Office of the President
The Office of the President 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 late 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 chair of the American Enterprise Agriculture Sector Committee at the Smithsonian American History Museum.
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.
Shannon Green is the
administrative assistant for the North American
Meat Institute. In this role, Shannon assists
the Manager, Executive Office & Board
Administration in support for the
President/CEO. She also helps the Foundation
for Meat and Poultry Research and Education by
completing administrative projects/duties.
Prior to joining NAMI,
Shannon worked at the International Cemetery,
Cremation and Funeral Association where she
served as Education and Programs Coordinator.
She has also worked at a nonprofit called
Good360 as the Product Placement
Green graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies. .
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.
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 in the Oakland office to support the total mission of the organization and to introduce firms to the benefits of membership.
Regulatory and Scientific Affairs
The Department of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs coordinates NAMI's efforts with regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, Citizen and Immigration Services, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Food and Drug Administration. The department assists members in issues related to meat and poultry inspection and interfaces with USDA and FDA on regulatory initiatives related to inspection. The department also manages NAMI's research and education arm, the NAMI Foundation (NAMIF). NAMIF employs experts in science, education and communications to manage research projects and to translate research findings into useful educational opportunities and informational resources for the industry and the public.
Senior Vice President,
Regulatory Affairs and Scientific
Mark Dopp is the general counsel and senior vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs for the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), previously serving as the American Meat Institute's (AMI) senior vice president of regulatory affairs and general counsel. He became AMI's outside general counsel in May 1995 and in 1999 he formally joined the Institute and assumed responsibility for AMI's legal and regulatory affairs. In his current role, Dopp oversees policy development and research and represents industry views to government officials on all significant regulatory and scientific initiatives. He also provides legal counsel to NAMI.
Prior to joining AMI, 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 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.
for Meat & Poultry Research &
Susan Backus is the vice
president for regulatory and scientific
programs 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 serves as the president
of the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research
and Education, and manages the food safety
research projects initiated by the Foundation.
She also serves as the executive secretary of the Shelf-Stable Food Processors Association, which is managed by NAMI.
Backus received a Bachelor of Arts in history from West Virginia University.
Norm Robertson serves as NAMI's vice president of regulatory services. Prior to joining NAMI, Robertson served as the Executive Associate Director of Regulatory Issues at the North American Meat Association (NAMA), where he managed a highly skilled Regulatory Services staff. He began his career as a Slaughter Food Inspector 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 in the Alameda District. 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.
Previously, Norm served as the director of regulatory issues for NMA, and was the District Case Specialist for USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS) Alameda District Office.
and Human Resources
Hank Bongers is NAMI's director of worker safety and human resources.
Bongers joined the Institute in April 2017. Previously, he worked in the food industry for Frito-Lay, Kerry Americas and American Foods Group.
Bongers graduated from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a Bachelor of Science in Social Science and subsequently earned his M.S. degree in Safety Management from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
He is a Certified Safety Professional. Bongers also volunteers with the National Safety Council serving as past chairman of the Business and Industry Division and on the Board of Delegates.
Chris Dolan serves as NAMI's director of environmental and sustainability issues, having previously worked in this position for the American Meat Institute since 2014. He is a partner in the Minneapolis office of Faegre Baker Daniels, specializing in environmental and natural resources litigation, environmental review, administrative proceedings, permitting, and compliance matters. He focuses on environmental litigation arising under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and a variety of state statutes as well as contractual environmental indemnity provisions.
Dolan has also worked with many federal and state administrative agencies on behalf of clients, including the EPA and the Bureau of Land Management. In litigation matters, he specializes in complex factual development and expert team management. Dolan has significant experience working with clients in the animal agriculture, oil and gas, energy, and manufacturing sectors.
Prior to joining Faegre Baker Daniels, Dolan worked as a McCleary law fellow with the Human Rights Campaign. Before beginning his legal career, he was executive director of Neighbors Helping Neighbors Food Drives, an organization that collected food for Twin Cities food shelves.
Roya Galindo serves as NAMI’s director of regulatory services. 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 for the Food Safety and Inspection Service. She worked as a CSI for a few years until she was quickly promoted to an Enforcement Investigation Analysis Officer (EIAO).
