Under the Dome

Demoted at DENR, Mitch Gillespie joins House Speaker Tim Moore’s staff

One week after being demoted by the new head of the state’s environmental agency, former legislator Mitch Gillespie is joining House Speaker Tim Moore’s staff as a senior policy adviser.

Gillespie was assistant secretary for the environment at the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. But shortly after becoming DENR secretary, Donald van der Vaart reassigned Gillespie to the Asheville regional office.

Gillespie – who represented several western counties in the state House for 15 years – decided he wouldn’t return to the mountains. Instead, he’ll help Moore shape laws related to the environment, natural resources, energy and regulatory reform, according to a news release.

News of Gillespie’s new role came Friday afternoon as Moore announced his 12-member staff. “I am proud to have assembled an experienced group of professionals who will provide outstanding service to the General Assembly, and work tirelessly for the people of North Carolina,” Moore said in a news release.

Moore’s team also includes:

• Aaron Fleming, a former Wake County schools administrator, will be a policy advisor focused on agriculture and education.

• Fredena Revels will serve as director of House caucuses and policy analyst. She previously worked as marketing manager for Raleigh’s Lonerider Brewing Company.

• Sarah Riser Newton will continue in a role she held under Speaker Thom Tillis: a senior policy advisor specializing in health issues.

• Julie Garrison Lisella, director of boards, commissions and constituent services, also continues in her job from the Tillis years.

• Jason Soper will be a policy advisor on transportation and public safety. He was director of legislative affairs for the N.C. Department of Transportation and also worked for U.S. Sen. Richard Burr.

• Nancy Garriss has been Moore’s legislative assistant since he was first elected. Her new title is executive assistant and director of administration.

• Misty Greene, now a policy analyst, has worked for Moore at the General Assembly as well as at his Kings Mountain law office.

• William Morales is a military veteran who served as Tillis’ executive assistant. His new title is administrative assistant.

Three other Moore hires had already been announced: Chief of Staff Clayton Somers, Deputy Chief of Staff Andy Munn and Communications Director Mollie Young.