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ARLINGTON, Virginia — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) announces changes to its leadership team in Asia following the departure of Regional Vice President Mike Spier who recently joined Columbia Grain as Southeast Asia Representative.

Matt Weimar is named Regional Vice President for South Asia and will relocate to USW’s regional office in Singapore after many years of service in Hong Kong as Regional Vice President for China. In addition to supervising staff and directing strategic planning and activities in USW’s 32-nation South Asia region, Weimar will continue to supervise USW activities in China and Taiwan. He will be assisted by Joe Sowers who is promoted to a new position as Assistant Regional Vice President. Sowers will continue to work from USW’s office in Manila, Philippines, but with new responsibilities now including supervisory and marketing support for USW activities in Korea.

“Both Matt and Joe have earned the trust of their customers and colleagues over many years of work on behalf of U.S. wheat farmers, and we are confident they will be very successful in their new positions,” said USW Vice President of Overseas Operations Vince Peterson. “Not wanting to squander his 30 years of work in China, Matt will stay engaged with customers there.”

Weimar started with USW as country director in the Beijing office in 1987 and was assigned as regional director in 1993 in the Hong Kong office. Weimar hails from a wheat and cattle ranch near Arlington, OR, where he worked in his family’s business and helped manage adjacent wheat and cattle ranches. Weimar received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural and resource economics from Oregon State University in 1982, graduating with high honors after being named both outstanding undergraduate and senior in OSU’s College of Agriculture. His other work experience includes marketing livestock feeds and supplements for Loomix, Inc., and value-added product promotion in Asian markets for the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Sowers joined USW in 2005 as a market analyst in Washington, DC, and earned a promotion to senior market analyst before moving to the USW office in Mexico City as assistant regional director with responsibility for Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. In 2011 he was transferred to his most recent post as assistant regional director for South Asia in Manila. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agronomy and a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. From 2000 to 2004 Sowers analyzed global grain and oilseed markets with the economic consulting firm, Global Insight, stationed in Philadelphia and Barcelona, Spain.

USW is the wheat industry’s export market development organization working to promote all six classes of U.S. wheat in more than 100 countries. Its activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

Joe Sowers

Matt Weimar

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Nondiscrimination and Alternate Means of Communications
U.S. Wheat Associates prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact U.S. Wheat Associates at 202-463-0999 (TDD/TTY – 800-877-8339, or from outside the U.S.- 605-331-4923). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Vice President of Finance, U.S. Wheat Associates, 3103 10th Street, North, Arlington, VA 22201, or call 202-463-0999. U.S. Wheat Associates is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia — U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) announces the addition of two new technical service representatives. Shin Hak (David) Oh joins as Food/Bakery Technologist in the USW office in Seoul, Korea, and Tarik Gahi joins as Milling and Baking Technologist serving markets in the Middle East and North Africa from the USW office in Casablanca, Morocco. USW is the wheat industry’s export market development organization working to promote all six classes of U.S. wheat in more than 100 countries.

“I am delighted to welcome Shin Hak to our team in Korea,” said Chang Yoon Kang, USW country director. “He has excellent skills and experience in research and product development that will be very valuable to our Korean customers and U.S. wheat farmers.”

Most recently, Oh was a senior researcher and bakery section leader with SPC Group, Korea’s leading bakery and confectionary products company. His work focused on bread products including ingredients and improvers. Oh developed a commercially successful sugar-free white pan bread and served on a team that implemented Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) food safety management systems. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in food and biotechnology from Korea University and Seoul National University respectively, and he successfully completed bakery and sanitation courses at AIB International, Manhattan, KS.

“Tarik Gahi is a professional miller who is well prepared to expand our technical assistance to flour mills, bakeries and biscuit manufacturers in this region,” said Ian Flagg, USW regional director for the Middle East and North Africa. “His work will focus on reinforcing the superior end-use characteristics of U.S. wheat through service and in-house milling and baking activities.”

Gahi is a 2002 graduate of IFIM, the Moroccan Milling School, who worked as a shift miller at Al Ghurair Food Group in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from 2002 to 2008. He then became a milling operations manager for Seaboard West Africa Limited in Freetown, Sierra Leone, before returning to his native Morocco as head miller/operations manager at Moulins Fassia. Gahi will apply a wide range of experience managing bread and durum wheat milling lines and related baking operations in his new position with USW.

USW activities are made possible through producer checkoff dollars managed by 19 state wheat commissions and cost-share funding provided by FAS.

Shin Hak (David) Oh

Tarik Gahi

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Nondiscrimination and Alternate Means of Communications
U.S. Wheat Associates prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact U.S. Wheat Associates at 202-463-0999 (TDD/TTY – 800-877-8339, or from outside the U.S.- 605-331-4923). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Vice President of Finance, U.S. Wheat Associates, 3103 10th Street, North, Arlington, VA 22201, or call 202-463-0999. U.S. Wheat Associates is an equal opportunity provider and employer.