Andrew AndersonExecutive Director
While spending his first ten years of school on the New Mexico Navajo reservation, where his dad was a third generation goods trader, Andy Anderson learned how to work alongside others with different opinions and perspectives. These lessons have served Andy well throughout his 30-year career of advocating for agriculture. “I get a great deal of satisfaction from helping food producers and suppliers to diversify and develop markets. Small business entrepreneurs have a dream of sharing their U.S. grown and produced products with the world and WUSATA can help be that bridge in making it a reality."
As WUSATA’s Executive Director for the past decade, Andy guides the organization’s overall strategy and direction, working in close collaboration with his leadership team. One of Andy’s driving goals is to change the perception of exporting from being too difficult into being an opportunity to increase a company’s stability. “WUSATA can be the catalyst for small companies with limited resources. We help them maximize opportunities while also educating about exporting and specific markets. This takes some of the risk out of exploring new markets and finding the right connections among the buying community.”
Andy views the small business entrepreneurial spirit and drive for innovation, combined with a global demand for quality U.S. products, as a winning equation for Western food and agriculture companies. “No matter where we are, food and agricultural products from the U.S. are sought after as quality, safe products.”
To companies hesitant to enter into exporting, Andy has a simple message. “Put your fear in your pocket, pick a market, and go. Due diligence is a necessity, but with people eager for quality U.S. products, you will be welcomed. There are many groups on the side of small businesses. Our resources are broad, and we can help connect businesses with not only international buyers, but domestic services that are available and viable.”
Andy holds a graduate degree in Public Administration from Boise State University.
Janet KenefskyDeputy Director & International Marketing Director
When it came to building her work ethic, Janet Kenefsky had an ideal teacher, her Father. “My dad worked really long hours, but he knew it was important to pause and take in life. When I first started working in international markets, I had tunnel vision in order to get as much accomplished as I could. But I realized how much more I could learn by experiencing the different cultures and building lasting relationships for our suppliers.”
With 20 years in the industry, international marketing was Janet’s first destination out of college. An innate appreciation for global cultures serves Janet well in her role as WUSATA’s Deputy and International Marketing Director. One of Janet’s key tasks is helping to connect U.S. suppliers and international buyers through the Global Connect Program. She brings a creative drive to developing forward thinking services that help companies maximize the benefits of participating in WUSATA’s programs.
“Food and agricultural companies in the Western U.S. are ambitious and they want to push the envelope. That drives us to continually look at how to bring in more technology and next generation tools to increase connections.”
Janet is excited about the future of agricultural exports. “During tough economic times, more companies turn to exporting as a way to survive and find themselves thriving. The reality is that exporting is not as scary as people think. Exporting is not just for the big guys, small companies are making a real difference for people overseas by delivering safe, quality food and agriculture products.”
Janet is a proud alum of Boise State University.
Tricia SteinFundMatch Director
Growing up in Toledo, Washington, Tricia Stein realized how important it was to enjoy life and cultivate a passion for every activity she undertook. This enthusiasm, and the ability to see humor in most situations, helped Tricia gravitate to positions where she was able to guide and assist others. “By nature, I am a people-person. I thoroughly enjoy interacting with others, while establishing that human connection or bond that allows people to overcome obstacles together.”
Coming from a strong customer service and human resources background, Tricia also interned for WUSATA from August 2011 to January 2012 while returning to school. Through her internship and continued education, she was able to gain valuable insight into the world of international business, and later ascended into a full-time position as WUSATA’s FundMatch Director. “Small businesses have such a wonderful, infectious passion for their products. I really identify with that, and enjoy helping them grow and succeed.”
Tricia believes that companies interested in exporting would be well-served to utilize all the support that is available to them. “One of the greatest things about WUSATA is the amount of resources we have available. Working here is such a collaborative effort. We have people that know our programs inside and out, and have the expertise and information to assist anyone interested in exporting.”
With the goal of helping small food and agricultural companies increase their opportunities to reach the world’s consumers, Tricia feels that participation in WUSATA’s programs offers the best chance to realize this potential. The first step is to reach out and make a connection.
Tricia is an alumni of Washington State University Vancouver. Go Cougs!