By David Accomazzo
The Organic Trade Association has named former Washington lobbyist Christine Bushway as the organization's new executive director.
She began her tenure on Monday.
Bushway formerly served as a lobbyist for the egg industry before Congress, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; as a spokeswoman on television, radio, and print in addition to creating a public relations, marketing, and advertising firm serving the food and agriculture industries. Her clients included the American Egg Board, the PA Beef Council, Radlo Foods, and the New England Brown Egg Council, among others, according to a bio released on the OTA's Web site.
In 1984, Bushway founded the Egg Nutrition Center in Washington, D.C., which funds research and provides guidance on egg nutritional information to industry, consumers, and health agencies.
"I think she is a solid leader and she has a good background in marketing, which will be valuable to help promote our industry and move it forward, and I think she has a good history of being a consensus builder and being a leader," said Matt McLean, vice president of the OTA's board of directors. "She's a good hire. Very professional, and she comes off as having a good personality, very warm, very easy to talk to. I'm excited about what she can do for our industry."
Bushway replaces interim executive director David Gagnon, whom the board appointed after Caren Wilcox's two-year run ended in June. Bushway is the third executive director in the organization's 23-year history.
Bushway joins the OTA after serving as the director of state programs for the American Egg Board where she "[enhanced] national advertising and promotion of the Incredible Edible Egg consumer awareness campaign" across the nation, the OTA bio said.
Bushway said she was happy to return to her New England roots and looked forward to being closer to her extended family and friends. She currently lives in Alexandria, Va. with her 9-year-old daughter, her 10-year-old Shetland sheepdog and her daughter's hamster, the bio said.
The OTA is the largest trade association in the organic industry and has helped shape the industry's legal guidelines and consumer expectations into what they are today, including playing a key role in the passage of the U.S. organic standards in 2002.
The group's membership includes small business owners and large corporations such as Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage, and U.S. Mills. The association's Web site says, "OTA's mission is to promote and protect organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public, and the economy. OTA envisions organic products becoming a significant part of everyday life, enhancing people's lives and the environment."