The Executive Office oversees the activities of the various NAMI departments and the NAMI Foundation. The Office of the President also coordinates the Institute's Executive Committee and Board of Directors.
Julie Anna Potts
President and CEO
Julie Anna Potts is the President and CEO of the North American Meat Institute, where she leads the Institute in the implementation of all programs and activities for the association. An agriculture veteran, Potts previously served the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) as its executive vice president and treasurer. Potts first joined AFBF in 2004, serving as general counsel until 2009. In 2009, she was named chief counsel of the Senate Agriculture Committee, serving under then-Chairman Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. Earlier in her career, Potts was an associate in the environmental law groups of the Washington, DC, law firms Mayer Brown, LLP, and Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal. She also clerked for U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia from 1997-1998.
Potts earned her law degree at The George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC, and her bachelor of arts in English at Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. She is a trustee of The Pennsylvania State University and serves on the boards of Agriculture Future of America, the International Stockmen’s Educational Foundation, the International Meat Secretariat and the Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. In January 2021, Potts was appointed to USDA’s Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee.
Manager, Executive Office
and Board Adminstration
Christl McCarthy serves as
NAMI's manager of the executive office and
board administration, responsible for assisting
the president in coordinating and implementing
the Institute's goals and objectives. She
also works closely with the NAMI Board of
Directors. McCarthy most recently served
as the director of exposition services for the
American Meat Institute, one of NAMI's
predecessor organizations, which she joined in
December 1996. In that role, McCarthy
coordinated and executed logistical details for
all AMI and AMI Foundation meetings.
Prior to joining AMI, McCarthy held several positions in retail management including her role as a merchandise manager for a golf professional shop, and assistant store manager positions at Pea in the Pod and The Limited. McCarthy received her undergraduate degree in marketing management in 1991 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Director Emeritus Consultant
Rosemary Mucklow serves as a consultant, and is NAMI's Director Emeritus, having been associated with the meat industry for over 50 years. Until 2007, she was the Executive Director of National Meat Association and held this position since 1982, when the Western States Meat Packers Association and the Pacific Coast Meat Association merged to form a stronger, broad-based organization. Previously, Mucklow provided guidance to members on regulatory and business issues as part of the North American Meat Association. At NAMI, she works with all staff members to support the total mission of the organization and to introduce firms to the benefits of membership.
The Department of Operations consists of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs and Services, Administration and Finance, Communications, and Legislative.
Mark Dopp is the chief operating officer and general counsel for the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), previously serving as its senior vice president of regulatory affairs and general counsel. In his role, Dopp oversees policy development and represents industry views on significant regulatory, scientific, legislative, and communications matters. He also provides legal counsel to NAMI and oversees its administration and financial matters.
Dopp became the Meat Institute’s outside general counsel in May 1995 and in 1999 he formally joined the Institute and assumed responsibility for its legal and regulatory affairs. Before joining NAMI, Dopp worked at Hogan and Hartson (now Hogan Lovells), where he was active in areas of food and agricultural law on behalf of many clients, including domestic and foreign corporations. He joined Hogan and Hartson in 1989 as an associate and in January 1993 became a partner. Dopp began his career in USDA's Office of the General Counsel in 1984 and entered private practice in 1985.
Dopp received his Bachelor of Science-Agriculture degree in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin and his Master of Science from Michigan State University in 1981, also in agricultural economics. He received his law degree in 1984 from the University of Missouri.
Regulatory and Scientific
Foundation for Meat & Poultry Research
Susan Backus is the vice
president for regulatory and scientific affairs
at the North American Meat Institute. In this
capacity, she is responsible for nutrition and
health activities, which include staffing the
Health and Wellness Advisory Committee. Backus
also manages staff responsible for
environmental issues; international affairs;
workforce; and product market and promotion on
behalf of the Beef Checkoff.
Backus serves as President of the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education providing strategic planning and implementing research program efforts. The Foundation administers safety research funding on behalf of the Beef Checkoff and National Pork Checkoff. She joined the American Meat Institute in June 1997 and began working in the Foundation in 1999.
