Den Gardner is AAEA’s executive director. Gardner has been in the communications business for 39 years, including marketing, publishing and association experience. A 1973 graduate of Minnesota State University-Mankato in Mankato, Minn., with a degree in journalism and broadcasting, Gardner owns a marketing consulting business based in New Prague, Minn., Gardner and Gardner Communications, focusing on agricultural communications, green industry and sports marketing.
Kenna Rathai is AAEA’s associate director and manages logistics for the Agricultural Media Summit and co-edits The ByLine newsletter for AAEA. Rathai joined Gardner and Gardner Communications in February 2007. She is a freelance writer and independent public relations consultant with nearly 20 years of experience, focusing mostly on agricultural clients. She earned an agricultural communications degree from the University of Illinois.
Barbara Ulschmid handles administrative duties for AAEA and assists in membership responsibilities. She is a graduate of the College of St. Benedict and has been with the AAEA staff since 2007.
Kathy Heyda is in charge of AAEA membership activities, including maintaining the database for the organization and producing the annual directory. She is a graduate of Minnesota State University-Mankato. She joined the AAEA staff in September 2007.