Experts in international markets facilitate the connection between producers of U.S. food and agricultural products and international buyers and more. Our team works with state member agencies, the USDA and Foreign Agriculture Service to help U.S. organizations become export ready.
Tim Hamilton is Executive Director of the Food Export Association of the Midwest USA and Food Export USA-Northeast. Together these associations offer international trade development services to U.S. exporters to over 40 countries around the world. Tim and his team work directly with the U.S. food industry, government officials, importers and distributors throughout the world to design and implement export development and promotion activities for U.S. food and agricultural products. Tim also leads programs that provide financial support to U.S. exporters of food and agricultural products through funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Market Access Program.
Tim previously served as Chairman of the U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council. He holds an appointment to the U.S. Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Processed Foods by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative. He is a member of the American Society of Association Executives and the Association Forum of Chicago.
Tim has experience in both food manufacturing and international agriculture. Prior to joining Food Export-Midwest in 1991 and Food Export-Northeast in 2000, Tim was the general manager of a Chicago-based natural foods producer. Early in his career he was a volunteer in the U.S. Peace Corps in Ghana, West Africa. As an agricultural extension agent, he focused on increasing food production by working directly with farmers and ranchers in a remote region of the country. A Wisconsin native, Tim holds a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of International Business from DePaul University in Chicago.
Michelle has been working at Food Export-Midwest since August 1997. Michelle has held a variety of positions during her time with the organization. Michelle received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from DePaul University.
In her position as Deputy Director, Michelle works closely with the Executive Director on office operations to ensure that the organization's overall mission always remains the top priority. Michelle is a native Chicagoan and grew up in Pilsen, located on the South Side of Chicago.
John Belmont joined Food Export -Midwest and Food Export-Northeast in February 2011 as Communications Manager. John has spent his entire career developing integrated traditional and digital marketing communications programs, strategies and tactics. He has spent time in both for-profit and non-profit environments and has extensive B2B communications experience. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism, Marketing and Advertising from Marquette University.
John currently resides on the north side of Chicago and spends his spare time chasing after his four small children, fixing up a 105 year old home and riding his bike all over Chicagoland.
Branded Program Manager
Molly joined Food Export – Midwest in June 2012. She previously held the position of a Liaison, conducting outreach for various Food Export programs and serving as a key point-of-contact for clients in her region. Raised in Omaha, Nebraska, she attended Loyola University Chicago and majored in International Studies. While at Loyola she had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy and China, experiences that greatly increased her interest in international trade and assisting with U.S. exports.
In her free time, Molly likes to run, brunch, and explore Chicago’s many neighborhoods.
Financial Manager, CPA
Rob joined Food Export Association in August of 2002, after working the previous 10 years in various managerial accounting capacities. His most recent prior experience was as the Vice President of Finance for Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights, a Midwest-based social services organization.
Rob was raised on the south side of Chicago, and currently resides in the downtown area. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from Harvard University, and received his CPA license in 1997. An avid golfer, Rob enjoys spending the summer playing at all of the great courses in the area.
International Marketing Program Manager
Teresa Miller grew up in Mexico City, but she discovered the Midwest as an exchange student during her sophomore year in high school in Shawano, Wisconsin. Preferring the snow and cold over sunny Mexico, she returned to the Midwest for graduate school at the University of Wisconsin.
Prior to joining Food Export Association, Teresa worked in Mexico with an organization with a similar mission as Food Export Association's. Whenever she has a chance, she likes to play the piano and go sailing (summers only in Chicago, anytime in Mexico!).
International Marketing Program Associate
Femke joined Food Export-Midwest in March 2016 as part of the International Marketing Program. She was born and raised in the Netherlands, but has lived in Singapore and South Africa as well. She graduated from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands with a Bachelor’s degree in International Business and Management and a Master’s degree in Marketing Management.
Prior to joining Food Export, Femke worked for two non-profit organizations in Chicago that work with inner-city youth. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, volunteering, and discovering new places to eat in Chicago.
Communications Coordinator - Publications
Laura was born and raised in the Chicago area and joined Food Export-Midwest as the Administrative Assistant in March of 2011. She joined the International Marketing Program in 2013 and became the Communications Coordinator - Publications in March 2015. Prior to her employment at Food Export-Midwest, she has worked supporting corporate executives at electronics and advertising firms.
