Announcements - May 27, 2009

A New England full-service government and public-relations firm, O’Neill and Associates, has announced the hire of Carlos E. Iturregui, who joins the D.C. office as a senior vice president after having worked at the firm in the early 1990s.

Iturregui’s specialties include homeland security, immigration, infrastructure and Latin American issues. Prior to joining O’Neill and Associates, Iturregui was the first chief of staff for policy and strategy for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, part of the Department of Homeland Security.

Jioni Palmer, communications director for the Congressional Black Caucus, and Ashli Scott, senior legislative assistant for Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.), were engaged in December. One year after their first date, at Sonoma Wine Bar on Capitol Hill, Palmer proposed to Scott at the very same table where they first dined together. The two plan to marry Oct. 17 in Columbia, S.C., where Scott is from. For more information on the couple, visit http://ashliandjioni.com.

BJ Neidhardt, Washington director for Rep. Mark Schauer (D-Mich.), and Julie Petrick, who works for the Service Employees International Union, were engaged May 16 in Rehoboth Beach, Del. After telling Petrick that they were going to dinner (a plan thwarted by Georgetown’s and George Washington’s graduation), they chose to drive to the beach instead.

To Petrick’s surprise, the GPS took the two to Cape Henlopen, Del., instead of their favorite state park. “BJ’s excuse was our dog Carolina — that she could get the chance to run around before we went out to dinner,” Petrick said.

Sitting on the beach, Neidhardt reached into his pocket and pulled out the ring, but halfway through the proposal he stopped, jumped up and said, “Wait, I have to get on one knee to do this!” and began the proposal all over again. “It was perfect,” Petrick said. The two plan to marry next spring.

Jenny Blau, former legislative assistant for then-Rep. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.), and Bret Wincup, Democratic cloakroom assistant, were walking their 1-year-old black Havanese puppy, Mona, when she got loose from her collar and ran away on 17th and R streets NW. If you have any information, call 202-271-7702.

Jenny met Bret on Capitol Hill more than five years ago. She now works as a doctor, and Bret works downtown for an industry association.