Our team of dedicated experts ensure that SOCMA members are always placed at the heart of the association. We utilize our diverse wealth of experience covering specialty chemicals and beyond to support our members with specialized guidance and advice.
President and CEO
Jennifer Abril was appointed President & CEO in late 2016 and is responsible for the strategic and operational management of the association. Jennifer is not a stranger to SOCMA, having previously served as the association’s Director of Performance Improvement in 2006-2008 and was responsible for the development and implementation of ChemStewards®.
As President & CEO, Jennifer has been laser focused on showcasing SOCMA’s position as the primary hub for the specialties sector. As a part of this transformation, Jennifer has led her team to refresh its programming and offer new opportunities to develop business partnerships and build industry connections across the supply chain.
Prior to her current role, Jennifer served as the President of the International Fragrance Association, North America from 2008-2016. Under her leadership, Jennifer expanded the membership by 30 percent, enhanced its educational offerings, and made significant strategic advancements during her tenure. Jennifer also spent eight years at the American Chemistry Council where she advanced the association’s international regulatory harmonization efforts on product stewardship and public health issues, in addition to developing marketing and business development strategies.
Jennifer earned a B.A. in International Studies from The American University and holds a M.S. in Management from the University of Maryland, University College. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two sons.
Chief Financial Officer
Vera Stoeva brings more than 17 years of experience to her role as SOCMA’s Chief Financial Officer.
She previously managed three organizations with combined budgets of more than $15 million and served as a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Executive Management team. She has also modernized and replaced accounting systems and instituted new streamlined processes, which increased efficiency, accuracy and improved the auditing process for two other organizations.
Vera comes to SOCMA most immediately from the Council for a Strong America, where she served as Director of Finance during an unprecedented period of change and instituted a complete reconfiguration of the Finance Department. Her expertise in managing multiple complex initiatives will be invaluable as SOCMA begins implementation of a new database and other infrastructure improvements.
A native of Bulgaria, Vera has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Auditing, as well as two master’s degrees in both Accounting and Business Administration.
Senior Vice President
Strategic Business Development
David Wawer is Senior Vice President for Strategic Business Development, supporting the President and Senior Leadership Team with development and implementation of revenue growth strategies for SOCMA’s Key Pillars.
David also serves as Executive Director of SOCMA’s Center for Specialty Chemical Science, LLC, which drives non-dues revenue for the association through licensing of SOCMA data studies for chemicals licensing in Europe and Asia. The Center also provides consortium management services to specialty chemical companies for EPA TSCA chemicals risk evaluation and risk management.
He is also Executive Director for the Color Pigments Manufacturers Association, a SOCMA Affiliate 501 C (6) trade association, where he serves as chief spokesperson for the color pigments industry value chain.
David has 30 years of experience in the chemical industry, including public policy, regulatory and legislative advocacy, and government relations for both private and public sectors.
David is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institutes for Organization Management, and the Ciba-Geigy General Business Management Program. He also has graduate-level education from the University of New Haven, Western New England University, and North Carolina A&T State University.
Legal and Government Relations
Robert F. Helminiak is Vice President of SOCMA’s Legal & Government Relations team, where he leads the association’s advocacy efforts on issues impacting the specialty and fine chemical industry.
Helminiak previously served as Vice President of Science and Regulatory Affairs for the Plastics Industry Association, where he worked with government agencies to develop and implement programs and foster partnerships with stakeholders and other groups to benefit the plastics industry. He has also represented the propane industry and the HVAC industry while with the National Propane Gas Association and the Air-Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute.
He has an undergraduate degree from the University of Dayton and a law degree from The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law.
Technology & Analytics
David Knoch has more than 30 years of Information Technology experience, working with teams to implement processes around technology, data management and cybersecurity. During his 18 years at SOCMA, Dave has managed, implemented and maintained the association’s database and CRM systems, and he has worked with the Communications & Engagement team to update and manage the backend system of the SOCMA website.
