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).  Since 2014 he has served as the President of the International Grain Trade Coalition.   In addition, his many industry leadership activities include service as a Co-chair of U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialog for Trade Agreements, and a Co-Chair of the Canada-U.S. Grain and Seed Trade Task Group.  

Before assuming the presidency of NAEGA, Gary 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 US 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 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.

Gary and his wife Denise reside in Ashburn, Virginia USA.

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.

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 B.Sc. in Agricultural Economics from Ohio State University, and a M.A. in International Transactions from George Mason University.

Paul Green, Senior Advisor, Production Technologies
Paul B. Green is an agricultural economist and consultant based in Washington D.C., where he specializes in international and domestic marketing of agricultural and food products with an emphasis on supply chains for grains and oilseeds. Government policies on trade, transportation, Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures,  agriculture biotechnology, food safety and food aid are his specific expertise. In the past, Paul has advised  several of the largest U.S. agribusiness firms including the North American Millers’ Association (NAMA), the trade association of the U.S. dry grain-milling industry. In addition, Paul served for more than 10 years on the NAEGA Production Technology Committee as Chair and Co-Chair. 

Paul holds a Master's degree in Agricultural Economics with a specialization in trade and development economics.  He did his undergraduate work in British Columbia, Canada in Economics and Pacific Rim Studies.

Board of Directors

RoleFirst NameCompany
ChairmanJohn GriffithCHS, Inc.
First Vice ChairMatt HopkinsADM
Vice ChairGordon RussellLouis Dreyfus Company
Vice ChairCharles ColbertZen-Noh Grain Corp
Vice ChairSteve StrongBunge North America
Vice ChairSteve SmalleyCargill, Inc.
Vice ChairCarsten BredinRichardson International
TreasurerHolly WomackCoBank, Inc.
SecretaryAugusto BassaniniUnited Grain Corporation
David SmootViterra
Norihisa TsunodaMitsui & Co.
Jason HoferGavilon Grain, LLC
Kurt HaarmannColumbia Grain International, LLC
Kevin LaGraizeThe Russell Marine Group

Committee Chairmen 

Contracts Committee
Maurice Hurst, Cargill, Inc.
Maria Reinitz, Gavilon Grain, LLC

Grades & Inspections Committee
Nick Friant, Cargill, Inc.

International Programs Committee
Steve Smalley, Cargill, Inc. 

Production Technology Committee
Anthony Reed, ADM
Gary Williams, United Grain Corporation