AMI Staff

Office of the President

The Office of the President oversees the activities of the various AMI departments and the AMI Foundation. The Office of the President also coordinates the Institute's Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

James Hodges

James H. Hodges

Interim President and CEO

jhodges@meatami.com

Work: (202) 587-4231

Fax: (202) 587-4300

Jim Hodges is the interim president and CEO of the American Meat Institute, a position he assumed in 2014. In his role, he oversees AMI’s legislative, regulatory, scientific, international tradeand communications activities and the operation of the AMI Foundation. Previously, he served AMI’s executive vice president and oversaw the Institute’s food safety and inspection related regulatory activities and AMI Foundation initiatives. Since 1984, he has served in a variety of key positions at AMI, including senior vice president of regulatory affairs and his most recent role as executive vice president of AMI and president of the AMI Foundation. Prior to joining AMI, Hodges worked for USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. Earlier in his career, he was employed in the meat industry in research and development and quality assurance capacities.

Hodges earned a B.S. in food science from the University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo., and an M.S. in meat science from Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

Scientific Affairs Department

The group manages AMI's research and education arm, the AMI Foundation (AMIF). AMIF 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.

Susan Backus

Susan Backus

Vice President,
AMI Foundation

sbackus@meatami.com

Work: (202) 587-4220

Fax: (202) 587-4300

Susan Backus is the vice president for the American Meat Institute Foundation. She joined AMI in June 1997 and began working in the Foundation in 1999. Susan is responsible for management of food safety research projects initiated by the Foundation. She also is responsible for nutrition and health activities which includes staffing the Health and Wellness Advisory Committee. Backus also serves as the executive secretary of the Shelf-Stable Food Processors Association, which is managed by AMI.

Backus received a Bachelor of Arts in history from West Virginia University.


Betsy Booren

Betsy Booren

Vice President,
Scientific Affairs AMI Foundation

bbooren@meatami.com

Work: (202) 587-4249

Fax: (202) 587-4300

Betsy Booren joined AMI in January 2009 and serves as the vice president of scientific affairs of the AMI Foundation. Betsy’s responsibilities include coordinating research activities for the AMI Foundation and responding to the technical and scientific needs of AMI members. Betsy is also the staff liaison to the AMI Scientific Affairs Committee.

Booren received her Ph.D. in food science and technology from Texas A&M University, M.S. in animal science from the University of Nebraska, and a B.S. in food science from Michigan State University.

Regulatory Affairs

The Department of Regulatory Affairs coordinates AMI'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. The group also interfaces with USDA and FDA on regulatory initiatives related to inspection.

Mark Dopp

Mark Dopp

Senior Vice President,
Regulatory Affairs/General Counsel

mdopp@meatami.com

Work: (202) 587-4229

Fax: (202) 587-4300

Mark Dopp is the general counsel and senior vice president of regulatory affairs for the American Meat Institute. He became AMI's outside general counsel in May 1995. In 1999, he formally joined the Institute and assumed responsibility for AMI's regulatory affairs activities. In that role, Dopp oversees policy development and research and represents industry views to government officials on all major regulatory initiatives. He also provides legal counsel to AMI.

Prior to joining AMI, Dopp worked at Hogan and Hartson, where he was active in areas of food and agricultural law on behalf of many clients, including domestic and foreign corporations. Dopp served in USDA's Office of the General Counsel before entering private practice in 1985. He joined Hogan and Hartson in 1989 as an associate and in January 1993 became a partner.

Dopp received his Bachelor of Arts 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.


William Westman

William Westman

Vice President,
International Trade

bwestman@meatami.com

Work: (202) 587-4244

Fax: (202) 587-4300

Bill Westman joined AMI in 2010. Previously, he served 29 years with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Most recently, he served as 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.


Dan McCausland

Dan McCausland

Senior Director,
Worker Safety & Human Resources

dmccausland@meatami.com

Work: (608) 242-5950

Fax: (608) 242-5999

J. Dan McCausland is director of worker safety and human resources for the American Meat Institute. He joined AMI in 1999. McCausland oversees worker safety and human resources issues and serves as liaison to the Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). McCausland also is the AMI staff liaison to the Institute's Worker Safety and Health Committee, and provides consulting and coordination to the Human Resources committee.

