ASI Staff

Peter Orwick - Executive Director

Phone: (303) 771-3500, ext. 33

As ASI’s executive director, Peter Orwick has spearheaded major programs including the successful 201 Trade Action and Wool Economic Loss Assistance program, which combined, have resulted in more than $200 million in federal funding for the U.S. sheep industry.

Prior to his executive director position, Orwick served as ASI’s director of government affairs from August 1991 to February 1997, during which he oversaw the association’s government relations and natural resources programs.

Before joining the ASI staff, Orwick served as manager for the South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s Division of Conservation, directing conservation programs for the entire state.

In the mid '80s, he served as county executive director for the Harding County Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service in Buffalo, S.D., where he administered USDA programs and dealt extensively with agricultural producers, lenders and associated county, state and federal agencies.

Orwick was reared on a sheep and cattle ranch on the rangelands of western South Dakota. He received bachelor of science degrees in animal science and business from South Dakota State University in 1984.

Paul Rodgers - Deputy Director of Policy

Phone: (304) 647-9981

As ASI's deputy director of policy, Paul Rodgers is responsible for identifying and managing issues of relevance for both ASI and the U.S. sheep industry in several key areas: animal health, food safety and quality assurance, animal welfare, research and educational policy, marketing and trade and other technical matters. More specifically, Rodgers works with national and international regulatory agencies and organizations to implement ASI policies and to manage issues relating to the above-mentioned areas.

He has staff responsibilities to ASI’s Research and Education Council and Animal Health Committee--namely through representation on boards and committees that address animal health and quality assurance issues.

Rodgers is also the lead staff person for the American Lamb Council, for which he oversees competitiveness-improvement initiatives and coordinates activities with the recently established American Lamb Board.

Rodgers began working for the sheep industry in 1984 as a consultant for the American Sheep Producers Council, one of ASI's two predecessor organizations.

Rita Kourlis Samuelson - International Wool/Pelt Marketing Director

Phone: (303) 771-3500, ext. 29

Rita Kourlis Samuelson is ASI’s director of international wool/pelt marketing. As such, she oversees ASI’s wool program, which includes quality improvement, international market development and various wool-related issues. She also works with international customers of American wool and wool products.

Prior to joining ASI at its start-up in 1989, Kourlis Samuelson worked for the American Sheep Producers Council beginning in 1983, bringing first-hand knowledge of wool and wool production and several years of retail marketing and management experience.

Kourlis Samuelson is past president of Woolknit Associates, a trade association that promotes wool in knitswear.

She has a business degree with an emphasis in marketing from the University of Denver.

The Kourlis family of Craig, Colo., operates one of the state’s largest independent sheep ranches. Kourlis Samuelson’s father emigrated from Greece more than 60 years ago and started the Kourlis sheep operation. She was raised on the ranch with her two brothers and two sisters and has been involved in all aspects of the sheep and wool business.

Judy Malone – Director of Industry Information

Phone: (303) 771-3500, ext. 35

As ASI’s director of industry information, Malone assures a continuous flow of communications on various issues between industry sources, producers and ASI. She is editor of the ASI WEEKLY newsletter and a contributing editor of ASI’s monthly tabloid, the Sheep Industry News . She also serves as the association’s media contact. In addition, Malone coordinates ASI’s annual convention and oversees management of the association’s Web sites.

Prior to joining ASI, Malone was a partnership manager for BCN Services, a Michigan-based Professional Employer Organization, which provides human resource support to a client base of 8,000+ employees. Prior to that she worked in various positions for the University of Phoenix. They included, most recently, director of financial services, director of academic affairs and lead counselor/academic counselor.

Malone holds a master’s in education/diverse learning from the University of Phoenix, a bachelor’s in business education from Northwestern College and Teacher Certification from the State of Iowa.

Ralph Loos; Editor - Sheep Industry News

Phone: (303) 771-3500, ext. 55

Ralph Loos has joined the American Sheep Industry Association as Editor of Sheep Industry News.

Loos spent many years as a newspaper reporter and editor, covering a long list of topics that includes agriculture, business and sports. He worked as an editor and communications manager for the U.S. Soybean Export Council and has also has written about agriculture and producer issues for Osborn and Barr, an agriculture marketing and public relations agency based in St. Louis.

Among his hobbies are snow skiing and cycling.

Larry Kincaid – Chief Financial Officer

Phone: (303) 771-3500, ext. 17

As ASI’s CFO, Larry Kincaid oversees all aspects of the association’s accounting functions. He is responsible for financial planning and record-keeping, as well as communicating financial performance and forecasts. Kincaid also handles all financial matters as they relate to the National Sheep Improvement Program, the Public Lands Council and the Sheep Venuture Company.

Christa Rochford – International Wool Marketing Coordinator

Phone: (303) 771-3500, ext. 18

Christa Rochford joined the staff in April 2014. Her primary responsibility is overseeing the association’s Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) regulations. This includes management of the FAS files; tracking and updating FAS worksheets with allocations and change notifications; help with preparation of UES reports; reviewing FAS invoices, expense reports and backup; tracking important FAS documents and dates; submitting claims; and preparing for audits. Rochford also coordinates and provides support for many wool oriented activities, both domestic and international in nature.

Mary Jensen – Assistant to the Director

Phone: (303) 771-3500, ext. 46

Mary Jensen first joined the ASI staff in March 1991 and returned in March 2004. She assists the Executive Director, the ASI Executive Board and the ASI Board of Directors in numerous capacities. Prior to her current position, she assisted the ASI Research and Education Department for six years.

Zahrah Khan – Project Manager/Human Resources and Finances

Phone: (303) 771-3500, ext. 32

Zahrah Khan joined the ASI staff in January 2009. She assists the director of finance in the association’s financial duties, including those related to accounts payable and receivable, financial statements and annual audits. She also manages the human resources issues for the association.

ASI Sheep Industry Association -- Consultant Team

Parvez Mehta
Phone: (718) 231-0448
Fax: (718) 231-0437

Barry Savage
Phone: (617) 243-0134
Fax: (617) 965-4666

Mitch Driggers
Phone: (334) 897-3002

Ron Cole
Phone: (970) 302-4117

Tim Cashell
Phone: 207-797-8889

Lori McGehee
Phone: (303) 771-3500, ext. 14

Kitty Gu (China)
Phone: 011-8621-5510-0565

Sudhaker Hardas (India)
Phone: 91-22-2644-3280

Julie Stepanek Shiflett, Ph.D.
Phone: 970-812-6873