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The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) has selected Kraig R. Naasz as its new president and CEO, effective Feb. 1. He succeeds AFFI SVP Robert L. Garfield who took over as interim president in October, when former president and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin left to head the Food Marketing Institute.
"Kraig is a dynamic leader and accomplished trade association executive with more than 25 years of experience in the food and public policy arenas," noted AFFI board chairman James E. Matthews Jr. of the H.J. Heinz Co. "Kraig's passion for the food industry, his bipartisan approach to advocacy and his keen communication and management skills made him the ideal choice to lead our association."
Naasz's current position is senior advisor to Washington Advocates, a government affairs, communications and strategic consulting company with offices in Washington, D.C., and Bellevue, Wash. He was previously president and CEO of the National Mining Association, where he won enactment of the first major reform of U.S. mine safety laws in over 30 years and helped the mining industry achieve its safest year ever in 2008.
His prior experience additionally includes being president of The Fertilizer Institute, where he guided the industry's security efforts in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, and president and CEO of the U.S. Apple Association, where he secured over $550 million in federal assistance for financially strapped apple growers and processors. Naasz was also VP of the Northwest Horticultural Council and a congressional aide.
Among other industry affiliations, Naasz belongs to the American Society of Association Executives' Key Industry Associations Committee, chairs the National Energy Foundation and is a director of the U.S. Energy Association.
The AFFI is the national trade association promoting and representing the interests of all segments of the frozen food industry.