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CEO / Staff

Joe Leader, Chief Executive Officer






Russell Lemieux, Chief Operating Officer 

Mr. Lemieux guides the overall progress of the association under the purview of the Board of Directors in all areas including administration, finances, strategic planning, membership recruitment and retention, meeting management and public relations. He works closely with the Executive Director and the overall team to ensure client needs are met and association interests are protected and championed. He also serves to guide the overall mission of the IFSA Foundation.  

Phone: +1 678.303.3041

Lauren Costello, Executive Director

Ms. Costello is responsible for the overall management of the Association and oversees project management related to administration, finances, strategic planning, government affairs and education, membership recruitment and retention, meeting management and communications. She guides staff responsible for promotional, meeting and administrative functions to ensure best practices are followed, client needs are met and association interests are kept top of mind and promoted.

Phone: +1 212.297.2155

Nicole Blackshear, General Manager

Ms. Blackshear works closely with Executive Director and various committees to execute the association’s strategic direction. She serves as the lead liaison for the IFSA Foundation overseeing its administration and programs. In addition, Ms. Blackshear is responsible for generating sponsorship revenue for all IFSA events by building and implementing creatives strategies to drive sales.  

Phone: +1 678.303.3021

Elizabeth Blackstock, Communications Manager

Ms. Blackstock creates all content for IFSA website, newsletters and marketing collateral, and monitors trade and consumer media. Ms. Blackstock works closely with the Communications Committee and manages all media requests and cultivates relationships with journalists/bloggers and other media to secure placements. She designs and implements the digital and social media strategy for IFSA. 


Phone:  +1 678.303.3042

Kristi Johnson,  Program/ Expo Manager

Ms. Johnson works closely with the Executive Director to facilitate many of the administrative functions of the Association. She is the lead liaison to the Ideation Committee, manages IFSA Foundation scholarship applications, and has an active role with the EXPO Planning Committee. As the EXPO Manager, Ms. Johnson is responsible for all EXPO exhibitor sales and contracts, developing new prospects, serving as a primary contact on the EXPO floor, and working with the Meetings Manger to ensure a successful event.




Phone:  +1 678.303.3009

Darrell McCook, Meetings Manager

Mr. McCook, working closely with the Annual Meeting Planning Committee, manages IFSA's conference and meetings from conception to completion, including onsite management. He is the point person for the Company Demonstration, site selection, budgeting, contract negotiation, and registration.  






Phone:  +1 678.303.3028

Margaux Rundstadler, EU Government Affairs Manager

Ms. Rundstadler is based in Brussels and works closely with the Government Affairs Director as she is in charge of the IFSA EU Task Force. Margaux is responsible for the IFSA’s EU outreach, monitoring and presence in Brussels. She monitors relevant topics for IFSA at EU level, focusing mostly on food policy, she interacts with the EU institutions and attends meetings in order to represent IFSA’s interests towards policymakers.  

Phone: 02 761 16 00 (Belgium)