House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson has hired Chu-Yuan Hwang as a senior counsel to the Committee. Hwang previously worked as an attorney for the Office of the General Counsel at USDA, touching on issues related to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other domestic nutrition assistance programs. Before joining USDA, Hwang worked as an associate for a law firm in Washington, D.C., practicing labor and employment law.
Ben Famous has joined the Glover Park Group as the new vice president of strategic communications. Famous most recently worked as the head of strategic communications for food and restaurant group CAVA and previously worked as the communications director for the Senate Ag Committee.
Petya Sechanova has been tapped to lead Covantis as the company’s new CEO. Sechanova most recently served as the trade operations leader for Cargill, a company she has been with for the past 11 years.
Greg Adams will cover the foreign affairs portfolio for Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., as her new legislative director. Adams previously worked for integrated development group Locus as managing director.
Mitchel Hochberg now works for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., as a legislative assistant covering the small business and international affairs portfolio. Hochberg previously worked for Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif.
Heidi Todacheene now works as a legislative counsel to Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M. She covers agriculture and food, animal welfare, and small business issues.
Annie Orloff has been elevated to deputy communications director for Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M. She previously was working in the role of press secretary.
Past president and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council, Darwin Stolte, passed away at the age of 86. Stolte served as USGC president and CEO from 1970 to 1989. Stolte was a graduate of the University of South Dakota and after graduation served in the United States Army. He started with the Grains Council in 1966 as the livestock development specialist for Europe, based in Rome. During his career, Stolte participated in discussions on agricultural trade with the Soviet Union, and was a key figure in the opening of agricultural relations with China in 1979.
The Water Education Foundation’s second president and influential leader of California water projects, William Gianelli, passed away on March 30. He was 101. Gianelli was president of the Foundation from 1985-1989. Gianelli graduated with a civil engineering degree from the University of California, Berkeley and shortly after served in WWII. After the war, he worked in California’s State Engineer’s office and later in California’s Department of Water Resources. He left state service for the private sector in 1960, launching what is today’s MBK Engineers. He returned to the Department of Water Resources in 1967 when Gov. Ronald Reagan tapped him to become director. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan tapped him to become assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works, a post he held until 1984.
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