[Congressional Record Volume 166, Number 214 (Thursday, December 17, 2020)]
[Page H7238]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Woodall) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to thank the men and women 
that I have had the pleasure of working with over these 10 years in 
  When you announce that you are retiring, folks need to start looking 
for that next opportunity. So the people who stick it out with you are 
a special breed. So, too, are those men and women who come and join 
you, knowing that their service will be short.
  Mr. Speaker, there are three such people: Sean Lerner, Emily 
Macdonald, and Tomas Rodriguez. Knowing I was going to retire, they 
came and joined the fight to serve the men and women of the Seventh 
District of Georgia and have done an amazing job for me over the past 
  Catherine Morvis, a name long known in Georgia circles, having served 
with Congressman Phil Gingrey, came back to the Hill to help keep 
things together for me and move us across the finish line. She is still 
serving even today.
  Mr. Speaker, I have longtime staffers--Lauren Williams, Nicholas 
Scoufaras, Vesna Kurspahic, Naomi Pillsbury--men and women who have 
been doing extraordinary work, always under difficult circumstances, 
recently under incredibly difficult circumstances.
  Mr. Speaker, I have got staffers who have been with me a decade or 
more, who have recently departed: Alex Poirot, Kelley Kurtz, Janet 
Rossi, and Elena Gabrysh.
  Elena and I started working together in 1999, serving the people of 
Georgia. Now, more than 20 years later, she has gone into retirement, 
having served literally thousands of constituents.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to call particular attention to two public 
servants that I have been incredibly honored to be able to know in my 
life: My State director, Debra Poirot; and my chief of staff, Derick 
  Mr. Speaker, if you have not had an opportunity to meet Debra Poirot, 
she brightens up every room that she walks into with a genuine love for 
this country and a love for her community. She lives in Forsyth County, 
though she grew up as an Air Force child, calls Texas home from that 
time, but has claimed Georgia.

                              {time}  1300

  So committed is she, Mr. Speaker, I remember a World War II veteran, 
a widow, and she was losing her housing. Debra woke up on a Saturday 
morning and read about it in the newspaper. She spent the next week 
finding this family and spent the week after that solving that problem.
  She made a difference in that life that can never be measured and did 
it not because a constituent called, not because someone knocked on the 
door, but simply because she lives a life of looking for opportunities 
to make other people's lives better.
  She finds herself out in the community each and every day, not just 
serving us but fulfilling a true heartfelt mission to see what she can 
do that others could not. An amazing woman, an amazing mother, and 
certainly an amazing public servant, and I thank her for that.
  Derick Corbett, Mr. Speaker, I had the pleasure of hiring him back in 
the year 2000. I didn't think he was going to amount to much at that 
time, but we needed somebody on the bottom rung of the ladder and he 
agreed to raise his hand and do it.
  He could not be more of a rock, a rock for our office, a rock for our 
community. The common refrain I find when I go out into the district 
is: ``Hi, Rob, good to see you. Where is Derick?'' because he has such 
an impact on folks.
  He won't take ``no'' for an answer when a Federal agency won't serve 
a constituent. He demands the service that each and every citizen knows 
that they deserve.
  He is an even better husband and an even better father than he is a 
public servant.
  But, Mr. Speaker, there would be no Congressman   Rob Woodall if 
there were not a Chief of Staff Derick Corbett, if there were not a 
District Director Debra Poirot. These two have changed countless lives, 
and among them has been mine.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank all of my staff for the amazing work 
they have done over the years. They are great Americans. They love this 
country, and I love them.