After mentoring many of the EIAOs, Galindo switched gears and worked for the industry managing and refining establishment’s food safety systems. Galindo’s extensive background in industry and regulations allows her to provide the members with guidance on a wide array of subjects.
Clarissa Moreaux serves as NAMI’s director of regulatory services where she provides expertise on a variety of 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. She later moved on to work for the industry and has experience with product labeling, both USDA and FDA food safety systems, 3rd party audit standards, and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Clarissa has a Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutritional Sciences from Fresno State University of California. She is HACCP certified and a Preventative Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI).
Tiffany Lee, DVM, PhD
and Scientific Affairs
Tiffany Lee is the director of regulatory and scientific affairs for the North American Meat Institute where she provides informed scientific analysis to its members on many issues, including food safety, food processing, food quality, diet and health, nutrition, public health initiatives, biotechnology, new technologies, research priorities, and animal health.
Lee collaborates with related industry trade associations and professional organizations on relevant scientific issues. She also develops and advocates a scientific platform to support meat and poultry industry initiatives on proposed policy, regulations and research priorities to federal and state agencies.
Lee supports the management of the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education, including developing industry research priorities in food safety, diet and health, and other important issues.
Lee earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Science degrees from Kansas State University in 2012. After practicing in a mixed animal clinic in Limon, Colorado, she returned to Kansas State University to pursue a PhD degree in Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology. Her research focused upon beef cattle health and welfare, including diagnosis of mobility problems and prevention of carcass bruising in fed cattle.
KatieRose McCullough, PhD, MPH
and Scientific Affairs
Dr. KatieRose McCullough serves as a director of regulatory and scientific affairs at the North American Meat Institute where she provides expertise on a variety of topics including: meat science, meat quality and composition, sensory, spoilage, food safety, pathogen control and detection, intervention technologies, microbial ecology, public health, diet and health, epidemiology and more.
As the meat scientist for NAMI, McCullough works to ensure policies are created on a sound science-based foundation. McCullough also collaborates with other associations and represents the Meat Institute in different scientific forums. McCullough also serves as the Senior Science Advisor to the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education, working with industry to fund projects and develop research priorities related to food safety, product quality and nutritional sciences. She also acts as the staff liaison for the Scientific Affairs Committee and assists in managing the NAMI Scholarship Foundation which funds multiple scholarships for undergraduate students each year.
Prior to joining the Meat Institute, McCullough designed and conducted research studies related to pathogen reduction, system validation, molecular pathogen identification, shelf-life, sensory, and carcass optimization. McCullough also has experience in public health epidemiology, and foodborne outbreaks investigation.
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
and Scientific Affairs
Casey Lynn Gallimore serves as a director of regulatory and scientific Affairs at the North American Meat Institute where she provides expertise on a variety of topics including: food safety, HACCP, audit compliance, regulatory issues, processing, and offal products.
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.
Senior Vice President,
International Affairs &
Bill Westman is NAMI's senior vice president of international affairs & administration. Previously, Westman served as vice president of international trade for the American Meat Institute, a position which he held since 2010. Previously, he served 29 years with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Most recently, Westman was an Agricultural Minister Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, where he was responsible for the overall supervision and management of the organization’s largest overseas operation. Prior to this, Westman served as Agricultural Minister Counselor in Berlin, Germany, and Brasilia, Brazil. He has also served as assistant deputy administrator, Foreign Agricultural Affairs and Western Hemisphere officer at USDA.
Westman has extensive experience in facilitating agricultural interactions with governments, private sector companies and trade associations and has well-established relationships with government officials and international business leaders.
Westman earned a bachelor’s degree in natural resource management from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in forestry with a minor in agricultural economics from Virginia Tech.
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.
Meat Import Council of America
Laurie Bryant is the Executive Director of the Meat Import Council of America, having joined the organization in March 2001.
Bryant previously worked for Meat New Zealand (MNZ) for 23 years in a variety of roles. From 1989 to 1995, he managed the MNZ office in North America, and from 1995 to 1999, the MNZ European office, with responsibility for trade access and promotion. Bryant currently serves as an importer member of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) and is a member the CBB Executive Committee. He earned a master's degree in agricultural science, majoring in agricultural economics and marketing.
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
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.
