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NTF Staff Bios

Joel Brandenberger, President

Joel Brandenberger is president of the National Turkey Federation (NTF).  Brandenberger joined NTF in 1991 as the Federation’s Director of Public Affairs and served in a variety of positions – most recently as Senior Vice President for Legislative Affairs – before being appointed to his current post in December 2006. For most of his tenure at NTF, he represented the turkey industry before Congress on a wide range of issues, including food safety, farm policy, the environment, energy policy and animal health and welfare.

Immediately before joining NTF, he was Legislative Director and Press Secretary for then-U.S. Rep. Bill Sarpalius.  Brandenberger also was Sarpalius’ Press Secretary and Chief of Staff in the Texas Senate and Press Secretary for Sarpalius’ successful 1988 congressional campaign.  Prior to that, he spent almost three years as a reporter and editor at the Amarillo Globe-News.

Brandenberger is a graduate of Texas Tech University.


Damon Wells, Vice President of Government Affairs

Damon Wells serves as the vice president of government relations at the National Turkey Federation. Wells oversees and implements all aspects of the federation’s legislative affairs program, from policy formulation and development to advocacy on Capitol Hill, in a manner that helps ensure the turkey industry’s ability to profitably produce high-quality, nutritious products.

Wells returned to NTF in 2011 after spending a year as professional staff on the Senate Agriculture Committee. He previously had joined NTF in February 2007 as director of legislative affairs. Wells has also held legislative staff positions for Reps. Chet Edwards, D-Texas, and Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., where he provided advice on agriculture and natural resource issues.

Wells holds a B.S. in animal science from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, and a master’s degree in agriculture education from Texas Tech University in Lubbock.


Lisa Wallenda Picard, Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs

Lisa Wallenda Picard serves as NTF's Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs. She is responsible for maintaining NTF’s position as a national leader in scientific and regulatory affairs and will serve as the primary resource for NTF members on all regulatory matters. 

Lisa served as FSIS’ Chief of Staff from May 2007 to August 2011. She was also the Acting Assistant Adminstrator of the Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Education since January 2011.  

Prior to her appointment as Chief of Staff, Lisa served in a variety of other capacities at FSIS.  She was Director of the Congressional and Public Affairs Office from July 2005 to May 2007 and Deputy Director from October 2004 to July 2005. Lisa was also a Senior Communications Officer at the agency for two years prior to joining the Congressional and Public Affairs Office.

Her other professional experience includes three years at the Information Technology Association of America and three years with Feld Entertainment, which owns Ringling Brothers/Barnum and Bailey Circus.

Lisa has a Bachelor’s Degree from Flagler College in Florida and a Master’s from George Washington University.


Jennifer Zukowski Dansereau, Director of Membership Services

Jennifer Zukowski Dansereau serves as the director of membership services at the National Turkey Federation (NTF).  Jennifer oversees the membership program, and meeting management, she works closely with members to recruit new members, and facilitates the planning of the Annual Convention and Leadership Conference.

Before joining NTF, Jennifer worked on an advance team for the Kerry- Edwards Campaign, and she worked for two Democratic National Convention Committees.  She also has a background in fundraising, and administration.

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