An occupational safety expert and food industry veteran, McCausland retired as regional director of safety and risk management for Kraft Foods in November 1998 after 32 years with the company (the majority of which were spent at Oscar Mayer Foods). McCausland was responsible for occupational safety and health activities for 18 Kraft Food plants in the upper Midwest. He also has worked with OSHA in reviewing various regulations and proposals. Most recently, he was a member of OSHA’s “National Advisory Committee on Ergonomics” from December 2002 to November 2004.

McCausland holds a Bachelor of Science in liberal arts and sciences from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in manufacturing systems engineering from the University of Wisconsin.


Scott Goltry

Scott Goltry

Vice President,
Technical Services

sgoltry@meatami.com

Work: (202) 587-4254

Fax: (202) 587-4300

Scott Goltry is the vice president of technical services. Joining AMI in 2008, Goltry provides oversight to packer and processor members on current and proposed inspection related issues. He is the staff liaison to the AMI Inspection Committee and is also responsible for audit harmonization, food defense and sanitary design of facility and equipment initiatives at AMI.

He has extensive expertise in food safety, quality control and regulatory issues for both packer and processed meat companies. A native of Kansas, Goltry received his bachelor of science in agriculture from Kansas State University and a masters of science in Food Science and Nutrition from the University of Missouri.


Stephen Sothmann

Stephen Sothmann

President,
U.S. Hide, Skin and Leather Association

ssothmann@meatami.com

Work: (202) 587-4261

Fax: (202) 587-4300

Stephen Sothmann is the President of the U.S. Hide, Skin and Leather Association, an affiliate of AMI. He has served in this role since 2014.

Prior to joining AMI, Mr. 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 an M.B.A. from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.


Christopher Dolan

Christopher Dolan

Director,
Environmental & Sustainability Issues

cdolan@meatami.com

Work: (202) 587-4233

Fax: (202) 587-4300

Chris Dolan joined AMI in 2014. He is a partner in the Minneapolis office, 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.

Chris 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. Chris has significant experience working with clients in the animal agriculture, oil and gas, energy, and manufacturing sectors.

Prior to joining Faegre Baker Daniels, Chris 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.

Public Affairs and Member Services

The Public Affairs and Member Services Department handles communication with the media, policy makers and the public on behalf of AMI's member companies. The department also manages member relations, recruitment and services.

Janet Riley

Janet Riley

Senior Vice President,
Public Affairs and Member Services

jriley@meatami.com

Work: (202) 587-4245

Fax: (202) 587-4300

Janet Riley joined the Institute in 1991. In her role, she develops public information and issue management strategy, manages press relations and drafts speeches, news releases and other public communications and oversees the Institute's news reporting on MeatAMI.com. She also oversees AMI’s member services department.

On behalf of the meat and poultry industry, Riley has appeared on Nightline, CNN, The Daily Show, The Martha Stewart Show, National Public Radio, ABC News, NBC News and many other outlets. In 2012, she won ESPN.com's “Quote of the Year."

In addition, she is the liaison to the Animal Welfare Committee and oversees policy initiatives in this area. As a member of the AMI Crisis Management Team, she provides strategic counsel to AMI members when needed. Riley also serves as president of the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council.

She earned her Bachelor of Science at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, Evanston, Ill.


Eric Mittenthal

Eric Mittenthal

Vice President,
Public Affairs

emittenthal@meatami.com

Work: (202) 587-4238

Fax: (202) 587-4300

Eric Mittenthal is the Vice President of Public Affairs at the American Meat Institute based in Washington, DC. He came to AMI from the International Food Information Council where he led IFIC’s efforts in communicating with journalists and bloggers and also managed the FoodInsight.org blog.

Eric is a member of the National Press Club and Public Relations Society of America and has led several media training workshops on a variety of topics from risk communications to nutrition to social media.

Eric moved to Washington D.C. following a career as a television reporter and producer in several markets around the country, most recently working for WAGA-TV, the Fox affiliate in Atlanta. Previously he also served as the Jacksonville Bureau Chief for WCTI-TV, the ABC affiliate in New Bern, NC and was a reporter for KIFI-TV, the ABC affiliate in Idaho Falls, ID. During his time as a reporter Eric covered numerous major stories including Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Marine training and deployments from Camp Lejeune during the Iraq war, and the 2008 Atlanta tornado.

Eric graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He also received a Masters degree in Biomedical Sciences from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA.


