Joel Newman is AFIA's president, CEO and corporate treasurer. Joel has more than three decades of diverse executive experience in agribusiness, with United Cooperative Farmers, Maple Leaf Foods and Agway. Joel brought an exciting new vision to the association and has effectively led the membership and staff through a landmark era of change. In 2005, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns appointed Joel to the Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee for Grains, Feed and Oilseeds. Joel represents AFIA on all international issues and is a director of the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF), headquartered in the United Kingdom. He holds a bachelor's degree in animal science from West Virginia University and an MBA in finance and marketing from Syracuse University.
Richard Sellers is senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs. Sellers heads the Association's feed legislative and regulatory activities with Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and the state feed control agencies. He serves as staff coordinator for the Feed Regulatory Committee, Aquaculture Committee and as technical advisor to the Nutrition Committee. Sellers earned a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Memphis and a master's degree in animal science from the University of Arkansas. He is a registered as professional animal scientist with the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS). He can be reached at (703) 558-3569.
Keith Epperson is vice president of manufacturing and training. Keith joined the AFIA in November 2005 and is the staff contact for the Equipment Manufacturing Committee, Integrator Committee, Production Compliance Committee and Quality Committee. He is a HACCP-certified auditor and also works closely with AFIA's certification programs. Prior to joining AFIA, Keith worked with Kent Feeds Inc. for 29 years, most recently as vice president of Eastern plant operations, quality assurance and safety and training. Keith will be splitting his time between his home office in Osage Beach, Mo. and AFIA's offices in Arlington, Va.
Sarah Novak is vice president of membership and public relations. Her responsibilities include membership development, promotion, retention and services. She also heads the co-located International Feed Expo planning and organization as well as sponsorship and advertising efforts for publications and major events and generating non-dues revenue. She is the staff contact for the IT Committee, Marketing Committe, PISC Committee and NEMA Committee. Prior to joining AFIA, Sarah was director of membership for the U.S. Grains Council and has industry experience from her employment with Vita Plus and Milk Specialties. Sarah holds a bachelor's degree in animal science and a master's degree in communications from the University of Wisconsin. She can be reached at (703) 558-3574.
Steve Kopperud served as senior vice president of AFIA for 18 years. Currently, Kopperud serves as a legislation consultant for AFIA while also serving as senior vice president of Policy Directions Inc., a Washington, D.C. government affairs company specializing in feed, animal production agriculture, agribusiness, animal health, food, farm policy, trade and ag research/health-related issues.
Leanna Nail serves as AFIA's director of administration. Nail supervises the AFIA support staff, administers human resources, various other office responsibilities and coordinates printing and mailroom needs. She also serves as staff contact for the Liquid Feed Committee and oversees the annual Liquid Feed Symposium, tonnage survey, Research & Education fund and Liquid Feed Hall of Fame. She attended Drury College in Springfield, Mo. She can be reached at (703) 558-3567.
Veronica Rovelli is the director of meetings and events for the association. She manages the planning and implementation of various AFIA meetings, webinars and the International Feed Expo. She earned a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Dickinson College. She can be reached at (703) 558-3563.
Andrew M. Timmins , CPA, is AFIA’s controller and operations manager. He oversees all of AFIA’s accounting, budgeting and financial reporting. He has 23 years of finance, accounting and treasury experience, having worked at several financial firms in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Andy also brings strong IT and process redesign leadership experience to AFIA. He received his economics and accounting degrees from the University of Maryland. He can be reached at (703) 558-3572.
Leah Wilkinson is AFIA's director of ingredients, petfood and state affairs. She interacts with state legislatures, feed regulatory agencies in the Western U.S., the Association of American Feed Control Officials and the Food and Drug Administration. Leah will also work with the Equine, Feed Regulatory, Ingredient Approval and Definitions and Pet Food committees. Before AFIA, Leah has also worked for the National Pork Producers Council and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, both in Washington, D.C. Before joining AFIA, Leah was the director of policy and industry relations for ViaGen, Inc. in Austin, Texas. She graduated in swine production from the University of Minnesota.
Gina Tumbarello is AFIA's manager of international trade. She represents the association’s international commerce activities, working with trade coalitions and government agencies, including the Office of the United States Trade Representative, FDA and the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Prior to AFIA, Gina was the manager of international operations for the U.S. Grains Council. She received her bachelor’s degree in Diplomacy & Foreign Affairs and German from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio and her master’s degree in International Policy Studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, Calif. She can be reached at (703) 558-3561.
Lori Kaye is the marketing and websites manager for the association. She manages the career center, AFIA's websites, designs marketing materials and the Journal and supports various membership efforts. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications with a concentration in public relations from George Mason University. She can be reached at (703) 558-3570.
Miranda McDaniel is the manager of communications for the association. She serves as the editor of the organization’s Journal and FeedGram publications, in addition to writing and editing news releases, working as a liaison to the media and leading AFIA’s social media efforts. She also serves on the organization’s Marketing Committee. She has an extensive background in communications, joining AFIA from the American Farm Bureau Federation, where she worked in public relations for three years. Prior to working in the agriculture industry, she was a communications manager in the healthcare industry. She is a graduate of the University of Florida, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. She is currently working toward achieving a certificate in social media. She can be reached at (703) 558-3579.
Tracy Manriquez is AFIA’s membership and communication assistant and also serves as the assistant to the president and CEO, Joel G. Newman. Tracy’s duties include supporting the membership and communication departments. In addition, she will assist with the AFIA annual Membership Directory. She also supports President Newman directly in several areas regarding Board of Directors’ meeting preparation and presentations. Tracy graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.A. degree and is semi-fluent in Spanish. She can be reached at (703) 558-3577.
Katharine Gaussman is the membership and meetings coordinator. She has a bachelors of science degree in hospitality management with concentrations in meetings and event management in addition to club management from the University of South Carolina, from where she recently graduated. She can be reached at (703) 558-3573.
Paul Keppy has joined AFIA as the legislative and regulatory specialist, where he will be helping AFIA members meet the compliance mandates of the current and new regulations on the horizon. Paul is a native of Iowa where his family is involved in pork production. He holds bachelor degrees in economics and political science from Iowa State University, and a master’s in public service and administration from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. He can be reached at (703) 650-0144.