Throughout his career, Dave has maintained medium to large backend systems, complex voice/data infrastructure, transitioned organizations from local to cloud solutions and in charge of troubleshooting various desktop operating systems which provides a complete understanding of many client/server solutions.
In addition to his role in Technology & Analytics, Dave also oversees many office operational functions and was instrumental in ensuring a smooth transition of the move of SOCMA’s offices from Washington, DC, to the current location in Arlington, VA.
Dave has a Certificate in Information Technology Project Management from the American Management Association.
Membership and Engagement
Jenny Gaines is Senior Director, Membership & Engagement, leading the association’s membership recruitment and retention initiatives and sponsorship and trade show sales.
Among her duties, Jenny builds and maintains a robust pipeline of member prospects to ensure association growth. She engages members, encouraging them to take full advantage of SOCMA’s programs and services to support their operations and enhance business and development opportunities. Jenny is also an industry connector, serving as spokesperson and member liaison for SOCMA’s Specialty & Custom Chemicals Show, the specialty chemical industry’s premier commercial growth platform.
In addition, Jenny oversees all SOCMA sponsorships, along with advertising and trade show sales, elevating brand awareness for SOCMA members and companies across the fine and specialty chemical supply chain.
Jenny has been at SOCMA 12 years, formerly overseeing SOCMA’s marketing and communications initiatives. A longtime journalist and editor, Jenny previously served as Managing Editor at the Greenwood Commonwealth, a daily newspaper in the Mississippi Delta. She was also News Editor at the Clarion-Ledger, the largest news organization in Mississippi. Upon moving to the D.C. metro area, she was a Senior Writer for a woman-owned, Native American government contractor.
Jenny has a bachelor’s degree in journalism with minors in English and history from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL.
Events and Marketing
Moira is working to grow the association through events, as well as by marketing tools and resources that are critical to the specialty and fine chemical industry.
As Manager of Events and Marketing, Moira is responsible for organizing and managing SOCMA’s events, including the SOCMA Show, Annual Golf Tournament and SOCMA Summit. Her efforts contribute to the broader advancement of SOCMA’s mission and vision, which deliver tools and resources vital to the growth of members and industry.
Before joining SOCMA in 2021, Moira built a strong background in association management, having spent five years supporting a variety of industry groups. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication with a minor in Electronic Journalism at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. She lives in Virginia with her fiancé and dog.
Genevieve joins SOCMA with a strong background in advocacy and regulatory/legislative work in the association world. Throughout her time at organizations such as the U.S. Travel Association, American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) and the National Restaurant Association (NRA), Genevieve has developed strong relationships throughout Congress and all levels of government.
Genevieve graduated summa cum laude from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, with a BA in French. She earned her Master of Public Policy from the American University in Washington DC, where she was inducted into the Pi Alpha Alpha Global Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration in recognition of her outstanding scholarship in public affairs and administration.
She lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband.
Tatiana Letcheva serves as Associate Director of two affiliate organizations under SOCMA’s Association Management Center (AMS) umbrella, including the Color Pigments Manufacturers Association (CPMA) and the Institute for Polyacrylate Absorbents (IPA).
In her role as Associate Director, Tatiana oversees operations and programming, including committees, stakeholder engagement and communications. She has extensive experience with leading strategic initiatives to advance the interests of industry trade associations.
In her role under the AMS umbrella, Tatiana oversees operations with the affiliate groups, supporting their strategic goals and seamless integration with SOCMA services.
Tatiana has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Virginia.
Technical & Safety
Joe Dettinger is Senior Director of Technical & Safety at SOCMA, having joined the association in 2018. Drawing from nearly 20 years of industry experience and technical expertise, Joe has been instrumental in modernizing SOCMA’s environmental, health, safety and security program, ChemStewards®, as well as ChemOps Training, the go-to source for training chemical operators at manufacturing facilities across the industry. He also leads SOCMA’s strategic programming around safety in the specialty chemical sector.
He is also instrumental to SOCMA’s membership recruitment team, helping to bring companies across the country and globe into the association’s specialty chemical community.
