ARLINGTON, VA. — The US Wheat Associates is making changes to its headquarters office to better serve its customers and stakeholders by dividing the program and planning department.
Previously serving the organization as vice president of programs and planning, Jennifer Sydney will shift titles to vice president of planning. In this role, Ms. Sydney will continue leading US Wheat’s annual planning process and manage all facets of its intersection with federal programs, finance, and overseas office operations.
Erica Oakley was promoted to vice president of programs and will oversee all domestic components of US Wheat programs in support of overseas offices in her new role, including export market development activities, consulting assignments, customer trade teams, US Wheat director delegations, and customer conferences. She also will continue leading the development of US Wheat’s annual Crop Quality Report and seminars.
“It is important as an organization to adapt based on the needs of its customers and stakeholders and how the skills and commitment of its employees can best serve its mission,” said Vince Peterson, president of US Wheat. “Erica has been an exceptional asset to the organization, especially through all of the challenges and changes we faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are confident this change is in the best interest of USW’s mission and look forward to both Erica and Jennifer’s continued leadership.”
Ms. Oakley joined US Wheat in 2015 as program manager and was promoted to director of programs in 2017. Prior to joining US Wheat, she worked as an associate at Humanitas Global, Washington. She also worked as a program associate at the Academy for Educational Development, now FHI 360, supporting a USAID Title II-funded Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance project. Before that, Ms. Oakley was a project associate at Washington-based Futures Group. She has a bachelor’s degree in international studies at Meredith College, Raleigh, NC, and a master’s degree in international relations from Utrecht University in The Netherlands.
Reporting to Ms. Oakley will be Catherine Miller, whose title will shift from programs and planning coordinator to program coordinator with additional responsibilities. Also reporting to Ms. Oakley will be Maybelis Fernandez, program coordinator, who coordinates program travel arrangements.
Reporting to Ms. Sydney will be Nada Obaid, whose title will shift from office manager to planning and administrative assistant. She will assume more responsibility in the day-to-day planning operations and continue administrative office management.