Brian Wommack has joined the association with the title of Senior Vice President of Communications. According to CRN, Wommack was a partner at the law firm Cameron LLP, where he led the strategic communications practice, working closely with all three branches of the federal government, state governments, major global corporations, trade associations, and charitable foundations. According to the organization, Wommack helped promote and protect reputations and managed risk.
In a position to help people
On his second day on the job, Wommack said he’s still meeting staff and stakeholders and getting his feet wet. But he said some things became clear to him even during the interview process.
“CRN is a great organization. They are in a space where they are helping people to lead healthier lives,” Wommack told NutraIngredients-USA.
“I have worked in a number of industries where you can’t say that,” Wommack said. “For example, as a young lawyer I worked on tobacco litigation, where we were defending the people’s right to use a legal product.”
Helping with Capitol Hill
Wommack’s Capitol Hill experience does open up intriguing future possibilities for the position. The dietary supplement industry is currently wrestling with how to rebuild a durable set of champions in Congress. Historical stalwarts former Iowa Democrat Sen. Tom Harkin and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-UT are either retired or soon to be. And more recent supporters such as Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-UT have resigned, or in the case of Rep. Jared Polis, D-CO, are running for governor.
Wommack said CRN already has a dedicated government relations group headed by Mike Greene, senior vice president of government relations, so he wouldn’t presume to dictate policy there. But he said he has experience to offer, “Any place where there is a strong intersection between communication, public policy and the law.”
“I am going to be an ally in that, shaping a message that shows policy makers who we are and how we help people,” he said.
Changing information landscape
Wommack said any modern communications executive has to take into account how the information landscape has changed. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms have revolutionized how companies get their message out to industry and to consumers.
“The traditional ways of doing things are still important and still work. The printed word, whether on the page or on the screen, is still ‘of record.’ But we wouldn’t be serving the interests of our members well if we didn’t take all of these new modes into account,” he said.
Prior to working at Cameron, Wommack served as senior vice president and management supervisor at Powell Tate | Weber Shandwick, a strategic communications and public affairs agency in Washington, DC. According to CRN, during his seventeen-year tenure there he created and directed strategic, integrated communications programs to promote and protect client reputations and to engage audiences.
“Brian brings a uniquely diverse background as a public affairs counselor, a lobbyist, and a lawyer, and his in-depth communications experience working with a variety of industries and entities, including trade associations and government agencies, gives CRN a new competitive edge,” said Steve Mister, president & CEO of CRN. “His proven track record, whether executing successful proactive initiatives or mitigating crises, gives us the utmost confidence in his ability to lead CRN’s communications. We look forward to having him on board to serve as a trusted strategic resource for our members and to successfully manage and protect the reputation of our industry.”