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Temp communications guy for Gregor: Former Mike Harcourt aide

December 3rd, 2008 · 5 Comments

It’s always so thrilling for us media types to find out who the new administration is going to bring in as support staff. The only thing that’s possibly more fun is looking at poll-by-poll data of elections going back 30 years.

Anyway, Gregor Robertson’s team seems to be unusually reluctant to make any permanent appointments at this juncture, but news of the temp appointments is starting to trickle out. As I posted before, Mike Magee, the guy who helped create Vision Vancouver as it exists today and longtime friend of Gregor’s, is the interim chief of staff for six months.

For the moment, Maria Dobrinskaya, Gregor’s former CA at his former Fairview constituency office, is doing scheduling.

And I’ve just recently heard that Brent Humphrey is going to be the interim communications guy (i.e. replacing Sam Sullivan’s David Hurford, if that can possibly be done).

Brent was Mike Harcourt’s press guy until Harcourt left government and he and his wife, Laurie Best, ended up moving to Kamloops for several years and working there. Humphrey was media liaison for former mayor Mel Rothenburger for a while and also taught in the PR department at Thompson Rivers U.

They’re back in the city now. Interestingly, Ms. Best is currently head of the Vancouver’s communications department, meaning she spends a lot of time with city manager Judy Rogers, helping figure out appropriate city responses to the current craziness swirling around city hall.

There’s this little item from a 2005 Thompson Rivers newsletter for those of you who research communications people’s backgrounds.

Former Student Returns as Faculty by Sarah HustonBrent-Humphrey

Almost 26 years after he had first attended Cariboo College, Brent Humphrey is back on campus, teaching Public Relations in the Journalism department at TRU.

Brent attended Cariboo College, in 1979, finishing two full years of Arts before transferring to the University of Victoria. While at Cariboo College, he said that one teacher really inspired him as a writer, “Alastair Watt was my English teacher and he introduced me to Literature,” said Humphrey “He sparked an interest in writing and developing my skill,”

While he was a student he saw the unique social scene Cariboo College had to offer, “It was an excellent experience attending the college, it was my first exposure to student life,” said Humphrey. Humphrey decided to attend Cariboo College because of the location and the opportunity, “I was able to explore my interests and become serious about school before I went away.”

Humphrey says that the education he received at Cariboo College was excellent preparation for the University of Victoria, where he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.

He then went to Langara College, graduating with a Journalism diploma. Humphrey worked for a few years at community newspapers where he covered a number of different beats.

He realized he had a passion for politics so he left journalism and took a dream job in Public Relations, representing the former premier Mike Harcourt. He worked with Mike Harcourt until he left office.

Humphrey then returned to Kamloops where he set up his own PR consulting firm and began teaching at TRU, “I moved back for my family and the lifestyle.”

Humphrey says that TRU is unique because of the campus social scene, “There is a positive bond here, so many students attending one university and not all are from Kamloops.” He says that the bond it is still evident, even as a teacher, “The small classroom size is huge advantage for students and teachers to develop that bond.”

Humphrey says that he loves teaching in the Journalism department and feels that it is a very useful and practical program, “There is a huge demand for skilled PR professionals and no one else offers this type of major.” “The facts learned are so closely connected to the profession,” adds Humphrey.

Humphrey says that he is excited about the changes happening at TRU, “I feel pride in the fact that the small campus I once attended grew into such an impressive institution.”

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