Hide Council of America
Xueqing Li (Jane) is the foreign market development contractor for NAMI and USHSLA. In her role, Li works with allied trade associations, USDA and other entities to formulate trade policy on a number of issues, to facilitate trade, to plan and execute foreign and reverse trade missions and to assist in preparing the association’s UES application. She is also the principal and senior consultant of Ag Food Consulting, which mostly focuses on working with the U.S industries and companies to expand exports to China by conducting market research, providing consultancy on trade policy and government regulatory issues and developing market strategies, among other responsibilities. Previously, she worked as the director of Promar Consulting's China office, managing and overseeing most of the company’s China projects. Prior to Promar, Li was an Agricultural Marketing Specialist serving as the principal advisor on Chinese marketing and trade possibilities to the U.S. Agricultural Trade office at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China.
Li earned her M.A in Agriculture Business from the University of Florida and she is fluent in English and Chinese.
Public and Legislative Affairs
and Legislative Affairs Department handles
communication with the media, policy makers and
the public on behalf of NAMI's member companies
and acts as the meat and poultry industry's
representative on Capitol Hill. The department
also manages the NAMI Political Action
Senior Vice President,
Public and Legislative Affairs
Pete Thomson serves as NAMI's senior vice president of public and legislative affairs. Thomson has three decades of experience on Capitol Hill, specializing in agriculture. As the House Agriculture Committee’s senior advisor for livestock matters, Thomson counseled five Committee Chairmen and interacted with the entire spectrum of producers, packers, processors, retailers and consumers. In his role, Pete develops public information and issue management strategy, manages press relations and works on public communications and oversees the Institute's news reporting.
He began his career in the office of Rep. Bob Smith (OR) and soon moved to the House Agriculture Committee, where he worked on six different farm bills. During his career he has been engaged in a wide array of agribusiness issues, including industry marketing and structure, country-of-origin labeling, livestock mandatory price reporting, regulatory issues associated with GIPSA, foreign market access and animal identification.
Thomson received his master of arts in public administration and his bachelor of arts in history and political science from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Eric Mittenthal is the vice president of sustainability at the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), previously serving as the organization’s vice president of public affairs since 2012. He leads the Meat Institute’s sustainability initiatives and also focuses on developing communications to bust myths on the role of meat in the diet and how meat is produced.
Mittenthal joined NAMI from the International Food Information Council (IFIC) where he worked closely with dietitians and led IFIC’s efforts in communicating with journalists and influencers. 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.
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.
Casey Kammerle is the social
media manager for NAMI. He is responsible for
managing all social platforms - including
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and
YouTube - for NAMI and developing social media
strategies and campaigns.
Kammerle previously worked
on the Philadelphia Inquirer’s audience
engagement desk and was the online managing
editor at The Diamondback, the University of
Maryland's independent newspaper.
Kammerle graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast journalism and a minor in general business.
and Member Services
Emily serves as NAMI’s manager of legislative affairs and member services.
Reed earned a B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management from the Virginia Tech Pamplin School of Business and an MBA with a minor in Marketing and an emphasis in Communications from Mississippi State University. Her previous work experience includes restaurant and hotel management in the US and internationally. She works with both the membership and legislative affairs departments at the Meat Institute and manages the association’s PAC.
Samantha Beard serves as NAMI’s manager of public and legislative affairs. In her role, Samantha works with Public Affairs and Legislative staff to communicate NAMI priorities, activities, and industry developments to a wide range of audiences.
Previously, Samantha was a Legislative Assistant with OFW Law. She managed a portfolio of clients in agriculture and related industries, providing legislative updates, assisting with client newsletter creation, and coordinating strategic legislative plans. Prior to her time at OFW, Samantha interned with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association as a Public Policy Intern.
She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Martin, where she received her Bachelors of Science in Agriculture Communications.
Exposition, Education and Member
The Department of Exposition, Education and Member Services oversees educational courses and resources, foodservice and retail marketing activities and supplier services. In addition, the department coordinates the annual NAMI International Meat Exposition. The department also manages member relations, recruitment and services.
Senior Vice President,
Exposition, Education and Member
Anne Halal is 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.
Exposition and Member Services
Eric Zito serves as the vice president of exposition and member services for NAMI. He previously served as director 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.
