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American Frozen Food Institute announces staff additions: new hires to support long-term growth strategy.

The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) has announced the addition of three members to its staff.

Jorge Martinez joins AFFI as vice president of communications.

Throughout his 15 years in the communications and government affairs fields, Martinez has set the standard for uncovering solutions while developing a reputation for putting together winning strategies when communications is the key to victory. He has an extensive background in dealing with situations that involve balancing public opinion, public policy and political considerations.

Martinez will direct AFFI's communications and marketing activities--including management of AFFI's brand and identity, promotion of conventions and meetings, and the organization's long-term communications strategy for growth. In addition, he will oversee the communications operations for AFFI's managed associations, including the Food Processing Environmental Conference, Frozen Potato Products Institute, International Frozen Food Association, National Frozen Pizza Institute, National Yogurt Association and the Texas-Mexico Frozen Food Council.

Prior to joining AFFI, Martinez served as partner in the public relations firm, Arcadian Communications. Through the years, he served as press secretary for the U.S. Department of Justice, advance representative for The White House, director of public and government affairs for Jefferson Consulting Group, and as a strategic advisor for numerous political and governmental organizations. Additionally, Martinez was a senior associate at the Washington, DC public relations firm Greener and Hook, where he advised an impressive roster of Fortune 500 companies, trade associations, coalitions and political candidates in their bids for public office. Martinez attended Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts where he majored in business administration.

Amanda K. Shapiro has also joined AFFI as manager of conventions and meetings. Shapiro will take part in the planning and implementation of all AFFI events. She will have a significant role in the execution of the AFFI Frozen Food Convention and the Food Processing Environmental Conference.

Shapiro joins AFFI from The Boeing Company, where she served for five years as customer relations specialist and protocol officer in the company's Arlington, Virginia offices. Prior to her position at Boeing, Shapiro was an analyst at Quarterdeck Investment Partners in Washington, D.C., and was a client associate at Merrill Lynch in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. She graduated cum laude from Tulane University in New Orleans, with a B.S. in marketing and finance. Shapiro attended protocol officer training at the Protocol School of Washington.

Finally, Jason S. Bassett joins AFFI as manager of legislative affairs. Bassett will work with Sue Siemietkowski, AFFI's vice president of legislative affairs, to increase AFFI's profile on Capitol Hill and to advocate for frozen food issues.

Bassett comes to AFFI from the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, where he served as a member of the Committee's minority professional staff.

Previously, he served as Special Assistant to the Administrator of Business and Cooperative Programs for Rural Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Bassett has also served as a field operations specialist for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and legislative assistant in the SBA's Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs. He is a graduate of George Mason University where he earned a B.A. in political science.

"These individuals bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to our existing team at the American Frozen Food Institute," said Leslie G. Sarasin, President and Chief Executive Officer of AFFI. "I look forward to working with them as AFFI continues to provide the best representation for our member companies. Jorge, Amanda and Jason will strengthen and grow our relationships to an even higher level of productivity and success."
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Title Annotation:AFFI's Washington Watch: Reported by the American Frozen Food Institute in conjunction with Frozen Food Digest magazine
Publication:Frozen Food Digest
Date:Oct 1, 2007
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