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IDFA Announces Promotions for Ruth Saunders, Ashley Burch in Legislative Group

Jul 13, 2009


For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Peggy Armstrong

IDFA Announces Promotions for Ruth Saunders, Ashley Burch in Legislative Group

(Washington, D.C. - July 13, 2009) Jerry Slominski, senior vice president for the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), has announced two promotions in the association's legislative and economic affairs group. Ruth Saunders has been named vice president of policy and legislative affairs, and Ashley Burch has been promoted to the position of assistant director, political programs.

Saunders joined IDFA in 2006 as senior director of policy communications and has gained increasing responsibility in setting IDFA's legislative policy as well as building relationships with policy makers and industry partners. In her new position, she will continue to be responsible for managing IDFA's legislative strategies and policy communications with Capitol Hill and the administration, and overseeing the association's state legislative affairs activities.

She came to IDFA from the Office of Management and Budget, where she served as a senior program examiner responsible for funding and regulations for many U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, including dairy. Before that, Saunders worked on Capitol Hill as a staff member for the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture.

"Ruth is highly regarded among legislators and their staffs due to her background and knowledge of complex dairy issues and legislative expertise," Slominski said. "She is a very effective and well-liked representative for dairy processors on food safety, dairy programs and other issues."

She earned a B.S. degree in community nutrition at the University of California-Davis and holds an M.S. degree in agriculture economics from Cornell University.

Saunders lives with her husband and two children in Arlington, Va.

Burch, who also joined IDFA in 2006, is responsible for daily management of the Ice Cream, Milk & Cheese Political Action Committee, the GrassRoots Action Network for Dairy (GRAND) program and the "Get Out the Vote" efforts. She also serves as one of the main architects behind IDFA's popular Washington Conference and annual Ice Cream Party on the Hill, which just celebrated its 27th anniversary.

Prior to joining IDFA, Burch worked for the American Hotel and Lodging Association where she managed the political action committee, coordinated grassroots activities and organized the industry's legislative fly-in. Burch also has experience working for the National Propane Gas Association.

"If you attended our Washington Conference and wondered why it went so smoothly, you'll understand why Ashley is a valued part of the IDFA team," said Jerry Slominski. "Our PAC is vitally important to our legislative efforts and Ashley does a great job in making sure we use those contributions effectively."

Burch holds a B.A. degree in international affairs, with a concentration in international politics, from George Washington University. She lives with her husband in Alexandria, Va.

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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, DC, represents the nation's dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 550 companies representing a $110-billion a year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA's 220 dairy processing members run more than 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85% of the milk, cultured products, cheese and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States. IDFA can be found online at


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