LANSING, Mich. — Incoming Senate Republican Leader Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton, announced Wednesday the selection of key staff for his office and the Senate Republican caucus for the upcoming legislative term. The hires include:
- Joe Wicks, chief of staff
- Madelyn Omietanski, Republican general counsel and senior policy advisor
- Jeff Wiggins, press secretary and senior advisor
- Ryan Studley, legislative director
- Matt Sweeney, central staff director
- Casey VanderWeide, communications director
- Darin Ackerman, policy director
“We are truly blessed to have this fine collection of talented staff working with our members and working for the people of Michigan,” Nesbitt said. “Their past commitment and continued service to our state stands as a great testament to what we hope to achieve in the next term.”
Wicks currently serves as chief of staff to Nesbitt and will maintain that role as the senator becomes the new Republican leader in the 2023-2024 legislative term. Wicks previously served as chief of staff to Congressman Tim Walberg and is a graduate of Hillsdale College and Holland Christian High School.
Omietanski serves as the deputy director of the Senate Majority Policy Office and deputy budget director. A graduate of Western Michigan University Cooley Law School and Michigan State University, Omietanski has previously served as legislative director for state Sen. Kimberly LaSata and administrative assistant to former Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof.
Wiggins currently serves as the oversight coordinator for the Senate Majority Policy Office. Before coming to the Senate, Wiggins spent four years as state director for the Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan, and previously served in then-House Majority Floor Leader Nesbitt’s office as chief of staff and senior advisor. He is a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and Michigan State University.
Studley currently serves as legislative director to Nesbitt. He previously worked as legislative director to state Rep. Beth Griffin, and spent two years in the Executive Office of Gov. Rick Snyder, handling constituent relations. Studley is a graduate of Western Michigan University.
Sweeney currently serves as the director of communications and spokesman for the Senate Republican Caucus. Sweeney has held various positions in state government, including legislative liaison for the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget and as a legislative staffer in both the House and Senate from 1999 to 2010. Following his time on staff in the Legislature, Sweeney joined Beaumont Health as director of government relations from 2012 to 2015. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.
VanderWeide has served in various roles during the past five years in the Senate Majority Communications Office, most recently in the role as deputy director of communications. VanderWeide is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
Ackerman has over two decades of state legislative experience in state government, most recently serving as senior advisor and legislative director to Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey. Prior to his current role, Ackerman served as director of legislative affairs for Gov. Rick Snyder. He also previously served as chief of staff to state Sen. Wayne Kuipers. Ackerman is a graduate of Calvin College.