WASHINGTON, DC, US — Erin E. Ball has been promoted to executive director of the Grain Foods Foundation by the group’s board of trustees. She had served as acting director of the GFF since January.
Before January, Ball was director of public relations and science at the GFF. She has been with the group since 2013. During her tenure, GFF’s research program has deepened and broadened, and Ball has worked to build the foundation’s relationships across academia, nutrition science organizations, and the food industry.
“With more than a decade of experience working in DC non-profits, and another decade in the non-profit world outside of DC, Erin brings vision for what our industry can do when we work together,” said GFF co-chair Kirk Stehr, senior vice president of sales at Grain Craft. “She has proven her value as a listener, a relationship builder, and as a leader who can set a course and execute on it. She understands both the possibilities and limitations inherent in non-profit management, and she has built the GFF board’s confidence in her abilities.”
Over the past several months, Ball led GFF’s Fall Listening Tour beginning in September with stops at the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE), the North American Millers’ Association annual meeting, and an American Bakers Association board meeting.
“The Listening Tour was intended to provide a connection point with as many GFF investors as possible — and by investors, I mean past, present and future funders of the foundation,” Ball said. “We were fortunate that 2022 was an IBIE year, and the conversation we had in Las Vegas was a great kick-off to the effort. We heard again and again from folks across the industry: continue to produce and translate science — build a messaging platform from the science — and keep grain foods on the plate with strong, science-based, grains-positive messages turned into tools for investors to use.”
Debo Mukherjee, GFF co-chair and chief marketing officer of Flowers Foods, Inc., said Ball was elevated following “months of consideration and close observation.”
“Her history with the group, institutional knowledge, and passion for the work the foundation does led us to the decision,” he said. “The board affirmed her as our choice unanimously.”
Ball succeeds as executive director Christine Cochran, who left the GFF to become president and chief executive of SNAC International.