James Cornett

James Cornett

Director,
Information Technology and Administration

jcornett@meatami.com

Work: (202) 587-4247

Fax: (202) 587-4300

James Cornett is the director of information technology and administration for the American Meat Institute. He joined AMI in April 2012. He is responsible for all of the network infrastructure and systems at 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.


Eric Zito

Eric Zito

Director,
Membership & Exposition Services

ezito@meatami.com

Work: (202) 587-4223

Fax: (202) 587-4300

Eric Zito is the Director of Membership. He joined AMI in January 2006.

In his role, Zito handles a variety of tasks in the Convention and Member Services department. He is responsible for managing the membership database and serves as a customer service representative to AMI members and prospect members.

Zito earned a bachelor’s of science in economics from The Pennsylvania State University Smeal College of Business.


Percy James

Percy James

Manager,
Production Center

mailto:pjamest@meatami.com

Work: (202) 587-4234

Fax: (202) 587-4300

Percy James manages the production center for the American Meat Institute. He joined AMI in 1973.

James manages the printing, graphics and mail operations of the Institute, including production of brochures, promotional literature and direct mail campaigns. He also oversees AMI's in-house photography operation. He earned his Associates of Arts in sociology from Crane Junior College, Chicago, and is a graduate of the New York Institute of Photography.


Roy Costa III

Roy Costa III

Manager,
Systems Administration

rcosta@meatami.com

Work: 202) 587-4246

Fax: (202) 587-4300

Roy Costa III is the systems administrator for the American Meat Institute. Arriving at AMI in early 2012, he handles the maintenance and security of IT systems. He has 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.


Gamble McCown

Gamble McCown

Manager,
Web and Graphics

gmccown@meatami.com

Work: (202) 587-4236

Fax: (202) 587-4300

Gamble joined AMI in February 2012. She is responsible for design of print materials, and designing and developing user interfaces for CMS driven websites as well as creating and modifying new and existing pages. She has more than 20 years’ experience in advertising and design and several years experience as a front-end web developer specializing in responsive design.

Past experience includes working with other associations, non-profits in the Washington D.C. area and the Extension Service at Montana State University as well as many years in advertising and design as an Art Director. She earned her Web Development Certificate from the Center for Digital Arts at Boston University and attended Northern Virginia Community College for illustration and design.

Convention Services and Professional Development

The Department of Convention Services and Professional Development educational courses and resources, foodservice and retail marketing activities and supplier services. In addition, the department coordinates the annual AMI International Meat, Poultry and Seafood Industry Convention and Exposition.

Anne Halal

Anne Halal

Vice President,
Exposition and Education Services

ahalal@meatami.com

Work:(202) 587-4230

Fax: (202) 587-4300

Anne Halal is the vice president of convention and exposition services for the American Meat Institute. Halal oversees all logistical and promotional arrangements for the AMI convention, and contracts and logistics for the AMI Foundation workshops, seminars and meetings. She also acts as the staff liaison for the AMI supplier committee and convention planning committee.

Halal has over 20 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.


Christl McCarthy

Christl McCarthy

Director,
Exposition and Education Services

cmccarthy@meatami.com

Work:(202) 587-4232

Fax: (202) 587-4300

Christl McCarthy joined AMI in December of 1996. She is the director of exposition services for the American Meat Institute. Christl is responsible for the coordination and execution of logistical details for all AMI and AMI Foundation meetings. She is also responsible for assisting the interim president in coordinating the implementation of the Institute’s goals and objectives and responding to the AMI Board of Directors and membership.

Prior to joining AMI, Christl held several positions in retail management including merchandise manager for a golf professional shop, and assistant store manager positions at Pea in the Pod and The Limited. Christl received her undergraduate degree in marketing management in 1991 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia.


Jessica Mosley

Jessica Mosley

Director,
Education and Professional Development

jmosley@meatami.com

Work:(202) 587-4252

Fax: (202) 587-4300

Jessica Mosley is the director of education and professional development and joined AMI in July 2006. Mosley develops educational programming and marketing for AMI meetings and conferences. She also oversees the annual Worker Safety Awards and Environmental Achievement and Recognition Awards.

Mosley received her bachelor of arts from Harding University in Searcy, Ark. and a master of arts in history from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.


