wendy kapsak.jpgWendy Reinhardt Kapsak, IFIC

The International Food Information Council has appointed Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak as the new CEO, effective May 1. Reinhardt Kapsak previously served the past five years as president and CEO of Produce for Better Health Foundation.

Superfresh Growers has selected Conner O’Malley to succeed Tim Lane as president. Lane plans to retire this year after 25 years with the company. O’Malley previously was the sales manager. 

Alyssa Charney now serves as the director for lands and climate-smart agriculture in the climate policy office at the White House. She most recently worked at the Department of Agriculture, where she was the chief of staff at the Natural Resources Conservation Service. 

Manjit K. Misra has been selected to lead USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture as director. Misra is a professor at Iowa State University, where he has headed the university’s Seed Science Center for 30 years. He will start at NIFA on May 8.

Julie Chavez Rodriguez, the granddaughter of Latino labor activist Cesar Chavez, has been tapped to lead President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign. Rodriguez most recently served as a senior adviser to the president and was previously the director of intergovernmental affairs at the White House. 

Adam Hodge, currently the assistant U.S. trade representative for media and public affairs, will be moving to the National Security Council on a detailed assignment as the acting senior director for press and spokesperson. He will replace Adrienne Watson while she is on maternity leave. The change will take place on May 1. Sam Michel, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Public Affairs, will step in for Hodge while he's away.

Ted Melnik, president and CEO of Valent BioSciences, has announced he will step down in July. He will be succeeded in the position by Salman Mir. Melnik joined Valent BioSciences in 2013 as chief operating officer and was promoted to his current position in 2022. Mir joined Valent BioSciences in 2012, and most recently serves as the executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Conner O’Malley.jpegConner O'Malley, Superfresh Growers

Mishalin Modena has joined Church Brothers Farms as the new director of sustainability and corporate engagement. Modena most recently worked at Bunzl USA / Destiny Packaging where she was the senior business development manager. 

Ellen Hanak has announced she is stepping down as the lead of the Public Policy Institute of California. She has worked at the center for over 20 years and served as center director the last eight. She will remain on as a senior fellow. PPIC is currently looking for Hanak’s replacement. 

The Farm Credit Administration has made three staff additions. 

Zachary Lund is the new executive assistant to FCA board chairman and CEO Vincent Logan and Mike Stokke will be the new executive assistant to FCA Board Member Glen Smith. Lund joined FCA in 2013 and most recently served as a supervisory senior examiner in the Office of Examination’s Staff Development Division. Stokke joined FCA in 2008 as director of the Office of Congressional and Public Affairs. He succeeds Jim Morris, who retired last month. 

Trevor Reuschel is the new director of FCA's Office of Congressional and Public Affairs. Reuschel joined FCA in January of this year as a senior adviser in the same office and succeeded Stokke in March. 

Justin Benavidez is the new chief economist for the majority staff on the House Ag Committee. He previously worked at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension as an assistant professor and district economist. He was with the extension office for almost 8 years. 

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DNO Produce has elevated three associates to leadership roles with the organization. Deadra Barnett has been promoted to director of food safety. She joined the DNO team in 2017 and previously was the food safety manager. Nick Middleton has been appointed as the new director of procurement. He previously was the director of wholesale sales. Doug Snyder will assume the role of director of warehousing and logistics. He joined DNO in 2021.

Chris Corry has been named the new director of the Center for Government Reform at the Washington Policy Center. Corry currently serves as a Washington state representative and has more than 18 years of experience in the insurance industry and risk management. Corry will continue to serve as a state representative in his community and will divide hisMishalin Modena.jpgMishalin Modena, Church Brothers Farms time with Washington Policy Center. His first day at WPC is May 1.

Jay Vroom has been added to the board of advisers for Stratovation Group. Vroom currently serves as a consultant and previously was the president and CEO of CropLife America.

Cole Staudt has left the American Farm Bureau Federation, where he was the executive communications manager for the last two years. He has taken on a new role outside of the agriculture industry as the external affairs manager for T-Mobile. 

USDA has selected new American Egg Board members and alternates along with a new executive committee. Selected as chair of the board is Alex Simpson. He replaces Mindy Truex, who is now the immediate past chair. Andy Seger was tapped as the new vice chair, Clint Hickman as secretary, and Sandra Lausecker as treasurer. Sam Krouse and Ross Dean are the new members-at-large. The newly elected members include Jessica Hanslik, Mississippi; Clint Hickman, Arizona; Mitch Knapke, Ohio; Pat Melena, Nebraska; John Puglisi, New Jersey; Mark Sauder, Pennsylvania; John Watson III, North Carolina; Alex Weaver, Ohio; and Tim Zweering, Michigan.

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