Officers and Staff

STAFF

> Randall C. Gordon, President
> Todd E. Kemp, Vice President of Marketing and Treasurer
> David A. Fairfield, Vice President of Feed Services
> Charles M. Delacruz, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
> Jess McCluer, Director of Safety and Regulatory Affairs
> Max Fisher, Director of Economics and Government Relations
> Jared Hill, Director of Legislative Affairs
> Heather McElrath, Director of Communications
> Rebecca Grubbs, Director, Meetings and Event Marketing
Faith Silvers, Manager, Database/Member Services
> Tamela S. Elliott, Financial Administrator/Desktop Publisher
> Mary Hitchcock, Manager of Arbitration/Mediation Services
> Jacqueline Congress, Mailroom Manager/Telephone Receptionist

 

Randall C. Gordon

President

Randy was elected as the NGFA’s top executive staff officer in September 2012, after having served as acting president since October 2011 upon the retirement of former President Kendell Keith. As chief operating officer, he is responsible for implementing the policies of the Board of Directors and for planning, coordinating and implementing the NGFA’s programs, services and budget. Prior to assuming his current responsibilities, he had served as vice president of communications and government relations since 1987. In that capacity, Randy had overall communications responsibility, and his government relations duties involved working with the Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies. He authored and edited the NGFA Newsletter, NGFA E-Alerts and other publications, and worked with the print and broadcast media to convey the NGFA’s policy views.

He joined the NGFA’s staff in 1978. A Nebraska native, he received an undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in journalism, history and political science. He received the distinguished service award from the Association of American Feed Control Officials in 1999 and the Food and Drug Administration’s Collaboration Award in 2005.

Randy is the staff person to contact if you need information on:

  • Agroterrorism and Facility Security
  • Association of Grain Regulatory Officials
  • Country elevators
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Food and Drug Administration Historical NGFA structure/committees NGFA policies and positions
  • Surface Transportation Board Transportation issues
  • Warehousing issues
 

Todd E. Kemp

Vice President of Marketing and Treasurer

Todd was promoted to vice president of marketing in March 2012 after having served as director since 1997. He was elected corporate treasurer in 2000. He is responsible for the overall management and direction of the NGFA’s membership recruitment, development and retention programs. He is principal staff liaison to the Membership and Marketing Committee, Risk Management Committee and Finance and Administration Committee. He also spearheads the marketing of NGFA products and services. Todd joined the NGFA’s staff in 1991 as director of legislative affairs. Before that, he worked for the Agency for International Development, as a budget analyst at USDA and as legislative assistant for then-Sen. Nancy Landon Kassebaum-Baker, R-Kan. A Kansas native, he is a graduate of Kansas State University, with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and a masters in business administration.

Todd is the staff person to contact if you need information on:

  • Commodity Futures/Exchanges
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission
  • Dues investment
  • Membership recruitment/retention
  • Meeting sponsorships
  • NGFA Trade Show
  • Membership benefits and services
  • Membership categories
  • Risk management
 

David A. Fairfield

Vice President of Feed Services

David was promoted to vice president of feed services in March 2012, after having served as director since joining the staff in 2001. He manages the NGFA’s activities pertaining to feed and feed ingredient manufacturing, and livestock/poultry integrator operations. Among other things, he directs the NGFA’s highly acclaimed Model Feed Quality Assurance Program and distance-learning courses, and other feed-related educational and training programs. He also assists in membership recruitment and retention programs for the feed sector, and provides assistance to Affiliated Associations in addressing feed-related issues at the state level. He is the principal staff liaison to the Feed Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Committee and Feed Manufacturing and Technology Committee, and is a staff liaison to the Biofuels and Co-Products Committee. Dave joined the staff after 20 years as a manager of feed mills for Cargill Inc.’s Nutrena Feed Division; Continental Grain Co.’s Wayne Feed Division and Animal Nutrition Division; and Hubbard Feeds Inc. He was recipient of Feed Management Magazine’s Feed Mill of the Year Award in 2000 and a four-time recipient of the former Continental Grain Co.’s Quality Top Achiever Award. A Kansas native, he is a magna cum laude graduate in feed science and management from Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan., and was recognized as a Kansas scholar.

David is the staff person to contact if you need information on:

  • Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Biofuels co-products
  • Environmental issues (feed mills)
  • Feed ingredients
  • Feed manufacturing
  • Feed mill operations
  • Feed safety and quality systems
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • Safety Issues (feedmills)
  • State Feed Regulatory Agencies
 

Charles M. Delacruz

Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

Charlie was promoted to vice president in March 2012, and is the NGFA’s in-house legal counsel and corporate secretary. In this capacity, he administers the association’s arbitration system and works with the Trade Rules Committee. He also is principal staff liaison to the Arbitration Appeals Panel, Legal Council, Rail Arbitration Rules Committee and Trade Rules Committee. He has an extensive background in business law and private legal practice serving clients in the food industry. Prior to joining the NGFA’s staff in 2002, he was an attorney with a consulting firm – EHA Consulting Group Inc., Baltimore, Md. – providing services for Fortune 500 food industry clients on regulatory, import-export, safety and quality, and business and litigation issues.