She also serves as the executive secretary of the Shelf-Stable Food Processors Association, which is managed by the Meat Institute
Backus received a Bachelor of Arts in history from West Virginia University.
Norm Robertson serves as NAMI's Vice President of Regulatory. Prior to joining NAMI, Robertson served as the Executive Associate Director of Regulatory Issues at the North American Meat Association (NAMA) and at the National Meat Association (NMA), where he managed a highly skilled Regulatory Services staff.
Robertson began his career as a Slaughter Food Inspector for USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) in Vernon, California, in 1990. Robertson was promoted to an off line processing position in 1993 and then to a Consumer Safety Inspector position in the Long Beach Circuit in 1994. In 2001, Robertson was selected as one of two individuals to be promoted to the position of Consumer Safety Officer (CSO), now referred to as an Enforcement Investigation and Analysis Officer (EIAO), in the Alameda District. After working for almost two years as a CSO, he was selected to be a Frontline Supervisor (FLS) in Vernon and then Petaluma, California, and finally as the District Case Specialist at FSIS’ Alameda District Office. Robertson participated in national level workgroups and assisted in the official classroom training of subsequent EIAO classes during his time at USDA. Robertson’s experience working at various levels of USDA has provided him with a detailed and thorough understanding of how the regulatory Agency operates, which adds a strong regulatory skill-set to help our general members navigate the regulatory environment.
Robertson joined the National Meat Association (NMA) regulatory team in 2008 to begin his second career, serving the needs of NMA, NAMA, and now NAMI members in the meat industry.
Nathan Fretz is the vice president of legislative affairs at NAMI, previously serving as the organization’s senior director of legislative affairs since 2015. Nathan brings a wide range of experience from his time as an associate attorney at OFW Law, counselling clients on food and agriculture, legislative, regulatory, and policy issues.
Previously he spent six years as counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, first as majority counsel and later as minority counsel. In that capacity, he helped to negotiate and draft the 2008 and 2014 Farm Bills, primarily focusing on meat and poultry, dairy, conservation, and food safety issues. Before working at the Agriculture Committee, Nathan served in the Congressional and Public Affairs Office at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Nathan was born in Santa Maria, California, and grew up in Bethesda, Maryland. He received his B.A. from the College of Wooster, and his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law. He is admitted to the Maryland Bar.
Sarah Little is vice president of communications for the North American Meat Institute following 20 years of traditional and social media relations experience on Capitol Hill. Little served as Communications Director for U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.
Most recently, Little determined media strategy for debate, negotiation and passage of the bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill, the defeat of mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) and the Bioengineered Food Disclosure Act. She has a bachelor’s degree in Public Communication from The American University in Washington, D.C.
Vice President and Associate General Counsel
Bryan Burns is Vice President and Associate General Counsel of the North American Meat Institute. Among other duties, Burns will serve as the primary staff liaison to the Worker Safety Committee, Environmental Committee, and Labor & Employment Committee. Burns is an accomplished attorney and a veteran of the protein industry, with more than 20 years’ experience working for two different meat and poultry companies. During that time, he served both as in-house counsel and as an executive in the areas of environmental, health, safety, and risk management. He has handled matters involving, among other topics, antitrust and environmental litigation, commercial litigation, transactions and corporate governance, government investigations, health and safety, environmental, sustainability, and labor and employment.
Earlier in his career, Burns was an attorney in private practice specializing in business litigation. He also clerked for the Honorable Judge Robert Fussell in United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Arkansas. He earned his Juris Doctorate, magna cum laude, from the University of Arkansas in 2000, where he served as an editor of the Arkansas Law Review. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Arkansas in 1997.
Vice President, Finance
As Vice President of Finance, Thao Grimes manages NAMI’s financial operations, supervising financial planning and forecasting, reporting, grants and contracts, audit and compliance and knowledge management. Thao has over 15 years’ experience working with non-profit organizations.
Prior to joining NAMI, Thao worked in public accounting with a local CPA firm specializing in international non-profit organizations. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Maryland University College and has further expanded her knowledge in auditing and accounting through continuing professional education programs.
