Some features of this site are not compatible with older versions of Internet Explorer. Upgrade your browser to better experience this site. Some features of this site are not compatible with older versions of iOS. Update your operating system to better experience this site. Some features of this site are not compatible with the Android stock browser. Upgrade to Google Chrome to better experience this site. X


WUSATA’s leadership team shares a passion and dedication for helping companies understand and explore the growth opportunities available in export markets.


  Brooke Markley  

     Executive Director

Brooke Markley joined the Western U.S. Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA) as Executive Director in January of 2022. An accomplished international agricultural trade professional, Brooke has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors.

Brooke started her career with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and gained a broad range of skills supporting U.S. agricultural exports. As a capstone to her nearly decade-long tenure with FAS, she served in the diplomatic service as the Agricultural Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After her time in the public sector, she spent over seven years with Leprino Foods Company, a family-owned, global leader in mozzarella cheese and dairy nutrition products. Brooke developed Leprino’s first ever trade compliance department before being promoted to lead the company's strategic trade policy function.

She holds a BS in Agricultural Business with a minor in Spanish from Colorado State University and a MA in Economics from George Mason University. After her undergraduate studies, Brooke volunteered as an Agricultural Marketing Advisor with the U.S. Peace Corps in Guatemala. She is fluent in Spanish.

Melanie Headshot (1).jpg

  Melanie Stewart

     Director of Finance & Administration

Melanie Stewart joined the Western U.S Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA) as the Director of Finance & Administration in June 2023. Melanie has over 30 years of financial management as a Controller in Construction, Production, and Manufacturing industries. Prior to joining WUSATA, she spent 15 years as the Controller for a certified custom stainless-steel metal products manufacturer located in Oregon. Melanie started her Controller career as a Store Controller, in which she was responsible for 83 retail cookie stores throughout the Pacific NW, and Hawaii.

In 2001, she received Honorable Mention in the Vancouver Business Journal Businesswoman of the Year. She has worked on three successful County Commissioner Election committees, serving as Treasurer during the first campaign. She served as Board President for the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, served as Board member and Treasurer for the NAWIC Portland Chapter 54, and was a Notary Public in both Oregon and Washington.

Melanie enjoys deep-sea fishing, and as the sole female participant, won the SWCA Chinook Salmon derby in Ilwaco, WA in 2000. She has a small farm in Oregon where, along with her husband and family, they grow fresh vegetables and fruits. They sold fresh produce and handmade products in local farmers markets, donating unsold products to local shelters and charities. “Agriculture, farming and Dairy has always been part of my life. I’m truly excited for the opportunity being a part of WUSATA presents. Helping to support US exports for WUSATA participants will be very rewarding.”

Renata Dalton Bio (1).jpg 

Renata Dalton

Director of Programs

Renata Dalton joins WUSATA with over 20 years of extensive domestic and international program-related experience. Renata spearheaded market development initiatives funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), including the Market Access Program (MAP), Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) Program, Emerging Markets Program (EMP), Quality Samples Program (QSP), and Global Broad-Based Imitative (GBI) Program.

Throughout her career, Renata has lived and worked in various countries, including the United Kingdom, Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, India, Spain, Singapore, and South Korea.

Renata, originally from Brazil, holds master’s degrees in both Business Administration (MBA) and Human Resources Management (MSc), the later from Robert Gordon University in the UK. She currently resides in Houston, Texas, with her husband, two children, five dogs, and two parrots. In her leisure time, Renata enjoys gardening and excels as a master scuba diver.

Image (3).jpg

  Wade Byram

    Director of Development & Engagement

Wade Byram brings with him a wealth of experience in private equity backed organizations and Fortune 500 publicly traded companies. He has successfully managed and executed development and engagement strategies and campaigns for various organizations, resulting in significant revenue growth, client retention, satisfaction, and new business development. Prior to WUSATA, his most recent role was Director of Sales overseeing the Pacific Northwest region where he played a pivotal role in developing and implementing strategies that resulted in significant clientele expansion. 

Wade is a dynamic and results-oriented professional with a proven track record of unlocking value for clients and companies. He has a relentless work ethic and a passion for building strong relationships and delivering exceptional experiences for his team, clients, and stakeholders alike. Wade earned a B.S. in Business Management from the University of Phoenix and holds certifications in Content Strategy for Marketers and Marketing Foundations. 

In his free time, Wade is an avid hiker. Accompanied by is golden retriever, Baxter, Wade hikes hundreds of miles each year taking in the beautiful views of the Pacific Northwest. 

blane (1).jpg

  Blane Merkley 

     FundMatch Manager  

Blane Merkley joins the Western U.S. Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA) as the FundMatch Manager as of January 2024. Blane is a Native Nevadan who grew up around Agriculture. He studied Agricultural Science and Economics at the University of Nevada, Reno. While studying at UNR, he interned for WUSATA at the Nevada Department of Agriculture. Pursuing his interests in International Agriculture, he served as a Sustainable Agriculture Specialist with the U.S. Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa helping to promote improved gardening practices for several Women-lead Garden groups and disseminating improved seed varieties. Blane spent the last 3.5 years with the USDA Farm Service Agency as the County Executive Director for Southeastern Nevada. He directed federal disaster and price-support assistance programs for farms and ranches affected by drought, flooding, winter storms, and hurricanes across Nevada, Florida and Puerto Rico resulting in several million dollars back to the affected producers.

Blane spends his free time exploring new areas of Nevada, and the many microbreweries and restaurants around the Las Vegas valley. He also enjoys country concerts, fajitas, and skiing.