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Press Release - President Biden Announces Key Regional Appointments for USDA and SBA

January 27, 2022

WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden appointed the following individuals to serve in key regional leadership roles at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA):

  • Deborah Tannenbaum, USDA State Executive Director, Farm Service Agency, Florida
  • Dennis McKinney, USDA State Executive Director, Farm Service Agency, Kansas
  • Robert Andrzejczak, USDA State Executive Director, Farm Service Agency, New Jersey
  • Jon Wyss, USDA State Executive Director, Farm Service Agency, Washington
  • Glenn Pauley, USDA State Director, Rural Development, Wyoming
  • Geri Sanchez Aglipay, SBA Regional Administrator, Region 5
  • Vercie Lark, SBA Regional Administrator, Region 7

These regional appointees will be critical to the President's efforts to rebuild communities most impacted by the pandemic, the economic recovery, and climate change. They bring deep expertise in their issue areas as well as critical relationships with federal, state, tribal, and local leaders. And, consistent with the President's commitment to building an administration that looks like America, these regional appointees represent the diversity of America and the communities they serve.

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (USDA)
The USDA's Farm Service Agency implements agricultural policy, administers credit and loan programs, and manages conservation, commodity, disaster, and farm marketing programs in each U.S. State. Its mission is to equitably serve all farmers, ranchers, and agricultural partners through the delivery of effective, efficient agricultural programs for all Americans. State Executive Directors oversee this work, ensuring the needs of local constituents are met and that USDA resources are distributed equitably and fairly.

USDA's Rural Development mission area is committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in rural America. State Directors lead offices that offer grants, loans, and loan guarantees to help create jobs and support economic development and essential services.

Deborah Tannenbaum, USDA State Executive Director, Farm Service Agency, Florida
Deborah Alford Tannenbaum, a sixth generation native Floridian from Lake City, most recently served as Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. In that role, Tannenbaum oversaw daily operations of more than 1,000 agency employees across six regulatory divisions: Aquaculture, Cannabis, Plant Industry, Animal Industry, Fruit and Vegetables, and Agricultural Environmental Services. She also worked to expand the department's strategic partnerships, alliances, and stakeholder relationships within Florida's $149 billion agriculture industry, as well as manage the development of Florida's hemp program.

Tannenbaum previously served as the founding Executive Director of the Florida Peanut Federation, a leading agricultural trade association that promotes, educates, and markets to the public the benefits of Florida-grown peanuts. In this role, she recruited several hundred members, oversaw nearly 100 public education events, and managed the organization's charitable efforts to support hurricane disaster relief efforts and fight chronic hunger. Prior, she served as Chief of Staff at a Washington-based governmental affairs firm, working closely with several former U.S. House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee members, Congressional committee professional staff, and Executive Branch regulatory agency staff including those who served at USDA. Tannenbaum also served as a Senior Fellow for the 57th Presidential Inaugural Committee as well as in senior leadership roles in trade associations, national non-profit organizations, and political and issue advocacy campaigns over the last two decades.

Dennis McKinney, USDA State Executive Director, Farm Service Agency, Kansas
Dennis McKinney is a Kansas farmer and cattle producer whose family's farm operates in southern Kiowa and northern Comanche counties. McKinney's public service includes serving as a county commissioner, a state representative, and as a member of the board of the Kiowa County Memorial Hospital.

McKinney and his wife Jean reside in Greensburg, Kansas and are proud that both of their daughters' families are engaged in agriculture and are raising their six grandchildren in rural Kansas communities.

Robert Andrzejczak, USDA State Executive Director, Farm Service Agency, New Jersey
Robert Andrzejczak was born and raised in Cape May, New Jersey. He joined the United States Army as an Infantryman in 2005 and deployed twice to Iraq. On his second deployment, he was severely wounded when his convoy was attacked. His injuries included the amputation of his left leg. After 2 years of recovering from his injuries at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. he returned home to NJ. He was active in multiple community-based service organizations before being appointed to serve in the New Jersey General Assembly in 2012. While in the Assembly, he served as Chairman of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and worked very closely with the agriculture community. He would later be appointed to the New Jersey Senate in 2018. Andrzejczak continues to serve his community through youth organizations with his wife, Trisha, and their two children, Bobby Jr. and Jana.

