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John Stika Ph.D.


  • John elevates the brand’s relevance for partners worldwide by strengthening customer relationships, providing cutting-edge solutions and growing momentum from farm to table.
  • “The brand’s mission is to put high-quality product on people’s plates around the world. It’s a great mission, and thus makes for a great place to work when you believe so strongly in why it exists.”
  • Certified since 1999

Jesse Cole

Fans First Entertainment and Owner, Savannah Bananas

  • A fanatic about fandom, Jesse Cole is on a mission to spark a fan-focused movement everywhere. He leads businesses and the sold-out Savannah Bananas to develop a Fans First mentality and word-of-mouth advertising through a step-by-step approach to Wow customers with surprisingly wild, yet treasured experiences. He’s also the host of the Business Done Differently podcast.
  • “It’s the difference you make in people’s lives that matters most. Whatever we do is Fans First and that’s to take care of our customers. Be patient in what you want for yourself but be impatient on how much you give to others.”
  • 1 million+ Savannah Bananas fans since 2015

Jade Simmons

Rockstar Concert Pianist and Activational Speaker

  • A classical pianist turned keynote speaker, Jade Simmons expertly melds music with inspiration. Her captivating storytelling and riveting concert adventure inspire people to redefine their sense of purpose and become the biggest, boldest version of themselves.
  • “Your purpose is not the thing you do. It’s the thing that happens in others when you do what you do.”
  • Named a best keynote speaker 2019, 2020 and 2021

Randy Blach

CEO, CattleFax

  • Randy’s four decades in beef market analysis helps ranchers and feeders sustain their businesses through timely market information, profitable management solutions and research.
  • “Our focus at CattleFax is on helping them make data-driven decisions that can have a significant impact on their profitability and keep these folks on the land. This is my passion that drives me every day!”
  • Featured speaker since 2000

Anne-Marie Roerink

Principal, 210 Analytics

  • Through many category performance and consumer research studies, including the Power of Meat, Anne-Marie helps food retailers, organizations and suppliers satisfy the ever-changing wants and needs of meat consumers in a one-size-fits-no-one world.
  • “I’m passionate about the why behind the what. Food connects us all, but our drivers, tastes and shopping habits differ widely, and better understanding consumer perceptions and realities in meat has been a fascinating journey.”
  • Food retail researcher since 1999

Jonathan Perry

Chairman, Certified Angus Beef Board of Directors

  • Jonathan Perry is an Angus cattle farmer, restaurateur and chairman of our board. Whether he is on the farm or in the kitchen, he immerses himself in a mission to serve great beef.
  • “Certified Angus Beef is the very best, and it’s rewarding to know we get to serve that to our diners and impact it every day with the decisions we make on this farm. It’s fulfilling to see our pursuit of excellence follows through all the way to the plate.”
  • Manager at Deer Valley Farm for 25 years

Debbie Lyons-Blythe

Blythe Family Farms

  • An advocate for agriculture and sustainability, Debbie and her family raise Angus cows in the Kansas Flint Hills. They work each day to manage the farm, knowing they are entrusted to its care and growing food for the world.
  • “Sustainability is about continuing the ranch in a way that’s good for the land, good for the cattle and good for the people, while enabling us to make a profit.”
  • Raising Kids, Cows & Grass since 1989

Manny Encinias

Buffalo Creek Ranch

  • An Angus cattle rancher and animal scientist, Manny shares his ranch and agricultural experiences through consulting and teaching. He works every day to pass the values he grew up with onto his children and to teach consumers about the roles ranchers play in providing exceptional beef.
  • “It’s so cool, and such a responsibility, to wake up and say, ‘You know what, we’re putting food on people’s tables all over the world.’ ”
  • Fourth-generation cattle rancher

Pete Szasz

Feedyard Manager, Beef Northwest

  • Pete leads the team at Beef Northwest to feed high-quality cattle, provide exceptional animal handling and strive for the best environment, all to produce the highest quality beef possible with efficiency and sustainability.
  • “The most rewarding part for me is when people learn a job, learn its value and take away from this job some sense of pride. It’s also very rewarding to see cattle come in, stay healthy, perform well and be marketed. It’s fun to watch cattle grow.”
  • Feedyard manager for 17 years

Matt & Amy Perrier

Dalebanks Angus Ranch

Session: Best Sourced

  • Nestled in the southern Flint Hills of Kansas, Matt and Amy Perrier care for several hundred Angus cattle on their family ranch. They strive each day to manage God’s resources and raise quality cattle.
  • “We manage our cattle in a traditional manner, using horses and hard work. We get to convert grass into delicious, nutritious protein for hungry people across the world.”
  • Raising Angus cattle since 1904

