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People: AMI announces staff promotions

American Meat Institute (AMI) president and CEO J. Patrick Boyle announced three internal staff promotions that will assist the Institute in continuing to successfully serve the needs of the meat and poultry industry and its members.

In the AMI Foundation, Susan Backus, was promoted to Executive Director of the AMI Foundation. Backus has been a member of the AMI team since June 1997 and is responsible for the administrative management of food safety research projects initiated by the Foundation. Susan also serves as the director of administration for the Shelf-Stable Food Processors Association, which is managed by AMI. Backus received a Bachelor of Arts in history from West Virginia University.

Additionally, Betsy Booren, will become the Chief Scientist of the AMI Foundation. Booren joined AMI in January 2009 after completing her Ph.D. in food science and technology from Texas A&M University, M.S. in animal science from the University of Nebraska, and B.S. in food science from Michigan State University. Betsy’s responsibilities include coordinating research activities for the AMI Foundation and responding to the technical and scientific needs of AMI members. Betsy is also the staff liaison to the AMI Scientific Affairs Advisory Committee.

In the Member Services Department, Eric Zito will now serve as the Director of Membership and Exposition Services. Zito began working at AMI in January 2006. In addition to handling a variety of tasks in the Convention and Member Services department, he is responsible for managing the membership database. Zito earned a bachelor’s of science in economics from The Pennsylvania State University Smeal College of Business.

“These promotions are in recognition of our colleagues’ increasing contributions to the programs and services that AMI provides to its member companies,” Boyle said.  “I am confident that they will continue to serve the Institute and the industry well.”

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