• Staff

    Chet Thompson began his role as president of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers AFPM) in May 2015. Thompson leads a staff that advocates for petroleum refiners and petrochemical manufacturers before Congress and the Executive Branch on a broad range of public policy issues. AFPM, under his leadership, works to emphasize the importance of petroleum refiners and petrochemical manufacturers and their positive impact on U.S. manufacturing, jobs growth, energy independence and national security.

    Prior to joining AFPM, Thompson was a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Crowell and Moring LLP, where he was chairman of the Environment & Natural Resources Group, one of the country’s premier environmental practices. His practice included counseling, litigation, and regulatory and legislative representation for a wide array of clients under major environmental statutes, including the Clean Air Act; the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, the Resource Conservation Act; and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, Liability and Recovery Act. While at Crowell Morning he represented AFPM as external counsel for nine years.

    Thompson previously served as deputy general counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) where he provided legal advice to the Agency’s administrator, general counsel and program offices. Before joining EPA in 2004, he spent 10 years at Collier Shannon Scott PLLC, where his work focused on the Clean Air Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

    Thompson has been recognized as one of the leading lawyers in the U.S. by Chambers & Partners, and was awarded a Certificate of Accommodation by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2006. Thompson holds a B.A. in Political Science from Boston College and a J.D. from the Catholic University Columbus School of Law. He and his family reside in Potomac, Maryland.

    • Rebbie J. Riley, Executive Assistant

    Brendan E. Williams is responsible for leading AFPM’s Government Relations, Communications and Outreach Departments as they work to educate the media, Congress, the administration, and other stakeholder groups about the important role AFPM members and products play in daily life and the American economy.


    Rebecca oversees AFPM communications with the media and other external audiences outside government and works with senior management to develop AFPM's messages and communications strategies.

    Diana works closely with the media and other external audiences to disseminate AFPM's messages. She oversees and manages the AFPM Communications Committee.

    • Victor Adams, Manager, Web/Database Systems
    • Alex Adams, Specialist, Social Media
    • Ryan Mills, Specialist, Communications

    Government Relations

    Geoffrey A. Moody is responsible for managing AFPM’s Government Relations Department, which primarily represents the association before Congress.

    • Laura Berkey-Ames, Manager, Government Relations
    • Lauren Sheehan, Manager, Government Relations

    Industry Analysis

    Joanne M. Shore is responsible for developing research and assessments of how various regulations and policies impact fuel and petrochemical manufacturers and American consumers.


    Sarah Magruder Lyle is responsible for developing and executing strategic outreach initiatives that educate consumers, key stakeholders, policy makers and federal, state and local elected officials across country about how AFPM's members make modern life possible and keep America moving and growing as they meet the needs of our nation and local communities, strengthen economic and national security, and support 2 million American jobs.

    Steve Higley is responsible for overseeing and implementing AFPM's "outside the beltway" outreach activities.

    • Jared Hawes, Manager, Outreach
    • Elizabeth Olds, Specialist, Outreach
    • Ariel Burinsky, Executive Assistant, Advocacy


    Melissa Hockstad is responsible for leading AFPM’s Petrochemicals Division. Her responsibilities include oversight of various petrochemical committees, organization of the International Petrochemical Conference, and providing support for addressing legislative, regulatory and communications issues impacting the petrochemicals membership.

    James R. Cooper advises the petrochemical programs at AFPM on a variety of technical and policy issues. He is also responsible for the development of new educational and business enhancement programs, with a particular focus on shale development and its potential impacts on the manufacturing supply chain.

    • Rose Sabijon, Manager, Petrochemical Programs

    Regulatory Affairs

    David N. Friedman represents AFPM members before federal regulatory agencies and the Executive Branch. His team develops AFPM positions on environmental, fuels, safety and security issues with AFPM leadership and members.

    Jeffrey T. Gunnulfsen oversees and manages the AFPM Security Committee and the TSCA Workgroup. He serves as the principal liaison on security issues with the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Timothy C. Hogan manages AFPM regulatory advocacy on fuels issues and staffs the AFPM Fuels Committee.

    • Andriy Shvab, Coordinator, Regulatory Affairs

    Member Services and Programs Department/Technical Departments/Convention Services

    Susan E. Yashinskie supervises the member relations and technical departments. In this role, she leads member relations and development to support the current membership and cultivate new relationships; and directs the technical department to provide counsel to the AFPM Board on relevant topics. She also develops program content for AFPM’s Annual Meeting and Board of Directors meeting.

    Jeffery L. Hazle is responsible for working with AFPM members to assist in developing positions on regulatory and legislative issues affecting fuels production and the operation of refineries and petrochemical plants. He oversees selection of all technical sessions for AFPM conferences.

    Daniel J. Strachan oversees the work of AFPM’s Plant Automation, Lubricants & Waxes, and Labor Relations/Human Resources Committees. He also oversees the Cyber Security Subcommittees.

    Lara Swett oversees and manages the work of the Safety and Health Committee.

    Gordon Robertson oversees the work of AFPM’s Reliability and Maintenance Committee and the Screening Committee; he also oversees the Industrial Hygiene Subcommittees. Additionally, he publishes the bi-weekly Tech Update and the annual Refinery Capacity Report.

    Helen M. Kutska oversees the AFPM Convention Services Department and is responsible for all meeting planning services including site selection, contract negotiations, announcements, marketing, registration, logistics, trade show management, meeting material production and on-site execution.

    • Merla Zollinger, Manager, Convention Services
    • Colleen Van Gieson,Manager, Meetings
    • Anna M. Scherer, Manager, Process Safety Database
    • Eileen Scherzinger, Manager,Regional Network
    • LaToya Blackburn, Specialist, Member Services
    • Yvette Brooks, Coordinator, Technical Programs
    • Tanya Cooper, Coordinator, Conference Programs
    • Laura Naso, Coordinator, Safety Programs
    • Jenessa Jensen, Registrar
    • Katharine Nesslage, Coordinator, Exhibits


    Richard S. Moskowitz oversees all AFPM legal matters, staffs AFPM’s Legal Committee and supervises outside counsel representing d the association in litigation.

    Finance and Administration

    Gerald R. Van De Velde is responsible for the financial and administrative operations of AFPM. He oversees the Information Technology, Convention Services, Human Resources, and Accounting and Office Administration Departments and AFPM’s Political Action Committee.

    Wade L. Easter manages the accounting operations and office administration for AFPM. He also serves as an adjunct to the Human Resources Department and administrator of employee benefits.

    • Lydia M. Austin, PHR, Senior Generalist, Human Resources
    • Tanji Davis,Accounting Associate
    • Carlos Lopez, IT Consultant
    • John Manansala, Accountant/IT Support
    • Angela Segura,Receptionist/Facilities Manager

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