Bryan Schaaf

Chef Liaison & Communications Manager

  • Bryan spends most of his days making connections with the nation’s most talented chefs, telling carnivorous stories on MeatSpeak and eating whatever beef dish is being served next.
  • “I’m thankful for the opportunities to enjoy tasty experiences even a chef could envy. From cooking at The James Beard House in NYC to trimming briskets with iconic pitmasters, the excitement never ends.”
  • Certified since 2010

Tony Biggs

Director, Culinary Arts

Session: Best Tasting 

  • Chef Tony sets culinary vision for the brand and The Culinary Center and elevates the brand’s presence on the plate and relevance to chefs and restaurateurs worldwide through innovation and media appearances.
  • “Working for the brand allows me to be as creative as I want to be. The meals my team and I prepare are the result of the brand trusting us to serve the best-in-class experiences for our guests.”
  • Certified since 2014

Tracey Erickson

Executive Vice President, Marketing

  • Tracey choreographs marketing solutions that elevate businesses worldwide and position the brand as the best in category through its unique heritage on family farms and farm-to-table quality focus.
  • “The brand represents the best in the industry, which all comes back to people. The collective focus and effort of brand partners to offer end-users the very best is inspiring.”
  • Certified since 1992

Melissa Brewer

Vice President, Communications

  • Melissa helps partners bring their stories forward while leading the brand’s communications from public relations initiatives to online conversations to making every word count in marketing materials.
  • “This brand is so much more than great product. It’s great people—and story upon story of the grit and passion it takes to be successful. It’s an honor to work for, and with, a community so rich in respect for each other and with so many great stories to be told.”
  • Certified since 2008

Gebran Charbine

Vice President, International and Ethnic Brand Marketing

  • Gebran guides international partners to achieve sales, marketing and training success in their markets through innovative strategies that strengthen customer relationships and trust.
  • “I’ve never seen a brand that connects with consumers around the globe like this brand does. Whether umami, sabor or flavourful, whichever language you use, the Certified Angus Beef ® brand creates a memorable experience that is second to none.”
  • Certified since 2017

Nicole Erceg

Director, Communications

  • Nicole brings stories of our brand and partners to the world, leading communications strategy for the brand to deliver content that engages stakeholders.
  • “My favorite part of working with our partners is that we’re not just another brand, we’re their They take as much ownership in the success of this business, the profitability we drive for our ranchers and the experience for consumers as we do. That’s part of what makes this brand special.”
  • Certified since 2017

Deanna Walenciak

Vice President, Domestic Brand Marketing

  • Deanna leads the areas of customer marketing solutions, brand experience and the Culinary Center with a passion to engage and elevate partners and help them maximize the power of the brand.
  • “It is energizing to see the momentum build and innovation explode with our partners at the Culinary Center, events and today online around a shared passion to market the best Angus beef.”
  • Certified since 1996

Diana Clark

Meat Scientist

  • Diana sparks innovation on the plate at The Culinary Center to help distributors, chefs and retailers identify profitable, best-performing cuts, and cultivates consumer and chef research to steer partner success.
  • “I love experiencing meat and developing relationships with people from all over the world. Through different backgrounds, languages and experiences, we come together around a side of beef.”
  • Certified since 2015

Mark Sykes

Executive Account Manager, Southwest

  • Mark is driven to increase sales and grow business by collaborating with his fellow teammates and partners, creating advertising initiatives, expanding brand exposure and navigating issues.
  • “It’s a great day when I get to introduce the brand to potential new partners and discuss their opportunities with the best beef.”
  • Certified since 2010

Barb Burd

Senior Brand Manager

  • Barb leads trainings and provides marketing support to retailers and restaurateurs in the Southwestern United States and Hawaii. She also shares her many years of experience with new brand managers, helping them better support their partners.
  • “I absolutely love the culture here, from the inside out. Everyone is willing to help one another, including staff in the office and our partners all over the world.”
  • Certified since 2007

Sara Scott

Vice President, Foodservice

Session: Simply Your Best

  • Sara oversees everything from chain development to cultivating key strategies for growth and delivering educational solutions to advance partners’ presence in the marketplace.
  • “I love being able to connect people from gate to plate, to serve as the bridge between our cattlemen and our end-users.”
  • Certified since 2007

