Entrepreneur-Turned-Senator Wolf Obviously Has an Eye for Talent

Friday, May 20, 2011

Talk to anybody who runs an organization and they'll tell you the most important thing they do, the task most crucial to their success, is hiring.

The reason is simple: unless you have a job like Barbra Streisand's, you can't get the job done on your own.

You need other people. You have to work in groups to produce a product, provide a service, win a game, achieve a marketable result, etc.

This is something obviously known to Dan Wolf, the leader who built Cape Air into a regional juggernaut and the new Democratic state senator for the Cape Cod and Islands district in Massachusetts.

Other people tried before him to build a regional airline on the Cape and failed, whereas Wolf succeeded in a way that can fairly be called spectacular, especially now that the business has been thriving and expanding for 23 years straight. He would not have been able to do that were he not a good spotter, good recruiter, good inspirer and good retainer of Talent with a capital T.

Those skills were also on display when Wolf put together his senatorial staff, which includes:

  • Seth Rolbein, chief of staff, graduate of Harvard, documentary filmmaker, newspaper reporter and editor, and author of two books on the environmental clean-up efforts at the Massachusetts Military Reservation in Bourne.

  • Micaelah Morrill, legislative director, UMass Amherst grad, and four-year staff veteran of Wolf's predecessor, Rob O'Leary, who left the senate to pursue the (Bill Delahunt) Congressional seat ultimately won by former senator and Norfolk DA Bill Keating.

  • Jay Coburn, director of community relations, Cornell grad, former community activist and small business owner, former member of the Provincetown Planning Board, and current member of the Truro Democratic Town Committee.

  • Sue Rohrbach, district director, Brown undergrad and UMass post-grad, expert on land use planning, coordinator for campaigns for the Cape Cod Land Bank and for the preservation of 15,000 acres at the Massachusetts Military Reservation as the Upper Cape Water Reserve, and former member of the Barnstable Town Council, Planning Board, Community Preservation Committee, and Charter Commission.

  • Suzanne Legere, scheduler and director of constituent services, former Cape Air employee, Habitat for Humanity volunteer, and volunteer fundraiser for numerous charities.

While this is an impressive assembly, their credentials and experience are not all that unusual for State House staffers. The number of people you find who have advanced degrees, serious private sector resumes, and a cheerful willingness to work at the State House for short money because they want to do something good for society is actually kind of amazing.

Senator Wolf has reminded us how deep the talent pool is, thankfully, for legislative staff in Massachusetts.

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