In her spare time, Laura enjoys scrapbooking and watching her two sons play baseball.
Barbara's career spans over 20 years including various administrative capacities for several associations. She joined Food Export-Midwest in August of 2013 and is a graduate of St. Joseph’s College (Indiana) where she received a B.A. in History. Barbara was born in Chicago and resides in the western suburbs.
She enjoys reading, music, movies, and watching sports and is a self-proclaimed "long-suffering Chicago Cubs fan who can’t wait for hockey to resume." Barb is also a member of the West Central Suburban Chapter of The Compassionate Friends (a support group for bereaved parents) and has also been active in fund-raising for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Communications Coordinator - Content
Adolfo joined Food Export-Midwest in the fall of 2010. He is originally from Houston, TX and graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Communications. Prior to his employment with Food Export-Midwest, he worked in marketing with the WNBA, Clear Channel Radio, the Austin Marathon and in project management. He also spent time as a legislative intern with former Congressman Ken Bentsen.
In his free time he enjoys running, discovering new places to eat in the city, and cheering on his Texas Longhorns.
Business Development Analyst
Kate joined Food Export in April 2016. She is originally from Warsaw, Poland. As a student of Warsaw Agricultural University, Kate came to the United States to join an international student exchange program organized by University of Minnesota. Kate continued her studies in Vancouver, Canada and holds Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from University of Phoenix, British Columbia. Prior to joining Food Export, Kate worked in various marketing and analyst positions.
Kate loves long walks, reading, making friends with people from different cultures and playing board games with her 8 years old daughter.
A lifelong Wisconsinite, Paul moved to Chicago and joined the Food Export-Midwest team in July 2016. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.S. in Agriculture and Applied Economics and a Certificate in Development Economics. Prior to joining Food Export, Paul worked as an intern for a non-profit that helped educate dairy producers from around the world.
In his spare time, Paul enjoys trying new foods, playing guitar and exploring the great city of Chicago.
Branded Program Coordinator
Veronica, a native Chicagoan, joined Food Export-Midwest in February 2009 as the Branded Program Assistant but and was promoted as the Branded Program Coordinator in January 2010. Prior to her employment with Food Export-Midwest, she worked as a Billing Manager for an online investment company. Her primary responsibilities are initial review of reimbursement claims and corresponding and interacting with program participants regarding administrative and compliance issues of the Branded Program.
Veronica received her undergraduate degree in Paralegal Studies and is seeking to complete her Master's in Forensics Psychology.
In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching documentaries and sports, and spending time with her family.
Kristopher was born and raised in Chicago, spending most of his time on the south side. He joined Food Export-Midwest in November 2015 as a Liaison. Earning a B.S in geography from Illinois State University, he previously worked for a social enterprise through Catholic Charities that focused on food access in underserved areas in Chicago.
In his spare time, Kris enjoys spending valuable time with his Playstation 4 as well as catching up on all things comics. He also enjoys traveling both domestic and abroad.
Mike became the IT Administrator for Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast in October 2010. He is originally from the suburbs north of Chicago. He spent the past 12 years in southern Illinois, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems Technologies and Master’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems from Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC).
Prior to returning to the Chicago area, Mike worked at SIUC at the Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development on the Rural Medical Transportation Network Project, providing GIS expertise to the project and serving as LAN Administrator for the department.
Paul joined Food Export-Midwest in September of 2011 as a Liaison. Paul serves as the point of contact for all companies in his region who utilize Food Export-Midwest's programs and services, and also looks to develop new relationships with U.S. food producers.
Paul earned his Bachelor's Degree in Agriculture Economics with a focus on international trade from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign). He gained international exposure and Spanish language skills while studying abroad in both Argentina and Costa Rica. Paul's interests include traveling, camping, volunteering, sports and learning to play the drums.
International Marketing Program Coordinator
Brendan, from Saint Paul, Minnesota, began at Food Export-Midwest in February 2013. Prior to moving to Chicago, Brendan lived and worked in Moscow, Russia as an English instructor. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he studied International Relations, Russian, and English.
In his free time, Brendan is mostly interested in pizza, reading, and watching the Green Bay Packers.
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