Prior to coming to SOCMA, Joe served as Director of EHS&S and Government Relations at Bimax. He began his career with Bimax as a chemical operator and quickly advanced into a supervisory role. Within two years, he was promoted to Regulatory Affairs Manager and tasked with building and leading Bimax’s EHS&S program. This position required oversight of activities in all departments throughout the company, as well as staff training and implementation of the EHS&S program.
While at Bimax, Joe led the company to achieve two Bronze and one Silver Performance Improvement Award, as well as achieving ChemStewards Tier 3 status in 2017 – the program’s highest tier for environmental, health and safety excellence.
Joe has a B.S. in Environmental Engineering and an MBA from Pennsylvania State University. He also holds a CSP designation from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals.
Sarah F. Williams
Technical & Safety
Sarah F. Williams
Sarah Williams has 12+ years of experience in the chemical industry including R&D, process engineering and HSE&Q. Her knowledge base includes process development, PSM, TSCA, RMP, RCRA, regulatory reporting, training, OSHA, ISO QMS, etc. She’s faced various environmental and safety related challenges over the past couple of years including those related to Covid-19.
Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of South Carolina and currently lives in Lugoff, South Carolina with her husband and three children.
Programs and Operations
Amber Thichangthong brings a depth of program and project experience to SOCMA and approaches her work holistically by always keeping organizational objectives in mind.
A former Account Executive at Kellen, Amber oversees in-person programs and manages operational and administrative activities.
Amber holds a B.S. English/Professional Writing from Old Dominion University.
Otgonchimeg ‘Oggie’ Badarch is SOCMA’s Accounting Manager. She works with the CFO and Senior Manager of Accounting in managing all daily financial activities, processes and procedures for both SOCMA and our affiliate groups.
Oggie has a broad background of experience in accounting. She received her B.S. in Accounting and Banking from the University of Mongolia and is working towards her Master’s in Accounting from DeVry University.
Erika Krueger is Director, Industry Relations, within SOCMA’s Commercial Services division. In her role, Erika works to advance SOCMA’s commercial programs that facilitate business connections across the specialty and batch chemical industry.
Erika is your go-to person for SOCMA’s B2B matchmaking services, such as Lead Sheets, the Member Services Directory, and SOCMA Showcases. Additionally, she is your specialist for SOCMA’s groundbreaking ESG framework for specialty chemical manufacturers.
With more than eight years of industry experience, Erika joins SOCMA from global contract manufacturer Weylchem US. Her responsibilities there spanned all aspects from process development, project management, and customer satisfaction with a focus on audits, communications, and sales. Erika’s final role at Weylchem US was VP, Supply Chain and Sustainability, which she held during the COVID-19 pandemic, giving her invaluable experience at a time when global supply chains were most constrained.
Erika has a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina. She lives in Georgia with her husband and two children.
Coordinator, Events & Administration
Miranda Knoch is Coordinator, Events & Administration, for the association. In her role, Miranda is integral to the operational aspects of SOCMA’s Finance department, including processing payments and other financial tasks, and in the Meetings & Events division, by assisting with event registrations and more. She is also critical to keeping the organization’s records up to date, from maintaining current contacts, member records and other information as necessary.
Miranda brings an extensive customer service-oriented background to her role, coming to SOCMA with more than a decade of experience in such capacities.
She is a newly minted homeowner and lives in Virginia, with her fiancé and two cats.
Coordinator, Government Relations
Nick currently serves as Coordinator of SOCMA’s Government Relations (GR) department. In his role, Nick assists the GR team with advocacy efforts to promote the unique and essential interests of SOCMA members and the broader U.S. specialty chemical sector. His responsibilities also encompass a focus on regulatory and legislative activity of federal agencies, such as EPA and OSHA, and providing analysis of such impacts to the association’s member companies.
Nick previously worked as a consultant for the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA), where he worked on trade policy issues and Congressional mapping. During his time at KCMA, Nick was instrumental at successfully garnering support from Congress on the largest anti-dumping case won in the United States in 2019.
Nick holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Auburn University.