Four D.C.-Based Staff Recognized For Five Years Of USGC Service

Top row (L to R): Andrew Conner, Lyndsey Erb Bottom row (L to R): Stella Qian, Jon Weiss

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) recognized four Washington, D.C.-based staff members for five years of service during the Council's winter membership meeting in Panama City, Panama: Lyndsey Erb, Andrew Conner, Jon Weiss and Sunxing “Stella” Qian. 

“Our staff is critical to our success,” said Kimberly Atkins, USGC vice president and chief operating officer. “Each of these individuals are representative of the quality of our work.” 

All four staff members joined USGC in 2011 with responsibilities spanning across the full breadth of the organization, from accounting to biotechnology and almost everything in between. 

Erb works directly with USGC members as the director of industry relations, serving as a bridge and representing member positions on USGC strategy. She started as the membership coordinator in 2011, later serving as the manager of membership outreach and development before assuming her current role in 2013. Throughout the years, Erb has built strong relationships with stakeholders and has taken a key role in coordinating the industry in response to various threats of market disruption. 

Conner is also a familiar face with USGC membership as the manager of innovation and sustainability, previously the manager of global biotechnology. In this role, Conner directs and implements USGC strategy on biotechnology and represents USGC in national and international biotechnology forums and coalitions. Conner also leads the USGC Innovation and Sustainability Advisory Team, providing a valuable forum for discussing how these issues impact all sectors of the grain industry. 

In addition to serving in a key role in managing the Council’s Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Qian coordinates the planning and travel logistics for missions visiting the United States each year as the manager of trade teams. She continues to explore new collaborative tools to improve the efficiency of directing these important in-person market development efforts. 

The Council takes its fiduciary responsibilities very seriously and has a strong track record of clean audits thanks to the hard work and dedication of employees like Weiss. As the USGC manager of domestic accounting, he provides attention to detail on USGC budgets and financial accounts that is a recognized asset to the organization. 

“Thank you to our staff and their obvious passion for their work,” Atkins said. “Their successes help continuously reaffirm the dedication of USGC to our mission and to our members.” 

Editor’s Note: Global Update has featured stories over the past few months recognizing the dedication of USGC’s global staff members and farmer leaders who have reached milestone anniversaries this year - a total of nearly a century of service to organization. The recognition of these four staff members completes the 2017 recognition series.