Meat Institute Announces Department Reorganizations and New Staff

Washington, D.C. – The North American Meat Institute today announced the addition of Sarah Little as Vice President of Communications. Little will be responsible for strategic issues management, advocacy communications, member communications and crisis communications.

Little brings 20 years of Capitol Hill communications experience to the Meat Institute. As the Communications Director for U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, she has an extensive background of social and traditional media relations and has worked closely with local, national and agriculture press. Little’s hire completes a variety of staff changes to help the organization better align with recently adopted mission, vision and guiding values which were adopted by the Meat Institute’s Board of Directors at the Meat Industry Summit in April.

“Communications is an integral part of our mission of connecting people and resources to strengthen trust in the food we produce”, said Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts. “Sarah’s experience is a great fit with the expertise on our current staff to tell the important story of our industry and the many ways meat and poultry nourishes the world.”

As a part of the staff reorganization, the Meat Institute’s public affairs and legislative affairs activities have been combined into a single Public and Legislative Affairs department led by Senior Vice President Pete Thomson. Previously, Thomson served as the Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs.

Eric Mittenthal, previously the Vice President of Public Affairs, has transitioned to Vice President of Sustainability in the Public and Legislative Affairs department. In this new role, Mittenthal will implement activities initiated by the Meat Institute’s Trust in Animal Protein task force, as well as lead the organization’s promotion efforts.

Nathan Fretz, formerly Senior Director of Legislative Affairs, has been promoted to Vice President of Legislative Affairs. Fretz brings experience and industry knowledge to the position based on four years at the Meat Institute, and time at OFW Law representing meat and food industry clients, the House Agriculture Committee, and USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. 

In addition to the legislative and public affairs changes, Senior Vice President of International Affairs William Westman has assumed responsibility of the Administration department in addition to his international trade responsibilities. Westman will take over for Chief Financial Officer Ron Nunnery who will retire at the end of the year.

The Meat Institute’s full staff directory and bios are available at