Jon Wyss, USDA State Executive Director, Farm Service Agency, Washington
Jon Wyss was born in Thermopolis, Wyoming, and attended Lubbock Christian University in Lubbock, Texas. While attending college, he began an 11-year career in the trustee industry when employed by the United States Bankruptcy Trustee for the Northern District of Texas. Prior to this appointment to the Farm Service Agency, Wyss worked for his wife Melanie's family company, Gebbers Farms, as an analyst and government affairs director. Wyss also served as the chief deputy assessor for Spokane County and temporarily served as a Washington State Senator for the 6th legislative district. Additionally, he has been appointed to serve as an advisor to various legislative committees at the local, state, and national level for over 18 years.

Wyss also served as the U.S. Apple Association north region director for 10 years, Chairman of the Okanogan Long Term Recovery Group, President of Okanogan County Farm Bureau, and as a Washington State Farm Bureau Board Member. He and Melanie have three daughters and one son. Wyss enjoys volunteering with Boys and Girls Clubs in Brewster, Washington and has recently opened a Boys and Girls Club on the Colville Federated Tribes reservation.

Glenn Pauley, USDA State Director, Rural Development, Wyoming
Glenn Pauley's professional focus and passion has always involved rural areas and issues. Most recently, he was employed by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department where he focused on collaborating with federal, state, and local partners in developing and implementing Wyoming's State Wildlife Action Plan, legislative coordination, Department strategic planning, and public outreach.

Pauley previously served as Executive Director for ranchland conservation organizations in both Alberta, Canada and Wyoming. The Southern Alberta Land Trust Society was the first local, province-wide land trust in Alberta and the first rancher-driven conservation organization in Canada. The Wyoming Stock Growers Agricultural Land Trust became one of the top 15 local land trusts in terms of acres conserved under his tenure. Pauley also served as the founding Board Chairman for the Partnership of Rangeland Trusts (PORT), which was involved with passing federal legislation to increase conservation easement tax incentives and improving the effectiveness of USDA Farm Bill land conservation programs.

Pauley has a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology and Management from the University of Wyoming and Master's Degree in Environmental Science from the University of Calgary. He is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys hunting, fishing, and camping, especially with his wife and two children. He is also a passionate fan of whatever sports or extracurricular activities his children are participating in.

SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA)
The 10 SBA Regional Offices, led by Regional Administrators, oversee the SBA's 68 district offices and ensure the goals and objectives of the Agency are met by each district office and field operations staff. The district offices are the point of delivery for most SBA programs and services, providing quality service to the local small business community. They work with SBA resource partners and intermediaries to accomplish the SBA mission of assisting America's small businesses.

Geri Sanchez Aglipay, SBA Regional Administrator, Region 5
Geri Sanchez Aglipay is a second-generation American and a daughter of a veteran. Aglipay has over 20 years of experience in workforce, entrepreneurship, and economic development and is passionate about strengthening collaborative innovation across sectors and industries to create more equitable paths to financial security for small business owners and the self-employed, especially to create a level playing field for socially and economically disadvantaged communities. Prior to the SBA, she served as Director of the Midwest Region and National Manager of Women's Entrepreneurship for Small Business Majority, where she expanded and directed the organization's strategic education programs, policy, research, and financial development efforts in the Midwest and oversaw women's entrepreneurship nationwide to address disparities. In addition, Aglipay has served as commissioner of the Cook County Commission for Social Innovation; co-chair of Racial Wealth Gap Committee of Financial Inclusion for All Illinois; and on the advisory council of HHS NIOSH Center of Excellence UIC Center for Healthy Work. She is a graduate of Bradley University.

Region 5 serves Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Vercie Lark, SBA Regional Administrator, Region 7
Vercie Lark, currently a small business venture capital and angel investor, is the author of Make It Rain, a self-help personal finance book, written to help improve the financial futures of Americans living in low-and-middle income communities across our country.

Lark recently retired from DST Systems of Kansas City, Missouri where he led a billion-dollar line of business providing solutions to firms in finance, banking, brokerage, and retirement investment industries. He has held various executive leadership roles for Fortune 1000 companies during his 35-year career. Lark serves on several boards, including Avila University, Wright State University's Engineering Council, Kansas City Missouri's Emerging Technology Council, the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce, Greater Kansas City Junior Achievement Foundation, George Butler Associates, and Stamus Networks. Lark is a mentor to aspiring small business owners.

Lark holds a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering from Wright State University. Most importantly Lark is proud to be the husband to Lisa, his wife of over 30 years, and father to his son and daughter.

Region 7 serves Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.

Joseph R. Biden, Press Release - President Biden Announces Key Regional Appointments for USDA and SBA Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/354271

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