The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) announced that it has hired Beth Hughes as VP, trade and customs policy, and Megan Balkovic as director, membership experience and industry engagement. Both are new positions that expand the association’s policy and membership divisions.

“When I took on the role of president and CEO earlier this year, I tasked the AAFA team with enhancing member value in everything we do, each and every day,” said Steve Lamar, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. “With Beth and Megan joining the team, we are providing AAFA members with a subject matter expert in a strategic policy area at a critical juncture for the industry, and an individual with a broad knowledge of the industry and a deep understanding of what our members need. I am thrilled to welcome Beth, and welcome back Megan, to the corner of fashion and politics!”

In her new role, Hughes will serve as the AAFA’s chief advocate on matters of trade and customs policy, as well as liaison to the association’s Government Relations Committee and Customs Group. Hughes joins AAFA from the International Dairy Foods Association where she led international trade policy initiatives and served as a cleared advisor on the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for processed foods. Hughes has extensive experience working with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and Capitol Hill on trade and agricultural issues. Prior to representing the dairy industry, Hughes spent five years at the USA Rice Federation where she served as manager of international policy.

Balkovic returns to AAFA having previously served as Sponsor Development Manager. In her new role, Balkovic will be tasked with implementing and managing strategies and processes that create value for AAFA members. The position will support the recruitment and retention of the association’s membership base and serve as the primary sponsorship contact. Balkovic comes to AAFA with extensive association experience. Most recently Balkovic ran MHB Services, which provided associations with management support in the areas of membership, development, governance, and program coordination. Previously, Balkovic served as a chief development officer at the Distributive Education Clubs of America.

Logo courtesy AAFA