The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


New communications manager at National Grain and Feed

The National Grain and Feed Association has announced the hiring of a new director of communications and a manager of arbitration services.

Heather McElrath, who served as vice president and communications manager for Rabobank in New York City from 2007 to 2011, is the NGFA’s new director of communications.

Previously, she was senior public relations manager for Freddie Mac and public relations manager at the American Bankers Association. While with the ABA from 2003 to 2005, she developed the communications plan for its Center for Agricultural and Rural Banking, and its Center for Community Development.

Most recently, she worked as director of public relations for PHH Arval, a truck fleet management consulting firm based in Sparks, Md.

McElrath is a California native, and received an undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech University in communications studies and a master of business administration degree in marketing from George Washington University. She also worked as writer and editor at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in Washington and as an editor for the Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle and the Citrus County (Fla.) Chronicle.

NGFA also announced that Shannon Gombos has joined its staff as manager of its Arbitration System and mediation services, which was established shortly after the association was founded in 1896, and is believed to be the oldest alternative-dispute resolution system in North America.

Gombos graduated earlier this year from Providence College in Providence, R.I., with a double major with honors in English and economics.

The NGFA consists of more than 1,050-member companies from all sectors of the grain elevator, animal feed and feed ingredient, integrated livestock and poultry, grain processing, biofuels and exporting business that operate about 7,000 facilities nationwide and handle more than 70 percent of all U.S. grains and oilseeds. The NGFA also comprises 26 affiliated state and regional grain and feed associations.