Unlocking the Power of the Seed



Mark Sandeen
AG Processing Inc.
John McGowan
Steve O’Nan
Consolidated Grain & Barge Co.
Immediate Past Chairman
Chris Nikkel
Bunge North America, Inc.


Thomas Hammer


Thomas Hammer
Hammer has served as NOPA’s chief executive officer since October 2001. As President, he is responsible for implementing the policies of the Board of Directors and for planning, coordinating and implementing NOPA’s programs, services and budget.

Hammer has nearly 40 years of involvement in the Washington agricultural and international trade policy area. He has extensive experience in both the government and private sector.
Before joining NOPA, Hammer served as President of Hammer & Company, a consulting firm specializing in agribusiness, international trade and risk management. For over ten years, he was President of the Sweetener Users Association, representing industrial manufacturers of sweetened products and beverages. He was also the National Affairs Director, International Trade, for the American Farm Bureau Federation. His government experience includes service as Deputy Under Secretary for International Affairs & Commodity Programs at the US Department of Agriculture from 1981-1982. Hammer earned his B.A. at Marietta College, and his Masters in Business Administration from George Washington University.

Tom is the person to contact if you need information on:

• Membership Recruitment/Retention
• Membership Inquiries
• Trading Rules: Soymeal & Soy Oil
• Oilseed Trade Inquiries: Domestic & International
• International Trade
• Biotechnology
• International & Domestic Customer Relations Outreach
• International Coalitions
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David Hovermale

Executive Vice President, Government Relations

David Hovermale
Hovermale has served as NOPA’s Executive Vice President since May 2001. As Executive Vice President, he is responsible for government relations, issues management, and political strategy and coordination. Hovermale also provides the coordination for NOPA’s three primary committees: Government and Public Relations, Industry and Grower Relations, and International Trade. From December 1998 through April 2001, Hovermale served as NOPA’s Director of Government and Public Relations.
Hovermale has nearly 25 years of involvement in the Washington agricultural and international trade policy. He has extensive experience in both Congress and the Administration.

Before joining NOPA, Hovermale served as Legislative Assistant for Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) from 1994 through November 1998. He specialized in agricultural policy and organized Senator McConnell’s activities on the Agriculture Committee and the Appropriations’ Subcommittee on Agriculture. Hovermale served as Director of Legislative Affairs of the Foreign Agricultural Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from 1998 to 1992. Hovermale also worked in several other USDA divisions, including International Affairs and Commodity Programs, Office of Congressional Relations, and Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service. Hovermale earned his B.A. in political science from Frostburg State College in Maryland.

David is the staff person to contact if you need information on:

• Agricultural Policy
• Transportation Issues
• Congressional Activities & Outreach
• National & State Oilseed Grower Relations Outreach
• Domestic & Legislative Coalitions
• Press Inquiries
• NOPA Monthly Crush Statistics & Subscriptions
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Lorraine Gershman

Vice President, Regulatory Affairs

Lorraine Gershman
Lorraine Gershman joined NOPA in February 2016, and serves as NOPA’s Vice President Regulatory Affairs. As Vice President, she is responsible for leading NOPA’s regulatory advocacy efforts, with a focus on environmental, health and safety issues, as well as coordinating NOPA’s Technical Environmental Safety and Health committee and supporting subcommittees.
Prior to joining NOPA, Ms. Gershman was with the American Chemistry Council from 2003 to 2016, last serving as Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs. In that role, she was responsible for leading ACC’s advocacy efforts on environmental issues, with a particular focus on air and climate issues such as air toxics, combustion, National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), permitting, and greenhouse gas policy and regulations. Ms. Gershman’s extensive technical expertise and policy knowledge resulted in numerous appearances before regulatory agencies, Congress, and stakeholder groups on behalf of the industry.

Ms. Gershman’s previous professional experience includes environmental engineering positions with consulting firms Malcolm Pirnie and Geotrans, Inc. She holds M.C.E. and B.S. degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia.

Lorraine is the staff person to contact if you need information on Regulatory Issues:

• Environmental Issues
• Food/Feed/Safety Issues
• Employee Safety and Health Issues
• Environmental & Regulatory Coalitions
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David Ailor

Regulatory Affairs Advisor

David Ailor
Ailor currently serves as NOPA's Regulatory Affairs Advisor. He was NOPA’s Executive Vice President (EVP) of Regulatory Affairs from October 1989 to December 2014. As Regulatory Affairs Advisor, he is responsible for directing the regulatory and legislative activities of NOPA on issues related to the Clean Air Act (CAA); Clean Water Act (CWA); Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA); Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA); Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA’90); Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA); Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA); Occupational Safety and Health Act; and, the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). Responsibilities include formulating policy positions; developing regulatory responses; analyzing regulations/legislation; providing "early warning" on pending legislation and regulatory issues; directing lobbyists and outside counsel in support of same; and, working with relevant regulatory agencies to ensure the reasonableness of regulations being developed. As NOPA’s lead technical staff member, he also provides technical support/guidance to NOPA members and NOPA’s various committees and responds to various technical inquiries and requests for information.
Ailor’s previous professional experience includes environmental engineering positions with Frito-Lay, Inc.; The Standard Oil Company of Ohio; TRW, Inc.; and, the California Air Resources Board. Ailor holds an M.S.C.E. degree from Purdue University and a B.S.C.E. degree from North Carolina State University, and is a registered Professional Engineer.

David is the staff person to contact if you need information on Regulatory Issues:

• Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)
• Environmental Issues
• Food/Feed/Safety Issues
• Employee Safety and Health Issues
• Environmental & Regulatory Coalitions

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Jeanne Seibert

Office Administrator

Jeanne Seibert
Jeanne was hired in July 2014. She is responsible for managing the daily office operations and implementing the policies and procedures, assisting the President, planning NOPA meetings and events, and reviewing and implementing communications.
Prior to NOPA she worked at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for 14 years as an Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff and Executive Vice President of Finance. Jeanne has over 20 years’ experience as an Executive Assistant, Project Manager and Meeting Planner in the Association environment.

Jeanne is the staff person to contact if you need information on:

• General Information Requests
• Annual and Semi-Annual Certificates
• Membership Materials, Roster and Services (Members Only)
• Board of Directors and Annual Meeting (Invitation Only)
• Annual Meeting and Event Sponsorship
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