Rachel Stryker

Rachel Stryker

Manager,
Exposition and Education Services

rstryker@meatami.com

Work:(202) 587-4242

Fax: (202) 587-4300

Rachel Stryker is the Manager of Convention and Exposition Services and joined AMI in March 2012. Stryker manages attendee marketing and promotional partnerships for AMI Expo, oversees registration for all AMI and AMIF events and has various logistics related duties for AMI programs and events throughout the year.

Prior to joining AMI, Rachel coordinated the program and logistics for regional conferences at The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Rachel earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and minor in philosophy from Florida Gulf Coast University.


Nicole Vetsch

Nicole Vetsch

Coordinator,
Education and Awards

nvetsch@meatami.com

Work:(202) 587-4242

Fax: (202) 587-4300

Nicole Vetsch is the Coordinator of Education and Awards and joined AMI in January 2013. Vetsch assists in the planning of educational programs for all AMI and AMIF events and coordinates the Environmental Achievement and Recognition Awards and Worker Safety Awards. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and minor in American Studies from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Office of Budget and Finance

The Office of Budget and Finance oversees AMI's annual budget, accounting and annual audit.

Ron Nunnery

Ron Nunnery

Chief Financial Officer

rnunnery@meatami.com

Work:(202) 587-4240

Fax: (202) 587-4300

Ron Nunnery is the chief financial officer of the American Meat Institute. He joined AMI in 1990. Nunnery is responsible for the Institute's Supplier and Convention Committees, conventions and meetings, member services, finance, accounting, computer and printing operations and office administration.

Prior to joining AMI, Nunnery was assistant deputy administrator for USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, where he was responsible for budget, policy analysis, finance, personnel, administration and information management support functions. In 1985, Nunnery was selected by the American Political Science Association as a Congressional Fellow and served in the office of Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Rep. Jim Olin (D-VA).

He earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va., and did graduate work in public administration at Boston College, Boston, Mass., and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.


Thao Grimes

Thao Grimes

Controller

mailto:tgrimes@meatami.com%3E

Work:(202) 587-4226

Fax: (202) 587-4300

Thao Grimes joined AMI in June 2011. Thao is responsible to the CFO for timely and efficient monthly closings and financial statements for several organizations and associations within the AMI family. Thao reviews and supervises daily operations of Accounting department, including budgeting, billings, processing payables, bank reconciliations, and payroll. Other responsibilities include quarterly Lobby report information and the annual Form 990 checklist.

Prior to joining AMI, Thao had 5 and a half years in auditing and accounting with Gelman Rosenberg & Freedman. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Maryland University College and had further expanded her knowledge in auditing and accounting through continuing professional education programs.

Legislative Affairs

The Department of Legislative Affairs acts as the meat and poultry industry's representative on Capitol Hill. The department also manages the AMI Political Action Committee (AMI-PAC) and publishes the Washington Insider Newsletter.

Dale Nellor

Dale Nellor

Senior Vice President,
Legislative Affairs

dnellor@meatami.com

Work:(202) 587-4235

Fax: (202) 587-4300

Dale Nellor joined AMI in February 2006 and serves as the senior vice president of the Institute’s legislative affairs department. Nellor’s responsibilities include lobbying congress on agricultural, structural, food safety, trade, energy, labor and worker safety issues.

Previously, Nellor worked for U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) for three and a half years, serving as a legislative assistant for nearly three years. His responsibilities as a principle advisor to Sen. Hagel focused on all agricultural issues, energy, rural development, natural resources and related appropriations policy. Nellor has additional agricultural policy advocacy experience having served as a policy consultant for a number of congressional campaigns and the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation.

Originally from a row crop and livestock farm in northeastern Nebraska, he received his B.S. in business management from Concordia University in Wisconsin.



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Michael Schumpp

Michael Schumpp

Coordinator,
Legislative Affairs & Public Affairs

mschumpp@meatami.com

Work:(202) 587-4251

Fax: (202) 587-4300

Michael Schumpp serves as the coordinator of legislative and public affairs providing general office support and assistance to both the legislative and public affairs department.

Michael joined the Institute in March 2014. Previously, he worked in a public affairs firm in Washington, DC and at Winning Strategies Public Relations in Newark, NJ. Schumpp graduated Phi Beta Kappa from George Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and is currently working toward his Master’s Degree in Political Management, also at GW.