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Ivey makes staff changes in her “communications shop”

Evan Mealins



On Tuesday, Gov. Kay Ivey announced staff changes in her Communications Office. Ivey announced Leah Garner as the Communications Director, as well as a new press secretary and director of digital media relations.

Garner is filling the position last held by Josh Pendergrass.

Garner has previously served as the director of governmental affairs and advocacy for the Business Council of Alabama. Before that, she worked for the Alabama Department of Homeland Security and the Governor’s Office. She got her start as a schoolteacher like Ivey did and taught social studies in Tuscaloosa. Garner earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Alabama.

“Leah will be a strong addition to my administration, and I am confident she will effectively lead the Communications Office,” Ivey said. “From her time as a teacher to her wide range of experience in state government, Leah has a unique perspective and a true heart for service.”

Ivey also appointed Gina Maiola as the new press secretary, replacing Daniel Sparkman. Lori Johns was named the new director of digital media relations.

“Gina and Lori are two outstanding young women who have demonstrated their talents and professionalism during their time in the Governor’s Office,” Ivey added. “I’m pleased to see both of them gain added responsibilities with these changes in our communications shop.”

The new appointments are effective on June 17.




Evan Mealins is a reporting intern at the Alabama Political Reporter and student at Auburn University working toward a B.A. in media studies. You can follow him on Twitter @EvanMealins or email him at [email protected]




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