Tom Chapman has been selected as the next CEO and executive director of the Organic Trade Association, effective April 18. Chapman will replace outgoing OTA leader Laura Batcha. Chapman most recently has been senior director, supply chain, at Kinder's Premium Quality Seasonings & Sauces in Walnut Creek, Calif. He spent 10 years at Clif Bar in various capacities and was a quality assurance manager at Numi Organic Tea in San Francisco for five years. Chapman served on the National Organic Standards Board from 2015-2020, serving as chair for two years, and was a member of the California Organic Products Advisory Committee at the California Department of Agriculture from 2007-2016.

Tom Chapman .jpegTom ChapmanDairy MAX has promotedMarty McKinzieto chief growth officer and has brought onKay Johnson Smithas chief operating officer. McKinzie joined Dairy MAX in 2008 as director of industry image and relations and most recently served as the vice president of industry image and relations. Johnson Smith joins Dairy MAX from the Animal Agriculture Alliance, where she served originally as executive director, then president and chief executive officer for nearly 28 years.

The Animal Agriculture Alliance board of directors has tapped Hannah Thompson-Weeman to serve as the new president and CEO, effective May 1. Thompson-Weeman currently serves as the alliance’s vice president of strategic engagement.

The Senate confirmed four new commissioners to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The all-female group of two Democrats and two Republicans includes Christy Goldsmith Romero, Kristin Johnson, Summer Mersinger and Caroline Pham. Romero, a Democrat, currently serves as a special inspector general for the Office of the Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP). She was appointed to that role by former President Barack Obama in 2012. Johnson, a Democrat and law professor at Emory University, was previously the assistant general counsel and vice president at JP Morgan. Mersinger, a Republican who was once chief of staff to Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., most recently served as chief of staff to current CFTC Commissioner Dawn Stump before her nomination. Stump will be stepping down from the commission in April. Pham, a Republican, is the deputy head of global regulatory affairs at Citi Group, where she advises the company on emerging issues such as FinTech, blockchain and digital assets. She was once a special counsel and policy adviser to former CFTC Commissioner Scott O’Malia.

Bill Northey has been picked as the new CEO of the Agribusiness Association of Iowa. Northey succeeds Joel Brinkmeyer, who has served the last nine years as CEO and will retire on May 1. Northey previously served in the Trump administration as Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation. Before that, he was elected three times as Iowa's Secretary of Agriculture.

Indigo Agriculture has selected John Frederick as its new chief financial officer and appointed Deborah Winshel to serve on its board of directors. Frederick most recently served as Indigo’s head of Carbon Commercial Operations. Before joining Indigo, Frederick was the chief administrative officer and chief executive officer for Skillsoft. Frederick will succeed Jim Young, who is stepping down after serving as CFO since September 2020. Winshel is the former global head of social impact at BlackRock, where she was responsible for launching the firm's sustainable investing and ESG platform.

Hannah Thompson-Weeman .jpgHannah Thompson-Weeman

Heidi Bringenberg was named the new director of the U.S. Grains Council’s Mexico office. Bringenberg has been with USGC for 10 years, the last six as the assistant director for Mexico. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and a minor in Spanish from George Washington University.

Jessica Hernandez now serves as the new energy policy director for the Environmental Working Group. Hernandez previously worked on the Hill in Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s, D-N.Y., office as a legislative assistant handling the energy, environment, transportation, infrastructure, and telecommunications portfolio.

Rachel Stephens is the new director of media relations for the Consumer Brands Association. Stephens most recently served as the press secretary for Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Matt O’Mara has been hired by ADM to serve as the new senior director of international government relations. O’Mara previously worked for the Biotechnology Industry Organization, most recently as the vice president of international affairs. Before BIO, he was an agriculture and trade policy consultant.

Elisabeth Fox is the new director of federal government relations for the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. Fox previously served as a legislative assistant to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

Matt O’Mara.jpegMatt O’Mara

Brian Oakes has joined Rep. Lisa McClain’s, R-Mich., staff as the new legislative assistant covering the agriculture, food and animal welfare portfolio. Oakes previously worked for the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research as a communications and legislative affairs associate and before that was a government affairs assistant for Monsanto.

Carolyn Payne joined Sompo International as senior vice president and general counsel of AgriSompo North America, based in Lenexa, KS. She previously served as chief risk officer for FCS Financial and also held roles with Compeer Financial and Farm Credit Mid-America.

Michelle Howard is joining Barchart as the new director of business development and strategy for the company’s agribusiness solutions. Howard most recently served as an international business growth adviser of agriculture at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and before that was the director of marketing for Cultura Technologies.

CattleFax elected a new slate of officers at the organization’s annual business meeting. The new president is Pono Von Holt of Kamuela, Hawaii. Von Holt is a cow-calf producer on the Big Island of Hawaii who also has stocker and feedlot interests in the northwestern United States and the Southern Plains. President-elect is Nick Hunt of Atlantic, Iowa, who was also elected to serve a second term as Midwest director, while Ted Parker of Seminary, Miss., was elected to serve a four-year term as the Southeast director.

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association has selected five new members to serve on its board of directors. The members include: Colt Hoffman, Blake Birdwell, Hunter Crow, Carlos Detering III, C.A. “Chili” Cole IV, and Robert Hodgen. The association also tapped three members of the board to serve on the executive committee: Alan Curry, Seth Denbow, and Shelby Horn.

After 21 years at the helm, Dave Carter announced he will step down as executive director of the National Bison Association. Carter came on board with the group in 2001, when the market hit a bottom. He worked with producers and consumers to help turn the market around and promote the benefits of bison meat.

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