Bill Sessions serves as NAMI’s Director of Product Marketing and Promotion. In this capacity, he is responsible for the activities conducted under NAMI’s contract with the Beef Checkoff Program for veal promotion, industry information, quality assurance and post-harvest beef safety research. Sessions completed his 37 year career with USDA as the Associate Deputy Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service’s Livestock and Seed Program. Over his career with USDA, Sessions was responsible for managing programs that included Meat Grading and Certification, Auditing, Federal meat and fish purchases, Country of Origin Labeling, Market News, Standardization and many Department level issues related to marketing, research, promotion and food safety. He brings a wealth of regulatory and marketing experience to his position with NAMI. In 2012, the North American Meat Association recognized Sessions with its Presidents Award for his many years of dedicated service to USDA and the industry.
Sessions earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Clemson University in Animal Science.
Roya Galindo serves as NAMI’s director of regulatory services where she provides members with assistance on a variety of regulatory topics including but not limited to: HACCP, Labeling, enforcement actions, recalls, inspection issues and guidance on Listeria monocytogenes control programs.
She first began her career in 2005 when she was one of the first successful consumer safety inspector interns (CSI) to complete the internship program with the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). She worked as a CSI in the Southern California area and was quickly promoted to an Enforcement Investigation and Analysis Officer (EIAO). She served as a mentor for many of the new EIAO recruits and later switched gears to work for the industry in meat and poultry manufacturing and corporate quality assurance covering fully cooked, raw, and FDA regulated products such as spices and seasonings. While serving in industry she managed the food safety and quality departments, food safety programs, refined food safety procedures as well as serving as the team leader for third party audits. Galindo’s extensive background in industry and regulatory compliance allows her to provide expertise on a wide array of subjects to members.
Roya has a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science- Pre-veterinary emphasis from California Polytechnic State University, Pomona and is HACCP certified and maintains certification with BRC third party auditing scheme.
Clarissa Moreaux serves as NAMI’s director of regulatory services where she provides expertise on a variety of topics including HACCP, labeling, enforcement actions, noncompliance appeals, inspection issues, import/export issues among other regulatory topics.
Prior to joining NAMI, Clarissa began her regulatory career in 2010 as an Enforcement Investigation Analysis Officer (EIAO) for the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) where she enforced FSIS regulatory requirements and gained valuable knowledge and experience that is currently used to help members. She later moved on to work for the industry in regulatory affairs and corporate quality assurance roles covering FDA and FSIS regulated products. She has experience with both USDA-FSIS and FDA food safety systems, 3rd party audit standards, supply chain, labeling, and regulatory compliance.
Clarissa has a Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutritional Sciences from Fresno State University of California and a Master’s of Science in Global Supply Chain Management from University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business. She is HACCP certified, Preventative Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.
KatieRose McCullough, PhD, MPH
Dr. KatieRose McCullough serves as the director of science and public health at the North American Meat Institute where she provides expertise on a variety of topics including: meat science, food safety, meat consumption, public health, and more. As the scientist for NAMI, McCullough works to ensure policies are created on a sound science-based foundation.
McCullough also serves as the Senior Science Advisor to the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education and acts as the staff liaison for the Scientific Affairs Committee. She also manages the NAMI Scholarship Foundation which funds multiple scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students each year.
McCullough received her Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Texas Tech University, her Master of Science in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University with research focusing on meat quality and her Doctorate of Philosophy in Animal Science from Colorado State University with her research focusing on food safety. McCullough also holds a Master’s in Public Health from the Colorado School of Public Health focusing on Animals, People and the Environment.
Casey Lynn Gallimore
Casey Lynn Gallimore serves as the director of regulatory policy at the North American Meat Institute where she provides analysis and expertise on a variety of topics including: food safety, processing, animal welfare, and cybersecurity.
Prior to joining the Meat Institute, Gallimore spent seven years in the food industry in food safety, quality assurance, and regulatory compliance roles. She has worked in FDA and USDA regulated facilities ranging from chocolate and ingredient manufacturing to portion cut steaks and market hog slaughter.
Gallimore earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Truman State University, with minors in Chemistry and Justice Systems.
