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Association Hires One, Promotes Four

Mafi hired; Kurtz, Stallo, Upperman and Mitchell receive new titles, expanded responsibilities.

The American Angus Association announces the hiring of a regional manager and promotion of four of its internal staff. Jeff Mafi will serve the states of Kansas and Oklahoma as regional manager. Ginette Kurtz is the director of commercial programs. Chris Stallo is now vice president of operations and will lead the Association’s membership operations. Jaclyn Upperman is named director of events and education. Ashley Mitchell is the breed organization’s new assistant director of events and education.

Jeff Mafi

Jeff Mafi

Jeff Mafi
The American Angus Association welcomes Jeff Mafi of Coyle, Okla., as the new regional manager for Kansas and Oklahoma. Bringing years of experience in the purebred business to the Angus breed, Mafi will play a significant role in helping Association members identify herd goals, learn new programs and services, and grow into the future.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be part of the American Angus Association,” Mafi says. “I truly look forward to getting started, meeting the producers in my area and learning how I can best serve them in my new role.”

As a regional manager, Mafi will represent the Angus breed at various cattle events, sales, shows and other activities throughout the territory. Breeders are encouraged to ask him questions about Association programs and services or for help locating Angus seedstock. He can also advise producers on marketing opportunities available through the Association, including advertising through the Angus Journal and other avenues.

“Jeff’s wealth of experience lends itself well to connecting with Angus breeders and their commercial customers, sharing information on the latest programs and genuinely helping them move their herds forward,” says Bryce Schumann, Association CEO.

A native of Oklahoma, Mafi graduated from Oklahoma State University (OSU) with a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a master’s degree in meat science.

He previously served as senior herdsman for the OSU Purebred Beef Cattle Center in Stillwater, Okla. For nearly eight years, his general responsibilities included managing genetic selection and breeding for all females, developing bulls for registered and commercial breeders, and managing the annual production sale.

Throughout his time in the business, Mafi has also served as a member of the OSU Animal Science Alumni Association Board of Directors, was a past president of the Intercollegiate Livestock Judging Coaches Association and an instructor for the Michigan State University Department of Animal Science.

He is also an active member of the Oklahoma Angus Association. Contact Mafi at or 405-269-6387. He looks forward to getting to know more Angus breeders in the area and finding ways to be of service.

Ginette Kurtz

Ginette Kurtz

Ginette Kurtz
With a focus on cattle producers who rely on Angus genetics, Kurtz will be responsible for finding new and creative ways to interact with commercial cattlemen and provide them with invaluable programs and services.

“Commercial cow-calf producers are an essential part of the beef industry,” Kurtz says. “By providing them the tools they need to be successful, their decision to invest in Angus genetics becomes much stronger, gaining trust for the breed for generations to come.”

Kurtz has served many roles throughout her 20 years with the Association. She started in the Angus Journal and transitioned to the Association in 2004, helping establish AngusSource® as a trusted verification program monitored by USDA. Today, Kurtz manages the growing AngusSource Genetic program, which documents the marketing and genetic value of Angus-sired calves.

“Ginette’s strong diversified farming background offers a great perspective into the commercial cattle business,” says Schumann. “She understands what works on the farm and ranch, and will be a terrific asset as we further develop services for our commercial partners.”

Kurtz will continue to work with Association regional managers, other staff and registered Angus breeders to provide commercial cattlemen the tools needed for success in today’s changing marketplace. She will focus on enhancing current services, as well as communicating the value of recordkeeping, marketing and proper cattle identification.

That includes the promotion and daily operations for the AngusSource Genetic program, and the Custom Cattle Tags website, which offers cattlemen cost-efficient options for purchasing ear tags and related accessories. She will also find innovative ways to educate commercial cattlemen on how to utilize Association programs and services to benefit their operations.

Kurtz and her family have been farming in Clarksdale, Mo., for four generations. They grow corn and soybeans, as well as manage a commercial Angus cow herd.

Chris Stallo

Chris Stallo

Chris Stallo
Stallo will assist the organization’s 90-plus employees with daily operations at the Association’s headquarters in Saint Joseph, Mo., and work to provide opportunities and service to the Association’s more than 25,000 members across the United States and Canada.

“Every day in our business, it’s a member-first mentality,” Stallo says. “I look forward to working with our employees to carry on our long-held tradition of superior member service, and helping the Association become more efficient and valuable to those who rely on Angus cattle.”

