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Max Fisher, VP of Economics and Government Relations, National Grain and Feed Association

Max Fisher is the National Grain and Feed Association’s Vice President of economics and government relations.  He joined NGFA in 2013 after serving as the chief economist for the Senate Agriculture Committee where he worked for Senator Pat Roberts from Kansas.  He received his undergraduate degree in agricultural business from Kansas State University and a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Texas A&M University.  He grew up on a grain and livestock farm in Kansas and he continues to help farm as much as he can.  Max and his wife have four children and live in Virginia.



Gary Jay Kushner, Partner, Hogan Lovells 

Gary knows the food industry inside and out as he has been part of it for more than 40 years. His clients are some of the largest food corporations in the world as well as their trade associations. Gary helps address regulatory compliance issues, advising on product development, labeling, advertising, inspection, and representing clients in enforcement proceedings before government agencies and the courts. Previously, Gary served as vice president and general counsel for the American Meat Institute where he directed the organization's legal, regulatory, and legislative activities. He began his career as staff counsel for Scientific Affairs for the  Grocery Manufacturers of America. 



Alexandra Smith Ozerkis, NPA Communications Director, Kellen Communications

Alex Ozerkis brings over 17 years of experience in public relations and marketing with knowledge in a wide range of sectors, both corporate and nonprofit, and a strong background in food and nutrition communications. At Kellen, Alex has overseen the marketing and communications efforts for NPA since 2009. Alex holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Cornell University and serves as a Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador. She has lectured on the topic of public relations at the National Society of Association Executives, New York Women in Communications, Fashion Institute of Technology and The New School in New York City. She is also a pasta-lover who comes from a long line of Italian home cooks!



Jim Peterson, Policy and Marketing Director, North Dakota Wheat Commission

Jim is the North Dakota Wheat Commission's Policy and Marketing Director and assists with three major program areas: export marketing, trade policy and issues, and research/customer service. Jim presents programs to wheat producers and customers on spring wheat and durum use, their economic and quality advantages, and supply and demand outlook. He is also involved with efforts to maintain and enhance the quality of U.S. wheat by serving on the Wheat Quality Council's Spring Wheat Committee and the U.S.  Wheat Associates' Wheat Quality Committee. Jim is a graduate of North Dakota State University with a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics. He grew up on a farm near Makoti, ND and continues to be involved in the family's small grain, sheep, and beef cattle operation. Jim and his wife have two children and make  their home in Bismarck. 









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