Northeast Staff

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

Executive Director

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.

Joshua Dillard

Deputy Director

Josh is the Deputy Director at Food Export-Northeast.  He began his position as Branded Program Manager in September 2012 after spending three years as the Manager of Market Research at the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia.  In addition, Josh has over a decade of experience in the food industry, largely in the HORECA segment, including owning and operating his own retail establishment.

Josh holds an MBA in International Business from Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business and an B.A. in Hospitality Management from The Pennsylvania State University.  A resident of Center City Philadelphia, Josh is an avid reef aquarium keeper and prides himself on being “in the know” about artisan food producers from across the globe.

John Belmont

Communications Manager

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.

Howard Gordon

Branded Program Manager

Howard joined Food Export USA-Northeast in September of 2011 as a Liaison.  He holds a Bachelors Degree in Marketing with a focus in Aviation Management from Jacksonville University. Before working for Food Export–Northeast, Howard worked for a major airline for 12 years in airport customer service. Additionally, Howard has worked in state government in the department of finance.

A native of Delaware, Howard enjoys traveling, swimming, and volunteering.

Suzanne Milshaw

International Marketing Program Manager

Suzanne joined Food Export USA-Northeast as the International Marketing Program Manager in June 2012. She served Food Export-Northeast previously as Branded Program Manager. She’s spent much of her career in the agriculture and food sector, most recently serving in promoting agricultural economic development in southeastern Pennsylvania.  She has spent time working abroad in Poland and Austria.

Suzanne earned a B.A. in International Studies from Trinity College and a M.S. in Nutrition in the Agriculture, Food and Environment Program at Tufts University.  She enjoys gardening, swimming and volunteering.

Bruce Pansius

Finance Manager

Bruce is Food Export-Northeast' s Finance Manager, joining in January 2014. He previously served as the Chief Financial Officer of the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia, working in international trade development for nearly ten years. Earlier in his career, he worked for Campbell Soup Company and had his own manufacturing company.

Bruce holds an International MBA from the University of South Carolina and a B.A. in Political Science and Business Administration from Trinity University. He speaks Spanish and has worked in or visited over 35 countries. He enjoys spending his free time with his family and includes camping, woodworking, reading and exercising among his many avocations.

Laura Buske

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 for both Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast. Prior to her employment at Food Export, 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.

Ben Cortese

Liaison

Ben Cortese joined Food Export-Northeast in August 2016 as a Liaison. Ben comes to Food Export with a diverse background, having spent time in both the Apparel and Real Estate industries. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology from Fordham University in New York City.

Ben has travelled extensively throughout Europe and has completed both the Camino de Santiago and Tour du Mont Blanc hikes. He enjoys photography and has had the privilege to document all of his travels.

Alex DeMenna

Branded Program Assistant

Alex DeMenna joined Food Export Northeast in January 2016 as the Branded Program Assistant. Prior to working at Food Export, Alex was an English teacher at an afterschool program in Seoul, South Korea and an operations supervisor at Vail Resorts in Colorado. He earned his B.A. at the University of Colorado in International Affairs.

During his free time, Alex enjoys snowboarding, reading, and traveling.

Bulat Hametov

Liaison

Bulat joined Food Export USA-Northeast in April 2014 as the Branded Program Assistant. Bulat holds a Master's Degree in Diplomacy and International Relations with a focus in Developmental Economics and International Humanitarian Law from Seton Hall University. Before working for Food Export-Northeast, Bulat worked for a major bank for over 6 years. He is also fluent in Russian.

Bulat enjoys traveling, swimming, diving, and reading.

Andrew Haught

International Marketing Program Coordinator

Andrew joined Food Export USA-Northeast in April 2014 as the International Marketing Program Assistant. He earned his B. S. in Hospitality Management from Drexel University and worked for Drexel in the Hospitality Management, Culinary Arts, and Food Science Program. 

Andrew grew up in Manchester, NH and the NH Seacoast and has a fondness for New England and seafood in particular. When he is not at work he can be found biking and walking around the city, traveling, reading at the beach or gardening up on his roof deck in Center City.

Leah Hermens

International Marketing Program Coordinator

Leah joined Food Export USA-Northeast in July 2015 as the International Marketing Program Coordinator. She holds a B.A. in History and German Studies from the University of California Los Angeles and a M.S. in Agriculture, Food and the Environment from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

Leah gained international experience while organizing and implementing projects focused on agriculture and community development in Latin America. She also spent several years working in bilingual education in Spain and Germany.

Wahkeena "Keyna" Mason

Administrative Assistant

Keyna worked for Food Export-Northeast as a temp starting July of 2002.  She later became a full-time employee in August of 2003.  As the Administrative Assistant she provides administrative support to the Deputy Director, Branded and International Marketing Program staff.  She also uses her charm and good humor to collect evaluations from Food Export-Northeast program participants.

Prior to joining Food Export-Northeast, she provided customer service to small companies in the Food Distribution Center that corresponded with the seafood industry.  Keyna, as she is affectionately known as, recently obtained her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting in March of 2013.  She enjoys shopping, singing, writing spoken word poetry, spending time with her family, watching football (Dallas Cowboys) and has found a new love for travelling now that she has finished her degree.

Adolfo Montelongo

Communications Coordinator - Content Development

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.

Anna McCrorey

Accounting/HR Coodinator 

Anna joined Food Export USA-Northeast  in March 2013. Prior to joining Food Export she worked  as a Fiscal Assistant  in the Accounting departments of two different organizations  in the Human Services field. Anna brings over 20 years of non-profit experience to Food Export.  She enjoys spending time with her family.

Adrienne Messe

Liaison

Adrienne Messe joined the Food Export-Northeast team in July 2013 as a Liaison Prior to this role, she had served as a Food Export – USA intern in New Hampshire. Adrienne holds a B.A. in International Affairs and Anthropology from the University of New Hampshire, and has also gained international experience during a semester abroad in Nanjing, China studying Chinese language, culture, and consumerism.

Outside of work she enjoys skiing, hiking, and exploring new places.

Kate Pawlak

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.

Mike Weiand

IT Administrator

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.

Download Food Export Organizational Chart (PDF)
Download Food Export Staff Roles and Responsibilities (PDF)

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