Kara Lee

Director, Producer Engagement

  • Kara hosts farm and feedyard experiences for partners, and leads marketing and education initiatives for cattlemen— all with the goal to help them earn more for their focus on quality.
  • “I appreciate every opportunity to work with Angus producers who are passionate about improving the industry—from animal care and sustainability to beef quality.”
  • Certified since 2009

Steve Ringle

Executive Vice President, Business Development

  • Steve leads strategic planning, customer development and the pursuit of new foodservice, retail, manufacturing and international business, with a focus on increasing customer success and optimizing product availability.
  • “I love that I work for a brand that brings people together and helps them to be successful. It is rewarding to know that working with our licensee base to build demand positively affects the lives of family farmers and ranchers raising quality Angus cattle.”
  • Certified since 2001

Clint Walenciak

Director, Product Services

  • Clint leads communications with the USDA to uphold the brand’s quality certification, and provides partners with product availability forecasts and market trends to guide their business decisions.
  • “The best parts of working for the brand are the quality it represents and the opportunity to work with the dedicated people across our community.”
  • Certified since 2000

Maria “Mafe” Baez

Assistant Director, Latin American & Multicultural Marketing

Session: Best Selling 

  • Mafe Baez uses her experience to support global and domestic brand partners in their efforts to promote the best beef.
  • “I enjoy interacting with Latin American partners, helping them create ways to promote the brand in their own countries and in their own language.”
  • Certified since 2019

Cathy McVay

Assistant Director, Account Marketing

Session: Best Selling 

  • Cathy is passionate about foodservice, restaurant and retail partners to grow customer loyalty and sales through innovative promotions, trainings and custom materials.
  • “What I love the most about working for the Certified Angus Beef ® brand is knowing that I directly contribute to the brand’s mission, but also the partnerships and friendships I’ve made with coworkers to ranchers to foodservice and retail partners.”
  • Certified since 2016

Amanda Barstow

Director, Brand Engagement

Session: Best Selling

  • Amanda leads creative, proactive strategies to welcome new partners and set them up for success through branding and trademark use on menus, in stores, on materials, in media and beyond.
  • “I love the authenticity of the brand—from its science-based specifications and grassroots beginnings to its global reach today. There’s an energy in our community that promotes positivity and continuous improvement.”
  • Certified since 1995

Bruce Cobb

Executive Vice President, Production

  • Bruce leads strategies and conversations for family farmers to raise quality Angus cattle sustainably, securing their heritage for future generations and long-term supply for the brand and its partners.
  • “This brand is the pinnacle of value creation and collaboration in the beef industry. Each segment in the supply chain plays a part in solidifying the brand’s leadership position and fulfilling consumer expectations. There are winners up and down the supply chain!”
  • Certified since 2020

David O’Diam

Vice President, Retail

  • David leads strategies and services to drive traffic and build consumer loyalty for retail partners, and supports them with innovative, results-driven beef merchandising, marketing and training.
  • “I love knowing this brand matters for our customers and rancher owners. When I see our beef in the meat case, I know that’s helping a meat manager make his budget and simultaneously helping a family make it another season. It feels good!”
  • Certified since 2009

Dave Neitzel

Director, Business Development

  • Dave provides retailers and his team with purchasing strategies and product sourcing information, helping them identify opportunities and grow sales of the best beef.
  • “I’ve always loved the food industry and I love this role, because I get to end each day knowing we were a part of someone’s special moment at the table.”
  • Certified since 2021

Natalie Davis

Director, Account Marketing

  • Natalie is driven to help retail partners harness the power of great beef to serve their consumers, bringing more than 20 years of marketing and partnership management experience into action for them.
  • “Certified Angus Beef believes in serving our partners with excellence, and has a sincere passion for all the people who make our brand what it is, from field to fresh. I’m truly honored to be part of this team.”
  • Certified since 2019

Kurt Brockhaus

Executive Account Manager, North-Central

  • Kurt works closely with foodservice and retail customers to bring great-tasting beef to the table. He enjoys helping accounts succeed through real-life experiences that bridge the gap between purchasing, pricing and marketing.
  • “I can only sell something I totally believe in, and the brand’s integrity and quality make it the only product I want to sell.”
  • Certified since 2017

Paul Dykstra

Director, Supply Management and Analysis

  • Paul Dykstra works closely with family ranchers and feedyard managers to carefully manage and sustainably raise Angus cattle using best practices and responsible care. He’s the brand’s expert on the beef market and grading trends.
  • “At its core, Certified Angus Beef works for ranchers to drive demand for their registered Angus genetics throughout the supply chain. I enjoy sharing tips and market information with cattlemen to help them realize this potential and to add more quality to their herd.”
  • Certified since 2001