By Kris Kitto - 05/19/09 05:45 PM EDT
Marital status/children: Married; just had a son, Jack.
Last job: Communications director, former Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.)
First job: Feed and fertilizer loader at the CENEX Co-Op Farm Supply in Chewelah.
Most unusual job: “That [above] high school job was an odd one, but in college I did work the night shift at a hotel front desk to fund a campaign for student body president.”
Most embarrassing moment: “There are many to pick from … My first year in the Senate, I got my parking permit scraped for moving a car in the Senate parking lot so I could get my car out. I was just trying to be helpful, but I was unprepared for the wrath of the parking attendants that ensued. Lesson learned.”
Management style: “I think good leadership is inviting people into big ideas. I’ll do jumping jacks and hang motivational quotes around the office if that’s what it takes to convince a team that hard work and a commitment to excellence can accomplish anything. Passion is the attribute I want to rub off on others the most.”
Number of cups of coffee you drink per day: “I’ve never even had a cup in my life, but I have been known to handle a dozen Diet Pepsis in a workday.”
Favorite political TV show or movie: “Is ‘Baseball Tonight’ a political show?”
Most inspirational figure: President Theodore Roosevelt
Dream job (not including present one): “President of Washington State University or the Seattle Mariners general manager — it’s a solid tie.”
College: Washington State University
Graduate school: “I’ve done some graduate work in negotiations at Harvard University.”
Passion outside work: “Democracy and civic engagement in the developing world. I’ve made several trips with the State Department to the Balkans and Africa, training political leaders and entrepreneurs.”
Claim to fame: “Barack Obama filmed his first presidential campaign TV commercial in my living room. I lived in a huge row house on Capitol Hill in 2007, and we didn’t have any furniture in the living room. One of my roommates was friends with an Obama campaign staffer who thought the space and proximity to Obama’s Senate office would be ideal. They cut the spot over our fireplace, and Obama kindly left my roommates a couple copies of his book. I voted for McCain.”
Steve Wymer got to know the inner workings of Capitol Hill last Congress in helping his old boss, former Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) with his work as ranking member of the Appropriations Committee’s legislative branch subcommittee.
Now Wymer is learning a new committee’s jurisdiction and says he is impressed with the HELP Committee’s bipartisan approach to healthcare reform.
In his new role, Wymer will reach out to stakeholder groups for their input and inclusion and also help keep all GOP committee members apprised of the committee’s work.
He says his new boss, HELP Committee ranking member Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), helps establish the committee’s bipartisan approach and congenial atmosphere.
“Sen. Enzi epitomizes a friendly and respectful tone, and I respect that in him a lot,” Wymer says.