Organic Trade Association hires Poole, DeBates |

Organic Trade Association hires Poole, DeBates

In a reflection of the growing size of the organic food industry, the Organic Trade Association has hired Kelley Poole as vice president of government affairs and Megan DeBates as director of legislative affairs and coalitions.

Both will begin their duties in January.

Poole most recently served as director of government relations for Verto Solutions LLC, whose clients included the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association of the United States and the American Spice Trade Association.

Poole held several positions in the George W. Bush administration. At the Agriculture Department, between 2003 and 2009, she was a special assistant to the undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services and director of legislative and public affairs for rural development. Prior to that, she provided strategic planning and insight for communications and events for the Defense Department, the Trade & Development Agency and the Labor Department. She also did White House press advance work for Bush, Laura Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Before coming to Washington, Poole served as chief cabinet aide to the Florida agriculture commissioner and as staff director for the Florida Senate Majority Office.

DeBates has served most recently as senior legislative assistant to Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, D-Ore., one of the authors of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 that established national organic standards. She also served as the lead staff for the House Organic caucus. DeBates graduated from the University of Oregon.

-The Hagstrom Report

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