But his love of politics ultimately won out and led him to jobs first as a legislative aide to George Moraitis and then as his campaign manager for his re-election efforts. He now works as a government affairs manager for Floridian Partners.
Here’s Staniscia in his own words.
I am (age) … 28
I live in … Fort Lauderdale.
I got into politics because … I want to give back in my own way. My mother was always involved at Winston Park Elementary School in Coconut Creek, where my brother and I attended. While serving as PTA President, she became active at the city commission aiding in the fight for a new local middle school and high school that was becoming politically charged. Both schools did open and are what we now know to be Lyons Creek Middle and Monarch High in Coconut Creek. My mother would always be sure to take me as a child to watch the commission meetings in person. I had the fortunate opportunity to see politics in action at a young age, and I was hooked.
One principle I always put above politics is … teamwork is something that I take very seriously. One of my favorite quotes is from Wayne Gretzky — “Hockey is a unique sport in the sense that you need each and every guy helping each other and pulling in the same direction to be successful.” I believe this holds true in the political arena.
Person or people who gave me my first shot … House Speaker Will Weatherford and Ralph Lair gave me my first shot through the University of South Florida Tallahassee Internship Program in 2011, which at the time was led by Kathy Betancourt and professor Robin Jones. The USF program allowed me to intern for Speaker Weatherford in the Capitol while he was Speaker Designate. Although, it was Rep. George Moraitis and Blake MacDiarmid who gave me my first true shot, and the confidence, to put my own stamp on a legislative office and a campaign.
I’ve already worked for/on (campaign, issues, etc.) … USF Athletics, Speaker Weatherford, City of Miami Comm. Marc Sarnoff re-election campaign, EMI/Capitol Records, Representative Moraitis as his Legislative Aide and 2014 Campaign Manager, and I am currently with the statewide and national firm of Floridian Partners & Prime Strategies.
When I begin a project or first work on a campaign, I look for … teammates. I have learned that the greatest asset one can have is a great team around them. Whether it be in a legislative office, a campaign, a sports team or even a band. If you do not have a quality team working toward the same goals, there will be many challenges along the way.
I’ve been blessed to have these people as my mentors … coming from an Italian and Jewish household, family could not be more important. My mentors throughout my life have always been my parents and my grandfather. My parents are the hardest working people I know, always put family first, and have gone above and beyond for the happiness of my brother and I since Day One. Whether it was 5 a.m. ice hockey practice as an adolescent, or teaching my brother and I how to find happiness in everything we do — they are my rock. Growing up, I always emulated my grandfather and still do to this day. He showed me who I wanted to be when I grew up. Speaker Weatherford and Rep. Moraitis have served as my political mentors. These two men showed me how to carry myself with integrity and stay true to my beliefs, even when the decisions get tough. I could not have asked for two better people to learn from in the political process.
The people I most admire in politics are … the true leaders, not someone who blows with the political winds. Leaders stay true in good times and bad, stay humble when things are going in their favor, but know how to correct the ship and make adjustments when necessary.
One lesson I’ve already learned is … be nice — Treat everyone with respect no matter who it is. Whether someone is an intern, an aide, or even someone who fundamentally disagrees with you — just be nice. We are in the business of relationships, and people do not have short memories when it comes to the way they have been treated by others. You never know who is sitting on the other side of the desk and what they are destined for. So be nice, it will pay its dividends.
If I wasn’t working in politics, I’d be … working in the sports or music industries. While in college at USF, I loved my work with USF Athletics and the football team. As a Capitol Records tour manager in my two-year hiatus from the political process, I absolutely fell in love with the music industry. But like most, I was unable to shake the political bug and jumped back in at the first opportunity.
In 10 years, you’ll read about me … representing leaders in the sports and entertainment industries with their government and public affairs needs, as well as being an NFLPA and NHLPA player’s agent. You may even hear about me coaching hockey, as next season will be my first behind the bench for my high school alma mater as a head coach.