Leadership and Staff


Gary C. Martin, President & CEO

Gary C. Martin has served since June of 2000 as President and Chief Executive Officer of the North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA,) the association of U.S. grain and oilseed exporters.  Among several related activities, has served with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Trade Representative Agricultural Policy Trade Advisory Committee, the International Grains Program at Kansas State University Advisory Council and the International Grain Trade Coalition.

Before assuming the presidency of NAEGA, Mr. Martin was a NAEGA Board Director and officer, representing Farmland Industries, Inc. At Farmland he had several responsibilities including Director of Trade and International Relations, Director of Grain Marketing, and Founder and President of Farmland Graños in Mexico.

From 1990 to 1992 Mr. Martin served the Administration of George H.W. Bush at the U.S. Department of Agriculture as Deputy Administrator of Commodity Operations and as an officer of the Commodity Credit Corporation.  In the first year of the Clinton Administration, from 1992 to 1993, he served as an advisor to the Special Ambassador to the former Soviet Union at the U.S. Department of State.

Gary Martin earned a B.Sc. in Agricultural Economics, with highest honors, from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.  He is also a graduate of the University of Missouri, Institute of Cooperative Leadership, and has graduate studies in International Transactions at the George Mason University.

Ryan Olson, Director of Operations

Ryan Olson started serving as the Director of Operations in July of 2015.  Previously, Ryan worked as a Staff Assistant in the Washington D.C. Office of then-Congressman Cory Gardner, before becoming a Research Associate in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Trade and Economics. There he researched and wrote on a range of issues, including international economics and development, economic freedom, and trade. Most recently, his writing has focused on preferential trade agreements and trade facilitation. He has contributed to research that has been cited by The Wall Street Journal, and his articles have been published by The Financial Times, Real Clear Politics and Heritage’s online news outlet The Daily Signal.

Ryan Olson holds a master’s degree in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University’s School of Public Policy. He received a graduate certificate in International NGO Management and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from James Madison University.

Senior Advisory

Sam Bonilla, Senior Advisor, Contracts and Commercial Practice
Sam Bonilla recently retired from Cargill where he last held the position of CASC Trade Execution Leader for North America. Previously, Sam worked for Continental Grain Company for 31 years. During his time with that company he gained experience in all areas of export administration, including commodity traffic and contracts. Prior to joining Cargill, Sam held the position of Assistant Vice President, Manager of Export Administration, in Continental's World Grain Division.  Until his retirement, Sam was chairman of the NAEGA Contracts Committee, and served on NAEGA Grades Sub-Committee for several years.

Jerry Cotter, Senior Advisor, Food Safety & Defense
Jerry Cotter recently retired from the position Director of Strategic Projects for the Port of Corpus Christi Authority. Previous to this position he was the Director of Operations for the Port of Corpus Christi, Texas for the just over two decades.  In that capacity he was charged with managing the day-to-day operations of the bulk materials terminal, general cargo and petroleum docks, the harbor masters office, maintenance department, cold storage facility and the Port Police and Security department.

Prior to his tenure with the port, Mr. Cotter served as the Operations Manager for the mid-south region of the Continental Grain Company based in St. Louis, Missouri. He also worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Federal Grain Inspection Service as the regional director in Dallas, Texas and also held the position of Director of the Inspection Division in Washington, D.C.

Arvid Hawk, Senior Advisor, Grain Quality & Safety
Arvid Hawk began his career with Cargill, Inc. as a Research Engineer.  In this capacity, he conducted research in grain drying, aeration, dust control, grain dust explosions, mold testing, aflatoxin testing, sampling and grain inspection methods.  During this period, he became active in liaison work with various trade associations and became interested in and familiar with The Federal Grain Inspection standards and procedures. He also became Cargill’s in house expert on international phytosanitary rules and regulations.  In 1980, he took over the position of Grain Handling Coordinator for the North American Grain Division of Cargill.  His responsibilities in this job were to give technical advice to plant superintendents, managers, merchants and traders in all of the technical areas mentioned above.

He now acts as a consultant on agricultural issues for Global Agricultural Consulting, LLC and is Senior Consultant to NAEGA, where he also served as Chairman of the Grades and Inspections Committee before his retirement from Cargill.

W. Kirk Miller, Senior Advisor, New Technologies and Trade
Kirk Miller most recently served as a Senior Staff Aid and General Correspondent for Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE).  Prior to that he was General Sales Manager for the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service from 2002-2009.   Kirk was Director of International Programs and Legislative Affairs for NAEGA from 1992-2002, and also served as the Administrator of the Federal Grain Inspection Service of the USDA under President Ronald Reagan. Kirk has a BS in Agricultural Economics from Ohio State University, and a MA in International Transactions from George Mason University.


Board of Directors

Chairman Steve Smalley Cargill, Inc.
First Vice Chair Steven Campbell Louis Dreyfus Company
Vice Chair Charles Colbert Zen-Noh Grain Corp.
Vice Chair John Griffith CHS, Inc.
Vice Chair Steve Strong Bunge North America
Vice Chair Wesley Uhlmeyer ADM
Sec./Treasurer Holly Womack CoBank
Terry James Richardson International
David Smoot Viterra
Tsuyoshi Nakano Mitsui & Co.
Randal Ritchie Gavilon Grain
Ron Williams Columbia Grain

Committee Chairmen

Biotechnology Committee
Paul Green, Mitsui & Co

Grades & Inspections Committee
Nick Friant, Cargill, Inc.
Todd Canatella, Zen Noh Grain Corp.

Contracts Committee
Andrew Marting, Bunge, NA
Amer Badawi, Columbia Grain