State University.
Hawthorne has served as the caucus policy director since May of 2016. Coffiann returned to the House Democratic Policy Department in 2012 after working both in private law practice and for former Gov. Granholm. Coffiann earned both her undergraduate and law degrees from Michigan State University.
Tremblay-Pluta is currently the legal counsel for the House Democratic Caucus. Previously, she worked on the House Democratic Policy staff as an analyst covering the Insurance, Oversight and Regulatory Reform committees. Before that, she was employed with the House Clerk’s Office as a session and committee clerk. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Michigan State University and a law degree from Michigan State University College of Law.
Zettle joined House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel’s office in September 2015. Prior to joining the legislature, Erin was an attorney in private practice representing children in abuse and neglect cases. She holds her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan-Flint and her law degree from Thomas M. Cooley law school.