• Staff

    Chet Thompson is president of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the trade association representing over 400 companies that encompass virtually all U.S. refining and petrochemical manufacturing capacity. He became president of 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. Before coming to AFPM, he had a successful legal career in Washington, D.C. for over two decades. Most recently he was a partner at Crowell & Moring LLP, where he was chairman of the Environment & Natural Resources Group, one of the country’s premier environmental practices. He previously served as deputy general counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the George W. Bush Administration 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. Since joining AFPM, Chet has been named to the U.S. Chamber’s Association Committee of 100, which is committed to advancing jobs, growth, and opportunity that help our nation prosper; and The Economic Club of Washington, D.C., which serves to promote a greater sense of community among the region’s top business and government leaders, and the diplomatic community. In October 2015 The Hill named him as one of Washington’s Top Lobbyists. He has also been recognized as one of the leading lawyers in the United States 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, regulatory affairs, petrochemical and outreach departments as they work to educate policymakers, the press, stakeholder groups and the general public about the important role AFPM members and products play in daily life and the American economy.


    Rebecca H. Adler 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 Cronan 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

    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

    Susan Grissom 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.

    • Don Thoren, Director, Outreach
    • Jared Hawes, Manager, Outreach
    • Elizabeth Olds, Manager, Outreach & Regulatory Affairs


    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, Specialist, Regulatory Affairs
    • Ariel Sarandinaki, Specialist, 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.

    James McCloskey 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, Senior Manager, Convention Services
    • Colleen Van Gieson, Sponsorship Associate
    • Bill Baum, Manager, Safety Programs
    • Anna M. Scherer, Manager, Process Safety Database
    • Eileen Scherzinger, Manager, Regional Network
    • LaToya Blackburn, Specialist, Member Services
    • Yvette Brooks, Specialist, Technical Programs
    • Tanya Cooper, Specialist, Conference Programs
    • Joanna Engstrom, Meeting Planner, Convention Services Department
    • Brittany Jacobs, Meeting Planner, Convention Services Department
    • Jenessa Jensen, Registration Coordinator
    • Katharine Nesslage, Meeting Planner, Convention Services Department


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

    • Taylor Hoverman, Law Clerk

    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