A 14-year veteran of the Association’s Information Systems (IS) Department, Stallo has served the breed well through creative programming solutions through AAA Login, the Association website and the Angus Mobile smartphone app. As a member of the IS Department, he was part of the team that developed the technical infrastructure necessary for the weekly release of the National Cattle Evaluation (NCE), among many other critical projects.

“Because of his extensive experience with the Association’s systems and programs, Chris is a tremendous asset to our team and our membership,” says Bryce Schumann, Association CEO. “He is a positive leader for our Association and always has a friendly smile and a keen eye for efficiency.”

Stallo says he is looking forward to playing a larger role for the organization in its daily procedures. He will oversee the Member Services Department, the IS Department and the Angus Information Management Software (AIMS) team.

Primary responsibilities include coordinating interaction with departments and staff, day-to-day operations of the Association and recommending process improvements in each area of the business. Continuous improvement is a goal, Stallo says, adding that he will look toward implementing new systems that make the organization more efficient.

Stallo grew up on a commercial cattle operation near Marceline, Mo., in the north-central part of the state. In 2012, he represented the Association during the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Young Cattlemen’s Conference (YCC), which provides young leaders a look at the entire beef production chain.

Jaclyn Upperman

Jaclyn Upperman

Jaclyn Upperman
Upperman will lead the Association’s member outreach efforts, managing its event schedule and further developing educational programs for members through a newly formed Education and Events Department. The department will target activities for both youth and adults alike, which is a change in the organization’s previous departmental structure. Combining the junior and adult activities planning will allow staff to streamline processes, and provide faster responses and, overall, better serve members across the country.

“For a kid who grew up in the Angus community, my role with the Association is the definition of the perfect career,” Upperman says. “I am beyond thrilled to serve our members by bringing them top-notch events, valuable educational programs and so much more.”

A Pennsylvania native, Upperman was an active member of the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) and was a director on the National Junior Angus Board (NJAB) from 2009 to 2011. She joined the Association staff in July 2013 as the director of junior activities.

“During her past year of service to the junior program, Jaclyn has shown great dedication and commitment to our breed and its entire membership,” says Schumann. “She is well-equipped to bring fresh ideas and energy to both the youth and adult programs.”

Upperman will be responsible for managing, organizing and implementing the Association’s educational activities, livestock exhibitions and junior programs. She will work with members to coordinate events, including the annual Beef Leaders Institute (BLI), Cattlemen’s Boot Camps and the National Junior Angus Show (NJAS), as well as provide assistance in planning the first-ever Angus Means Business National Convention & Trade Show this November.

Upperman oversees the Association’s award programs, including the Angus Heritage Foundation and Historic Herd and Century Awards. In addition, she is responsible for coordinating more than 15 nationwide Roll of Victory Shows throughout the year.

Prior to joining the Angus team, Upperman was employed by the American Chianina Association as the director of activities and junior programs.

Ashley Mitchell

Ashley Mitchell

Ashley Mitchell
Mitchell is now assistant director of events and education, serving members by organizing and implementing nationwide programs and activities.

“I’m grateful for the chance to be part of the Angus breed and its tremendous impact on the beef industry,” Mitchell says. “I’ve really enjoyed working with members during my time here and look forward to expanding that role and helping others gain insights through our events.”

A 2007 graduate of the University of Missouri, Mitchell holds a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness management and a minor in international agriculture. She began her career with the Association’s activities and events department in October 2013. The new role is a promotion for Mitchell, who has been involved in many aspects of Association-related programs during her time with the organization.

“Ashley has taken great initiative in organizing and planning event details for the Association’s membership,” says Schumann. “We look forward to seeing her grow in her abilities and helping to advance the breed in the future.”

As the assistant director of events and education, Mitchell will be responsible for maintaining a wide variety of activities, educational opportunities and meetings, including BLI, Cattlemen’s Boot Camps and the NJAS. She will provide assistance in planning the Angus Means Business National Convention & Trade Show this November.

Mitchell grew up in a small town in northwest Iowa and now calls Gower, Mo., home. She is a volunteer with the local 4-H club, serving as a project leader for the horse judging team. She competes with her own horses at many regional and state horse shows throughout the year.

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Editor’s Note: This article is compiled from multiple news release provided by the American Angus Association and available on the Association’s website.


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