For a new graduate from George Washington University armed with a degree in international affairs and driven by a desire to live in another culture, engage with different types of thoughts and learn new traditions, a job opening in the global programs department at the U.S. Grains Council (UGSC) was a natural attraction for Heidi Bringenberg.
She joined the organization as the international operations coordinator and was later promoted to global programs manager, where she assisted with the organization of international programs, including strategic analysis, program planning and development, implementation and evaluation and the recruitment of program consultants.
Four years later, the Council promoted Bringenberg to assistant director in the Council’s Mexico City office in November 2016. And in February 2018, the Council recognized Bringenberg for five years of service during its 15th International Marketing Conference and 58th Annual Membership Meeting in Houston, Texas.
“Heidi has assumed her position with ease and success,” said Tom Sleight, USGC president and chief executive officer. “She is as comfortable with our contacts in Mexico as she is with our U.S. constituents – all at a very critical time in trade relations between the United States and Mexico.”
In her new role, Bringenberg has shifted her work from administering programs in every region where the Council works to focusing on a single market.
“As the assistant director, I am able to engage our customers directly every day, see the programs in progress on the ground and be more creative and specialized in my approach,” Bringenberg said.
Bringenberg said the highlight of her role has been interacting with U.S. farmers who travel to Mexico as part of the Council’s programs, especially connecting U.S. farmers with their customers and watching those relationships grow over time. She explained customers in Mexico are impressed with the pride U.S. farmers have in their operations, the quality of the products they produce and the family structure of many businesses. In turn, she observed farmers are impressed with the sophistication of Mexican operations as well as the expansion and development plans in place.
“I have made lifelong friends with my teammates at the Council and I am developing more close relationships with our customers in Mexico,” she said. “It is the relationships that keep me energetic and excited to do good work for good people.”
About the U.S. Grains Council
The U.S. Grains Council develops export markets for U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products including distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol. With full-time presence in 13 key markets and representatives in an additional 15 locations, the Council operates programs in more than 50 countries and the European Union. The Council believes exports are vital to global economic development and to U.S. agriculture’s profitability. Detailed information about the Council and its programs is online at www.grains.org.