WASHINGTON, DC, US — The US Grains Council (USGC) has named two individuals to new roles within the association.

Manuel Sanchez, regional director for Southeast Asia at the USGC, has been named director of the Council’s office in Beijing, China. He succeeds Bryan Lohmar, who is leaving the USGC later this month to enter academia.

Sanchez joined the USGC in 2014 and has held several roles in the Southeast Asia office and Washington, DC, headquarters. Prior to his time at the Council, Sanchez worked at Cargill as a grain marketing adviser and a trade execution supervisor.

“Manuel’s experience of running and expanding our Southeast Asia operations and programs, in addition to his strategic planning experience and grain trade background, make him the perfect fit to be our new China director,” said Cary Sifferath, senior director of global programs at the USGC. “I know Manuel is up for the challenge of running our programs there with big expectations for all the products we promote in the continually complex, challenging and crucial market that is China.”

In his new role, Sanchez will identify and address trade, technical and policy-related factors relevant to building and maintaining the market for US grains and co-products in China.

“China is both a complex and bountiful market for US coarse grains and co-products,” Sanchez said. “I’m thrilled about this new opportunity and look forward to working with our in-country staff to further the mission of the US Grains Council in the world’s most populous country.”

Succeeding Sanchez as regional director in Southeast Asia is Caleb Wurth. Wurth has been with the USGC in Southeast Asia for four years, working closely with the regional staff, consultants and representatives, most recently as assistant regional director. In the position of director, Wurth will work to maintain and create more market opportunities for US coarse grains and co-products for the countries stretching from Myanmar to New Zealand, the USGC said.

“As our assistant director in the Southeast Asia region for the past four years, Caleb has worked very closely with Manuel Sanchez and our regional staff,” Sifferath said. “This will give him a head start on taking over as regional director. At the same time, I know he will bring his own ideas and put his own stamp on our programs and our reputation in resolving market access issues across the region.”

Prior to joining the USGC, Wurth worked at Archer Daniels Midland and JP Morgan Chase, holding domestic and global trading roles at both companies.

“I look forward to driving strategy in the most promising, consistent growth market in the world,” Wurth said. “As US strategy on a number of levels refocuses on Southeast Asia, my office will be here to maximize the trade potential for our US farmers and agribusinesses. Over the last four years, we have built a sturdy foundation in Southeast Asia, and I expect an acceleration in efforts moving forward.”