A Virginia native, Delacruz is a magna cum laude graduate of James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va., with degrees in history and political science. He received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville, Va., where among other things he was an editor of the Virginia Journal of International Law.

Charlie is the staff person to contact if you need information on:

  • Arbitration/Rules and procedures
  • Contracts issues
  • Legal issues
  • Trade Rules
 

Jess McCluer

Director of Safety and Regulatory Affairs

Jess manages NGFA’s wide-ranging operational programs concerning employee safety and industrial health, environmental issues, grain-handling facility design and equipment, and grain inspection and weighing issues. He is principal staff liaison to the Safety, Health and Environmental Quality Committee, Grain Grades and Weights Committee, Biotechnology Committee, and Agroterrorism and Facility Security Committee.

He joined NGFA’s staff in 2007 after serving since April 2003 as a program analyst at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Office of Outreach Services and Alliances. In that capacity, he worked with trade associations, professional societies, academia, unions and government agencies to coordinate the implementation of national alliances and the development of compliance assistance resources. He was honored twice – in 2003 and 2005 – as recipient of the Secretary of Labor’s Exceptional Achievement Award. Before joining OSHA, McCluer served from 1999-2003 as manager of government affairs for the Shipbuilders Council of America, overseeing the association’s Safety, Environmental and Human Resources Committees.

McCluer was staff assistant for both the Dole/Kemp ’96 presidential campaign and the 1996 Republican National Committee convention. A native of Dallas, Texas, he was graduated from Texas A&M University with degrees in political science and international studies. He also received a master’s degree in political management from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Jess is the staff person to contact if you need information on:

  • Environmental issues
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Facility design, operations and security
  • Fires and explosions
  • Fumigants and pesticides
  • Grain inspection, weighing
  • Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards
  • Administration
  • Grain quality
  • National Conference on Weights and Measures
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • Operations/technical issues
  • Safety and health issues
  • Sanitary/phytosanitary regulation
  • Toxins, contaminants
 

Max Fisher

Director of Economics
and Government Relations

Max Fisher is NGFA’s director of economics and government relations – a newly created position.

Fisher joined NGFA after serving for the past two years as chief economist for the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, where he worked for Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., while he was the committee’s Ranking Minority Member. While serving on the Senate staff, he provided comprehensive analyses of commodity, conservation, crop insurance and nutrition programs. He also conducted cost-benefit analysis forecasting and comparative analysis of federal policy proposals. In addition, he interacted extensively with the Congressional Budget Office, Senate Budget Committee and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of the Chief Economist.

At the NGFA, Fisher will provide economic analyses and policy input on a wide range of legislative and regulatory issues affecting the grain, feed, grain and oilseed processing, and export sectors, including agricultural policy; international trade agreements; futures market regulation and measures designed to enhance customer protection; safety and environmental rulemakings; and rail and waterway transportation.

Fisher grew up on a grain and livestock farm in south-central Kansas that his family still owns and operates. He received his undergraduate degree in agricultural business from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan., and a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Texas A&M, in College Station, Texas.

Contact Max for information on:

  • Economic analyses and policy input
  • Regulation

 

Jared Hill

Director of Legislative Affairs

Jared leads the NGFA’s legislative efforts on a wide range of issues important to the grain and feed industry. He also serves as NGFA’s principal staff liaison to the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service. In addition, he manages the grain and feed political action committee.

Jared Hill joined the NGFA after serving as agriculture and trade counsel for Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. During his tenure with Grassley’s Capitol Hill office, he provided policy analysis on core issues important to NGFA member companies, including farm legislation, international trade, commodities and futures trading, agricultural biotechnology, food safety, animal welfare and environmental issues. He has also drafted legislative language for Grassley, and provided staff leadership for the senator on issues involving the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the International Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Commerce.

Before joining Grassley’s staff, Hill was a partner in the Des Moines-based law firm of Beving, Swanson & Forrest, where he worked from 2008 to 2011. While at the firm, he practiced primarily in the areas of agricultural, administrative, business, commercial, bankruptcy, and environmental law. He also represented clients before various regulatory agencies, including USDA’s Farm Service Agency and EPA, as well as several Iowa state agencies.

Hill received an undergraduate degree in business marketing with a minor in sociology from Iowa State University. He earned a law degree from the University of Nebraska College of Law. His family operates a corn, soybean, cattle and hog farm in central Iowa.

Contact Jared for: 

  • Agricultural policy
  • Biotechnology
  • Congress
  • Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA)
  • Grain and Feed PAC
  • International trade
  • Legislation
  • Waterborne Commerce
 

Heather McElrath

Director of Communications

Heather joined the NGFA’s staff in September 2012, and has overall communications responsibilities. As such, she authors and edits the NGFA Newsletter and other publications, and works with the media to convey the NGFA’s public policy views. She also manages the content of the NGFA’s website, as well as the NGFA’s social media programs, and provides communications support for other association programs and services.

