The American Soybean Association is announcing that Melanie Fitzpatrick will join its senior management team on Jan. 3. Fitzpatrick, who most recently worked as vice president of The Center for Food Integrity and Look East Public Relations, will fill the vacancy of Bill Schuermann, who retired in December 2022 after 15 years of serving soy in the role.

At CFI, Fitzpatrick led strategic oversight for a variety of food and agriculture accounts including livestock genetics, crop input manufacturing, life sciences companies, food retail, national food service chains, agriculture finance, global livestock and poultry entities, row crop organizations and more.

“We were impressed with Melanie’s diverse professional portfolio and enthusiasm for the agriculture industry,” said Stephen Censky, ASA chief executive officer. “Continuing to grow our organization is imperative to achieving its goals and better serving our soybean farmer members and other industry stakeholders. We believe Melanie will succeed in leading our state and industry relations initiatives in support of soy’s policy missions.”

Fitzpatrick is no newcomer to either agriculture or soy specifically, having worked two years for Indiana Soybean Alliance—and concurrently for Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Indiana Corn Growers Association—before CFI/Look East. Prior, she was the U.S. utilization director at Smithbucklin for the United Soybean Board. Fitzpatrick also served three years as development manager for the National Corn Growers Association. She earned an MBA from Webster University in St. Louis, Mo., and a journalism degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia.

As a key member of ASA’s senior management team, the executive director of state & industry relations contributes heavily to the organization’s big picture strategic goals, creates strategies and actionable plans for funding to support ASA’s functions, and develops alliances with soy state affiliates, agribusiness partners and allied industries to strengthen the organization’s long term relations.

Fitzpatrick, who will work in the ASA St. Louis office, rounds out the policy organization’s senior team, joining CEO Censky and Christy Seyfert, executive director of government affairs (D.C. office), Wendy Brannen, senior director of marketing and communications (D.C. office), Scott Gerlt, chief economist, Brian Vaught, chief financial officer, Abby Podkul, director of meetings and conventions and Gena Perry, executive director of ASA’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health.

Source: American Soybean Association