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[Congressional Record: September 13, 2000 (House)]
[Page H7547]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. McCollum) is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I am here today because we are finishing 
this term of Congress, and while there may be other things for me, 
perhaps across in the other body, this is the last year that I will 
serve as a Member of the United States House of Representatives. I am 
very proud of the service that I have given, and I have enjoyed my 
service a great deal in this body.
  I have enjoyed working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle 
to accomplish many things over these years that I have served from 1981 
to the present, but none of that would have been possible without a 
very strong group of men and women who served on my staff.
  Now, we often talk about our committee staffs; but I am talking 
specifically about my personal staff; my staff both in my Orlando 
district office, and my staff here in my Washington office. There have 
been many, many people who have worked for me over those years; and in 
a moment I am going to enter into the Record some 99 of those staffers 
that I have at least documented, that I want to recognize because their 
hard work is what allowed me to provide this service first to the Fifth 
Congressional District of Florida and then to the Eighth Congressional 
District of Florida.
  I want to single out some in particular, though, because even though 
I would like to be able to talk about all 99, I cannot do that. I do 
not have time to, and no one would want me to; but some have been with 
me a long time and some have done admirable service.
  In my district office, Nancy Abernethy is a case worker who has been 
with me since the very beginning when I first began my service, the 
beginning of 1981; and throughout those years she has provided service 
to many constituents, particularly in immigration matters and about tax 
matters, that is above and beyond the call of duty in many cases.
  There are literally hundreds of people in central Florida today who 
have had service provided by Ms. Abernethy in resolving matters 
regarding immigration rulings and immigration concerns that they would 
not have had resolved in the way they did if she had not been there to 
act on their behalf. She still does that today.
  I have another lady who has been with me for many years, all but I 
think a couple of the years I have served, in that same district 
office, a case worker named Elaine Whipple. Elaine tirelessly served me 
for a long time working with senior citizens, particularly veterans, on 
issues concerning veterans affairs, but also on Social Security, giving 
service, finding answers to solutions to those Medicare problems for 
people with the various agencies of the government. These two women 
provided a perfect illustration of what can be done in the best of 
public service when you have people that are dedicated, who every day 
go to work regardless of whether I am sitting in the office or not, 
answering the phones, talking to people and providing them a conduit 
between the Federal Government and an agency that is far removed from 
them, and some real, everyday problems in their personal lives that 
need recognition and resolution.
  I have also had several other people that have really served 
extraordinarily well that I want to mention. The chiefs of staff who 
have served me over the years, Vaughn Forrest for many years, my very 
first chief of staff, did admirable work. We provided together a 
program for relief for Salvadorans, the people who were displaced off 
the farms there during their civil war where we lifted medicines and 
medical supplies down there that were donated privately, not a 
legislative agenda but something privately done, that the office did, 
that I am prouder of than any other thing that I have worked on since I 
have been in Congress; and much of that work was a tribute to Vaughn 
Forrest's effort as he did in many other cases.

                              {time}  1715

  Mr. Speaker, more recently Doyle Bartlett has been my chief of staff 
who was an early aide who came to work for me in my district office and 
who worked on to be a legislative staffer up here, and then later my 
chief of staff. And most recently John Ariale, who currently is my 
chief of staff, but was my district aide for many years, working to 
serve the public in the central Florida region tirelessly for a good 
number of years on my staff.
  Personal secretaries, personal assistants over the years both in 
Washington and in Orlando in the central Florida area have meant the 
difference in my life and in the ability for me to be able to serve. 
Fran Damron who came to Washington to start this process from Florida 
with me, but for unforeseen family circumstances might very well be in 
my employ today.
  Mary Lee Reed who still works part time for me, for many years worked 
in this Washington office as my right arm. Today Sue Lancaster in my 
district office who has been with me for many years, I could not do 
without really in many ways. She has tirelessly put time in program 
after program serving our constituents and working to allow me to serve 
better. Lisa Smith, who recently left my office in Washington, served 
many years here doing that job. And more recently Jin Sikora.
  I have had other staff assistants from Jane Hicks who served me a 
long time on the front desk here to Selma McKinzie, I should say the 
district desk in Florida to Selma McKinzie who served here and the list 
could go on and on. I cannot begin to name them all.
  Leslie Woolley was my first legislative director, the legislative is 
a critical staff as well to provide services in a personal staff office 
that we do not get from the committee staff on legislative matters. 
Many, many issues that Members of Congress have to face every day and 
votes they have to take on the floor, they have to be prepared for 
that. They would not otherwise be able to do because that does not come 
within the purview of the committees they serve on, but they are 
expected, we all are expected to respond and respond intelligently to 
make votes for these issues.
  I want to again thank these personal staff Members for all the work 
that they have done over the years. I do not think we pay enough 
tribute to our personal staffs.
  Mr. Speaker, I include the following for the Record:

                       Staff Tribute (1981-2000)

                         personal office staff

       Nancy Abernethy, Melissa Finn Aldrich, John Ariale, Marie 
     Attaway, Michael Ballard, Doyle Bartlett, Paul Bernstein, 
     Lynne Bigler, Julie Bordelon, Scott Brenner, Melissa Burns, 
     Rachel Cacioppo, Sandra Carroll, Christina Cullinan, Fran 
     Damron, James Derfler, Andi Dillin, Susan Dryden, Sarah 
     Dumont, David Eisner, Debbie Feldman, Terri Finger, Vaughn 
     Forrest, Kristen Foskett, and Teresa Fulton.
       James Geoffrey, Elizabeth Gianini, Shannon Gravitte, James 
     Griffin, Michael Hearn, Mark Heidelberger, Jane Hicks, Mary 
     Carlson Higgins, Judi Holcomb, Barbie Howe, Dawn Igler, Joe 
     Jacquot, Kirt Johnson, Dana Hargon Jones, Vincent Jones, Josh 
     Kane, Dirk Karaman, Karl Kaufmann, Susan Kessel, Anne 
     Kienlen, Janie Kong, Sue Lancaster, Carolyn Lindsey, Patti 
     Lockrow, and Linda Lovell.
       Gerry Lynam, Ellen Maracotta, Kevin McCourt, Selma 
     McKinzie, Ferrall McMahon, Bob Meagher, Judy Merk, Dave 
     Merkel, Helen Mitternight, Lisa Morin, Don Morrissey, Rufus 
     Montgomery, Maureen Mulherin, Sophia Nash, Karen Nasrallah, 
     Paula Nelson, Jaclyn Norris, Jennifer Paine, Clif Parker, 
     Mari Parsons, Marissa Barnes Raflo, Mary Lee Reed, Therese 
     Ridenour, Debby Roeder, and Tom Rosenkoetter.
       Clif Rumbley, Christy Russell, Ann Scarborough, Eythan 
     Schiller, Karen Schwartz, Jenn Hargon Sikora, Ginny Smith, 
     Lisa Weigle Smith, Teresa Smith, Yvette Sommers, Phil Squair, 
     Janet Sterns, Marise Stewart, Pam Tabor, Jay Therrell, Laurie 
     Thompson, Carl Thorsen, Chuong Tran, Steve Van Slyke, Linda 
     Vogt, Tyler Wesson, Tina Westby, Elaine Whipple, Susan 
     Williams, and Leslie Woolley.


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