Recruitment and Outreach
Jim Goldberg serves as NAMI's member recruitment and outreach director. Goldberg is an industry veteran with more than 26 years’ experience in the meat and poultry industries, most notably as part of the original team that created Meatingplace in 1993. Goldberg began his association work with the North American Meat Processors (NAMP) in 2010, where he grew association membership and worked on education, branding and marketing programs. In 2013, with the consolidation of NAMP and NMA, Goldberg began work with the North American Meat Association (NAMA), once again working on membership and developing new and existing education and marketing programs for the association.
Goldberg manages all NAMI efforts in the recruitment and retention of member companies through marketing and communication. Goldberg also works with sponsorship opportunities, including outreach at meat and poultry industry events, including at all NAMI and NAMI Foundation events.
Services & Marketing
Robin Troy is the director of conference services and sponsorships. Robin has more than 16 years of meeting, tradeshow and marketing experience, and is a Certified Exhibition Manager and perusing her Certification in Trade Show Marketing (CTSM.) In this role she oversees the logistical arrangements for numerous NAMI, Foundation and SFPA events, including: the Annual Meat Conference, SFPA Annual Meeting and the animal care and handling conference.
Before working for the North American Meat Institute she served as the director of trade shows at the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), where she oversaw all planning and operations for the organization’s main show and affiliate meetings. During her tenure, Troy successfully launched the NextGen Dairy Network to engage new members in IDFA and help the association evolve. Prior to joining IDFA, Troy worked at the National Association of Broadcasters, where she was involved in sponsorship and advertising.
Troy holds a degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, where she majored in advertising and received a minor in marketing.
Ann Wells is NAMI's director of education and workforce development, 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.
Valencia Covington is the manager of meetings and conference services. Covington is logistical lead on the NAMI business meetings and conferences. Before joining the Institute in 2018, Covington worked at the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) as the assistant for convention services, working on the Annual Meat Conference.
A seasoned association professional, Covington has previously worked with the Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association and The Scheduling Institute.
Nicole Vetsch is the NAMI's manager of meetings and conference services. 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.
and Workforce Development
Megan McCullough serves as the coordinator for education and workforce development for the North American Meat Institute. In this role, Megan assists in the planning and managing of programs in the departments of education and workforce development for all of the NAMI conferences, expositions, and webinars as well as sponsored events of the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education. In this capacity, she contributes to meeting the needs of the meat and poultry industry through meaningful educational programming and the distribution of awards. Megan also assists with the publication sales for the Meat Buyer’s Guide and online store for NAMI and the Foundation.
Megan received her B.S. in Animal
Science and her Equine Certification from Texas
Office of Administration
The Office of Administration oversees NAMI's annual budget, accounting and annual audit.
James Cornett is the of vice president of administration for NAMI. He previously served as senior director of information technology and administration for the American Meat Institute since April 2012. Cornett is responsible for all of the network infrastructure and systems at the North American Meat Institute, as well as managing and directing human resources and payroll services.
He has extensive experience in network systems analysis and design, systems engineering and helpdesk support. His past experience has included working with other associations and non-profits in the Washington, DC area within their information technology departments. A native of the area he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Maryland.
Vice President, Finance
Thao Grimes serves as vice president of finance for NAMI, having been the controller at the American Meat Institute (AMI) since June 2011. Grimes is responsible for timely and efficient monthly closings and financial statements for several organizations and associations within the NAMI family. Grimes reviews and supervises daily operations of the accounting department, including budgeting, billings, processing payables, bank reconciliations and payroll. Other responsibilities include supplying quarterly lobbying report information and the annual Form 990 checklist.
Prior to joining NAMI, Grimes had more than five years' experience in auditing and accounting with Gelman Rosenberg & Freedman. 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.
Anne Truong serves as senior accountant for NAMI.
She is responsible for billing activities, such as accounts payable and accounts receivable. Anne also works on the companies bank reconciliations, maintains financial records and files.
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.
Roy Costa III
Roy Costa III is the manager, systems administration for the North American Meat Institute. Roy previously held this position at the American Meat Institute, since arriving 2012. Costa handles the maintenance and security of IT systems. He has more than a decade's experience in maintenance, networking, security, planning and development.
A recent transplant to the district, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Theater while studying Biochemistry at Bates College.
Nick serves as web developer for NAMI.
He is responsible for designing and developing user interfaces for new CMS driven websites as well as creating and modifying new and existing pages and sites..
Nick received his Bachelor of Science degree from Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Energetics and Applied Informatics in Iasi, Romania.