January 22/McLean, Va./Business Wire -- The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) announced the selection of Kraig R. Naasz as its new president and CEO. Naasz will take leadership of the organization on February 1, 2009.

"Kraig is a dynamic leader and accomplished trade association executive with more than 25 years of experience in the food and public policy arenas," said AFFI board chairman James E. Matthews Jr. of the H.J. Heinz Company. "Kraig's passion for the food industry, his bipartisan approach to advocacy and his keen communication and management skills made him the ideal choice to lead our association. We are excited to begin this new chapter for AFFI and believe Kraig's experience and leadership will be a tremendous asset in furthering the objectives of the frozen food industry."

Naasz currently serves as senior advisor to Washington² Advocates, a government affairs, communications and strategic consulting company with offices in Washington, D.C., and Bellevue, Wash. Naasz previously served as president and CEO of the National Mining Association, where he secured enactment of the first major reform of the nation's mine safety laws in over 30 years and aided the mining industry in achieving its safest year ever in 2008.

Naasz's prior experience also includes service as president of The Fertilizer Institute, where he directed the industry's efforts to address security concerns stemming from the Oklahoma City bombing; and as president and CEO of the U.S. Apple Association, where he garnered over $550 million in federal assistance for financially strapped apple growers and processors. Earlier in his career, Naasz also worked as vice president of the Northwest Horticultural Council and as an aid to former U.S. Senators Slade Gorton and Daniel J. Evans, as well as Congressmen Sid Morrison and Rod Chandler and the House Committee on Agriculture.

"I am honored to have been selected to lead AFFI and eagerly look forward to working with AFFI's members to promote and advance the interests of the frozen food industry," said Naasz. "I especially look forward to drawing upon the expertise and commitment of AFFI's members and staff to achieve the frozen food industry's food safety, nutrition, immigration reform and international trade public policy objectives."

From the February 2, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition