ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, U.S. — The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) announced on June 11 the promotion of three of its leading staff members to better serve its membership and the industry. The promoted staff will remain in their respective departments while working on new and ongoing projects within their areas of expertise. 

Gina Tumbarello has been promoted to director of international policy and trade for AFIA. Tumbarello previously served as manager of international trade. She joined AFIA in September 2011, and was formerly employed by the U.S. Grains Council.

Tumbarello is responsible for leading the development of priority import and export issues for the global feed industry. She serves as the industry advocate, addressing trade constraints and communicating the interests of the feed, feed ingredient and pet food industries to various government agencies.

"Gina's promotion is well deserved and recognizes her successful direction of several important trade and trade policy issues for AFIA," said Richard Sellers, AFIA's senior vice-president of legislative and regulatory affairs. "Gina deftly represents AFIA in many trade meetings with federal agencies and her counterparts. She is well recognized by her peers as a knowledgeable source on feed trade issues and has convinced USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service to focus more on the $8 billion of feed exports the industry has with its global partners."

Paul Keppy, formerly the organization's legislative and regulatory specialist, will now serve the organization as its government affairs specialist. Keppy joined AFIA in 2013 and assists AFIA membership to meet the compliance mandates of the current and new regulations on the horizon, such as the Food Safety Modernization Act. He is also very involved in the association's legislative activities, state relations and its Nutrition Committee.

"Over the past year, Paul has taken on several issues and has successfully brought positive changes for the AFIA membership," said Sellers. "He is a quick study and has become a valuable asset as we move forward to address the Food Safety Modernization Act rules, technical ingredient approval issues with FDA and our venture into working to modernize the Food and Drug Administration's laws regarding feed. I look forward to addressing more challenges and working closely with Paul this year."

Keppy is an Iowa native where his family is involved in pork production. He has a bachelor's degrees in economics and political science from Iowa State University, and a master's degree in public service and administration from Texas A&M University. 
Tracy Manriquez is AFIA's new membership and communications specialist. Manriquez previously served as the membership and communications team coordinator. She has been with the association for more than three years, also serving as a liaison to the board of directors and as an assistant to AFIA President and Chief Executive Officer Joel G. Newman. Manriquez is a graduate of Brigham Young University and has previously worked in the financial industry as a financial analyst, trader and support specialist for financial planning firms. 

"Over the years, Tracy has continually accepted new responsibilities such as the management of the AFIA Board books and overseeing the online publication catalog," said Sarah Novak, AFIA vice-president of membership and public relations. "The membership and communications team, as well as the entire AFIA staff, looks forward to Tracy's advancement within the organization as we continue to work with her on new projects to come."