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Sara Wurfel to serve as Snyder press secretary

Brad Wurfel to serve as DEQ communications director

LANSING, MI - Governor-elect Rick Snyder today announced that Sara Wurfel will serve as his press secretary after he takes office and Brad Wurfel will serve as director of communications for the Department of Environmental Quality.

"We are so pleased that Sara and Brad are returning to Michigan to join our administration," Snyder said.  "We have aggressively sought out talented individuals to join in our efforts to reinvent Michigan and Sara and Brad are two of the best in their field." 

Sara Wurfel is a Michigan native, born and raised in the Upper Peninsula.  She is currently the director of communications for AARP Oregon, where she has worked since 2006.  She previously served as the public affairs coordinator at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Ore.  She also served as an on-loan public information officer for FEMA's disaster response during hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Before moving to Oregon in 2004, Sara served as the communications director for the Michigan Department of Agriculture under both Governors John Engler and Jennifer Granholm, the district communications and outreach director for Congressman Nick Smith and as a communications specialist in the Michigan House of Representatives.

Wurfel holds a national APR (Accreditation in Public Relations), a bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University and a master's degree in strategic communications from the University of Oregon.  She brings a strong background of policy communications, coalition and relationship building and crisis management across the nonprofit, health and government sectors.  Sara has served on the Board of Directors of the Portland Public Relations Society of America and as a member of Health Care Communicators of Oregon. 

A native of Kalamazoo, Brad Wurfel earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University and started his career as a member of the capitol press corps with MIRS news service in Lansing.  He then worked in the state House of Representatives as legislative liaison for state Rep. Donald Gilmer before he was named public information officer (PIO) for the Michigan Department of Education and, subsequently, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

In 2004, Brad was selected in a national search to manage communications for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.  He presently works for the Oregon Department of Transportation as PIO.  Brad brings a deep knowledge of state government, communications and resource and environmental issues.

"Brad will be a great asset to the Department of Environmental Quality and he brings a tremendous skill set to the Quality of Life group," said Dan Wyant, Department of Environmental Quality director-designee. 

Brad and Sara Wurfel will begin their new roles in the Snyder administration in 2011.