Dr. Miriam Martin
Dr. Miriam Martin serves as the director of animal health and welfare at the North American Meat Institute where she provides expertise on a variety of topics including emerging issues in animal health, animal welfare and handling, and more.
Martin serves as the staff liaison to the Animal Welfare Committee, provides technical support to the Food Safety and Inspection Affairs and Animal Welfare Committees, and represents NAMI in meetings with government agencies including FSIS, APHIS, and FDA. She ensures that members are provided a forum for discussing issues and proactively manages regulatory actions, animal welfare and biosecurity issues. Previously, Martin worked in the cattle feeding segment of the supply chain.
Martin received her Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from the University of Missouri, her Master of Science in Animal Science from Colorado State University with a research focus on livestock behavior and welfare, and her Doctorate of Philosophy from Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Physiology with a research focus on cattle pain management.
Seth Arp serves as the Director of Marketing for NAMI. He is responsible for managing all social media platforms, website content, as well as developing social media strategies and campaigns. His personal experience in the beef industry runs deep from growing up on a beef cattle research farm in Wisconsin and helping his family run their 4th generation cattle farm in Missouri.
Seth has worked in various marketing roles doing everything from branding, account management, market research, web design, copywriting, and social media. He has worked with clients ranging from local businesses to Fortune 100 companies in a variety of industries, including agriculture, food service, industrial manufacturing, construction, and private equity. Most recently he worked as the Digital and Social Media Specialist for Nextgen Beef, helping launch the brand Show Me Beef in the state of Missouri.
Seth graduated from University of Wisconsin - Whitewater with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a minor in Professional Business Marketing.
Casey Kammerle serves as the
Communications Director at the North American
Meat Institute, where he manages NAMI
communications to members, assists with media
relations, and promotes Protein PACT efforts.
Kammerle manages NAMI’s weekly member
newsletter, Lean Trimmings, and NAMI’s daily
news clippings e-blast. He also assists with
media inquiries and writing and promoting press
releases on current issues. Kammerle previously
managed NAMI’s social media
Prior to NAMI, Kammerle graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast journalism and a minor in general business. While at UMD, Kammerle was the managing editor and audience engagement editor at The Diamondback, the University of Maryland's independent newspaper. He also worked on the Philadelphia Inquirer’s audience engagement desk.
Anne Truong serves as senior accountant for NAMI.
She is responsible for the company’s bank reconciliations; monthly financial reports for several organizations with in the NAMI family; supervision of accounts receivable and accounts payable; maintenance of financial records and general ledger; assistance in monthly/yearly closing, budgeting, billings, payroll, audits, taxes; and performing other accounting duties as assigned.
Anne joined NAMI in June 2015. Previously, she worked as an accountant at Crossway Community, Inc. Anne graduated from the University of Maryland University College with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.
Hide Council of America
Stephen Sothmann is the President of the Leather and Hide Council of America (LHCA), an affiliate of NAMI. He has served in this role since 2014.
Prior to joining NAMI, Sothmann served as a member of the legislative staff of Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, covering a broad range of economic issues including international trade and agriculture. A native of Indiana, he received a B.A. from Purdue University, a J.D. from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and a M.B.A. from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.
Policy Specialist &
Michael Schumpp serves as
NAMI's international trade policy specialist
and associate director of international
programs for the Leather and Hide Council of
America. He most recently served as director of
public affairs and member communications for
NAMI. Schumpp is a member of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural
Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in
Animals and Animal Products, serves on the
Steering Committee for Farmers for Free Trade,
and is the Treasurer of the Board of Directors
for the Agriculture Trade Education
Schumpp joined the Institute in March 2014 as coordinator of legislative and public affairs. Previously, he worked in a public affairs firm in Washington, DC and at Winning Strategies Public Relations in Newark, N.J. Schumpp graduated Phi Beta Kappa from George Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and subsequently earned a master’s degree in Political Management, also at GW.
International Operations Program Manager
Matt Allan is the International Operations Program Manager of the Leather and Hide Council of America (LHCA) and the Meat Import Council of America (MICA), affiliate organizations of NAMI.
Before joining NAMI, Matt worked at the Consumer Brands Association and the National Association of County and City Health Officials. He received a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Vassar College and an M.S. in Agriculture, Food, and Environment from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.
