FMI Creates New Positions, Promotes Leaders

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FMI Creates New Positions, Promotes Leaders


Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has created two new positions at the association and revealed several executive promotions.

As a way to develop and strengthen relationship with members, the Arlington, Va.-based trade organization created two original positions serving the east and west regions. The new directors of member relations and advocacy will provide a hands-on physical presence while acting as the primary FMI liaison with key constituencies.  They will emphasize government relations, food safety and articulate the association’s position on emerging issues. FMI Director of Member Services Lucas Darnell will represent the group in the eastern half of the United States, and new hire Cynthia Brazzel, will cover the western region.

“Because of the increased energy being given to state and local issues that are affecting the political landscape, it is imperative for FMI to be in the backyards of our members and fortify our work with food retail state associations,” explained FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin. “This bicoastal presence will enhance our ability to communicate with our members, better understand their needs and connect them with the many resources FMI provides.”

Darnell came to FMI from the McLean, Va.-based American Frozen Foods Institute (AFFI), where he worked across multiple functions in the organization and its communication pulse points: industry and legislative affairs, and member relations. While at AFFI, Darnell was also the interim executive director of the National Frozen Pizza Institute.

Brazzel has worked with Fortune 500 corporations and brings extensive consulting experience to her new role. She began her career with Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg Co. in consumer affairs and eventually directed government relations at the state and federal levels. Brazzel then went on to become a communication and public affairs consultant representing clients in the food, beverage and consumer products sector. Fluent in Spanish, Brazzel has spent the past few years as a board member for Health Talents International, coordinating volunteers and translating medical services, health care and education to an underserved population in rural Guatemala.

As well as creating these new roles, FMI has promoted the following executives: Stephanie Barnes, chief regulatory officer and general counsel; Ashley Eisenbeiser, director, food and product safety programs; Andrew Harig, senior director, sustainability, tax and trade; Rob Rosado, senior director, food and health policy; and Hannah Walker, senior director, technology and nutrition policy.