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ARA Announces Staff Promotions

Jun 28 2021

The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) announced today several promotions effective July 1, 2021, to recognize the ongoing efforts of several staff members. Many ARA staff roles have adjusted and expanded in the last few years as the association met challenges from industry issues and member consolidation, changed work environments due to COVID-19, and the move to a new physical office.

ARA President & CEO Daren Coppock offered the following comments on the promotions:

"I am privileged to work alongside a small but mighty team of talented professionals. The ARA team gets a lot done with fewer people than most realize. The only reason we’re able to accomplish what we do is the high caliber of people dedicated to advancing the interests of our member agricultural retailers. These promotions recognize hard work, flexibility, performance and tenure of several key staff members."

Bryna Hautau will be promoted to Senior Director of Operations & Events. Few people’s roles have changed more than Bryna’s in her nine years with ARA. Beginning as ARA’s administrative assistant in 2013, she quickly displayed her ability to assume larger roles with ARA events, where she plays the lead staff role with ARA’s Annual Conference & Expo. She also leads in the stewardship of the membership database, office operations, vendor contracts, ARA’s summer internship program, new employee on-boarding and other duties.

Hunter Carpenter will be promoted to Senior Director of Public Policy. Hunter has been a mainstay in ARA’s advocacy efforts with a vast array of contacts on Capitol Hill. He has a deep knowledge of the legislative process, great rapport with members and an approachable style that make him a highly effective advocate on behalf of ARA members. Hunter joined the ARA staff in 2015 and is now in his seventh year with the association.

Melisa Augusto will be promoted to Vice President of Communications & Marketing, a title more in keeping with her leadership and supervisory responsibilities. Melisa is in her fourth year with ARA and leads communications, branding, event marketing, digital media, media relations, publications, and related functions for the association. With this promotion Melisa joins ARA’s management team.

Donnie Taylor will be promoted to Senior Vice President of Member Services and Corporate Relations. He enters his tenth year with ARA in July, and leads ARA’s member recruiting, retention, on-boarding, sponsorship, member services and other areas. Through his efforts ARA’s sponsorship support has met or exceeded expectations even in challenging ag economies. His resourcefulness and vision have led to ARA’s Professional Development Pathway for member employee development and the new remote-work-friendly NAVIGATOR 360o development tool launched in 2020.

Click here to view the full ARA team.