Heather has extensive business communications experience, having served as vice president and communications manager for Rabobank in New York City from 2007-11. Prior to that, she was senior public relations manager for Freddie Mac and public relations manager at the American Bankers Association (ABA). While with the ABA from 2003-05, she among other things developed, managed and executed strategic outreach and communications plans for its Center for Agricultural and Rural Banking, and its Center for Community Development. Most recently, she worked as director of public relations for PHH Arval, a truck fleet management consulting firm based in Sparks, Md.

A California native, she received an undergraduate degree in 1994 from Virginia Tech University in communications studies (with a journalism emphasis) and a minor in English. While at Virginia Tech, she was editor-in-chief of the Collegiate Times, the student newspaper. In 2005, she received a master of business administration degree in marketing from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She also worked as a public relations and marketing specialist at Virginia Tech following graduation, and as writer and editor at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in Washington. She also has newspaper editing experience, having worked for the Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle and the Citrus County (Fla.) Chronicle.

Contact Heather for:

  • NGFA Newsletter and other publications
  • Media inquiries
  • Information requests
  • Social media
 

Rebecca R. Grubbs

Director, Meetings and Event Marketing

Rebecca is responsible for managing the selection of meeting sites and hotels for NGFA conventions, conferences, seminars and committee meetings, as well as coordinating other events. She also provides executive staff support to the NGFA president.

Prior to joining the NGFA’s staff, Grubbs was catering sales and conference services manager for the Melrose Hotel in Washington, where she sold catering service and hotel meeting space to corporate, association and other clients. Prior to that, she was sales manager for two other Washington-based catering firms during the period of 2003-08.

She received an undergraduate degree in English and political science (with honors) from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa. She is a certified professional catering executive, and a member of the National Association of Catering Executives.

Contact Rebecca for:

  • Directory advertising
  • Meeting and event sponsorship
  • Feed and Pet Food Joint Conference
  • Other NGFA conferences and seminars
  • NGFA Board of Directors and committee meetings
  • NGFA conventions
  • NGFA Country Elevator Conference
 

Faith Silvers

Manager, Database/Member Services

Faith manages the NGFA’s membership database and assists the director of marketing/treasurer in membership-recruitment and retention programs. She also serves as registrar for NGFA conventions, conferences and seminars, and assists in coordinating the NGFA Trade Show conducted in conjunction with the annual December Country Elevator Conference.

She joined the NGFA’s staff in June 2008 with more than 15 years’ experience in office administration and management, including event planning, membership coordination and customer service. Most recently, she spent 10 years as membership coordinator and database manager for the National Consumers League, where she also was involved in membership recruitment, database management, sponsorships and fund-raising initiatives. Prior to that, Faith served nine years with the Computer and Communications Industry Association, the last four of which were spent as its manager of event planning and information services. She attended the College of Charleston (S.C.), and the Northern Virginia Community College.

Contact Faith for:

  • Changing membership records in NGFA database
  • Membership materials
  • Membership rosters
  • Convention and conference registration
  • NGFA Trade Show

 

Tamela S. Elliott

Financial Administrator/Desktop Publisher

Tammy maintains the Association’s accounting functions and records. She analyzes financial and statistical information, prepares financial reports, monitors investments, and processes invoices and requisitions. She also formats the NGFA Newsletter, Directory/Yearbook and other publications.

Tammy joined the NGFA’s staff in 1998 after serving seven years as an administrative specialist and technical support representative for a private contractor for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Her responsibilities included preparing documents and graphics for reports, conferences and seminars; managing the firm’s web site; and serving as office manager. Prior to that, she worked as a summer intern for the General Services Administration’s Inspector General’s Office. She attended Frostburg (Md.) State University, where her course work focused on accounting.

Contact Tammy for:

  • Invoices and payments Publications, audio/visual orders General NGFA office questions
 

Mary Hitchcock

Manager of Arbitration/Mediation Services

Mary is NGFA Manager of Arbitration/Mediation Services. Before joining NGFA, Hitchcock was a business development manager at Cirrus Pharmaceuticals in Durham, N.C. In addition, she has served as an office manager for Country Squire Realty in New York and was an administrative assistant to the chief executive officer at Silicon Solar in New York. She received bachelor of science degree in psychology from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y.

Contact Mary for:

  • Arbitration: Rules and procedures
  • Status of arbitration cases
 

Jacqueline Congress

Mailroom Manager/Telephone Receptionist

Jackie is responsible for the operation of the Association’s mail room. She processes and distributes incoming correspondence. She mails the NGFA Newsletter, other publications and audio-visual materials, committee correspondence and other documents. She fills publication and audio/visual orders. Jackie also is the NGFA’s principal telephone receptionist, and assists in ordering office supplies. Prior to joining the NGFA’s staff in 1988, she worked as a stenographer for a reporting service and for an insurance company in records processing and mail operations.

Contact Jackie for:

  • Inbound/outgoing faxes, mailings Status of publication orders