Strategy and Content
Chief Strategy Officer
Eric Mittenthal is the Chief Strategy Officer at the North American Meat Institute, previously serving as the organization’s vice president of public affairs and vice president of sustainability. He leads the Meat Institute’s Protein PACT strategy focused on implementing a framework for continuous improvement throughout the industry and a commitment to greater transparency to meet consumer and customer expectations.
Mittenthal joined NAMI from the International Food Information Council (IFIC) where he worked closely with food industry communications leaders, led IFIC’s efforts in connecting with journalists and influencers and launched many of IFIC’s successful social media platforms. Mittenthal moved to Washington D.C. following a career as a television reporter and producer in several markets around the country including Atlanta, Jacksonville, NC and Idaho Falls, ID. He graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and also received a Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA.
Ann Wells is NAMI's director of content, having joined the Institute's predecessor organization in 2001. Ann is responsible for the development of educational programs for NAMI members and the industry, and directs the association’s awards programs. In addition, Ann’s duties include the management of the content and production of the Meat Buyer’s Guide, and other NAMI materials, that serve to educate the membership and industry at large. Prior to the formation of NAMI, Ann served as the director of scientific and regulatory affairs for the North American Meat Processors Association and the director for science, technical education and outreach for the North American Meat Association.
Ann received her B.S. in Animal Science from Texas A&M University, and M.S. in Animal Science from Kansas State University.
Kristi Block is the Strategy Director at the North American Meat Institute. In this capacity, she is responsible for assisting members in their sustainability journeys as evidenced by their participation in Protein PACT, which is the industry’s commitment to continuous improvement and transparency for healthy people, healthy communities, healthy animals and a healthy planet. She joined the NAMI in March 2022.
Block brings experience in the ag tech, grain elevator, ethanol, and animal feed manufacturing industry. She is part of a third-generation family farm in Nebraska that grows corn and soybeans and raises cattle. Block received a Masters of Business Administration from Midland University and a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Journalism from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Block is a Nebraska LEAD Alumni graduate.
Membership and Experience
Chief Experience Officer
Anne Halal is the chief experience officer and served previously as the senior vice president of exposition, education and member services for NAMI. Starting in 2001 with AMI, she previously served as the vice president of convention and exposition services. Halal oversees business development strategies for the organization including membership, sponsorship and educational content. Her responsibilities include marketing and execution of all live and virtual NAMI and NAMI Foundation events programming, including awards.
Halal has over 25 years of experience with various trade associations, having worked as an account executive for NaylorCMG, and at the International Inline Skating Association, Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. Halal received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
Eric Zito serves as the vice president of business development for NAMI. He previously served as vice president of membership and exposition services for the American Meat Institute, joining the organization in 2006.
In his role, Zito handles a variety of tasks in the department. He is responsible for managing the membership database and serves as a customer service representative to NAMI members and prospective members.
Zito earned a bachelor’s of science in economics from The Pennsylvania State University Smeal College of Business.
& Sponsor Experience
As the Director of Marketing and Sponsor Experience, Teena Vinh leads the marketing efforts for NAMI's virtual and in-person events, focused on implementing strategies to elevate NAMI's sponsorships and event experiences. Before joining NAMI in 2022, Vinh worked at the Plastics Industry Association and Food Industry Association. She earned a bachelor's of arts in communications from Marymount University in Arlington, VA, and received a Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification from the Project Management Institute.
Nicole Vetsch is NAMI's director of event experience. She previously served as manger of education and workforce development, a position which she has held since January 2013. Vetsch assists in meeting registration and customer inquiries, executes event logistics including housing and onsite needs and helps facilitate NAMI special event programs.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and minor in American Studies from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Megan McCullough serves as the Director of Member Engagement for the North American Meat Institute. She is responsible for improving member retention through customer engagement. In this role, Megan assesses member needs and works to implement them to increase member involvement. She coordinates the annual Emerging Leaders Program as well as executes the logistics for the NAMI awards programs.
Megan received her B.S. in Animal
Science and her Equine Certification from Texas