Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association Announces Changes in its Washington D.C. Office

By Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association unica, PRNE
Monday, April 4, 2011

SAO PAULO, April 5, 2011 - The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) announced today the
appointment of David Thomas as its new Chief Lobbyist and Leticia Phillips as
the organization's Representative for North America, both based at UNICA's
Washington, D.C. office. They replace Joel Velasco, who left UNICA in January
to become Senior Vice-President for External Relations at California Biotech
Company Amyris.

A seasoned strategist with almost two decades of experience in the
Washington public policy arena, Thomas is a former Deputy Director of
Legislative Affairs for Vice President Al Gore and Director of Congressional
Relations at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). More recently, he
served as Chief of Staff for U.S. Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren. As a Senior
Strategist with Washington law firm Mehlman, Vogel, Castanetti, Thomas was
directly involved with UNICA's 2010 campaign against U.S. tariffs on imported

In her continuing role overseeing Institutional and Government Affairs
for North America since 2008, Phillips will now lead UNICA's efforts as its
Representative for North America on a variety of fronts in which UNICA is
currently engaged.

"We're very pleased to have Leticia and David leading our work in the
U.S., especially in a year that is shaping up as potentially very significant
as we push forward with our global objective to build open markets for clean,
renewable biofuels," said UNICA's President and CEO Marcos Jank.

"I am honored to give continuity to the work UNICA has developed in the
U.S. over the past two and a half years and I look forward to working with
David and the UNICA team towards the ultimate goal of lifting the U.S. tariff
on sugarcane ethanol once and for all," said Phillips

"I'm thrilled to be a part of the UNICA team in Washington. After 30 long
years, the time is finally right to make a change in U.S. ethanol policy.
There is growing momentum among policy makers to make this change and I look
forward to working with them to bring cheaper and cleaner sugarcane ethanol
to consumers in the United States this year," concluded Thomas.

Carolina Lessa will remain in her role as coordinator of communications
and media relations efforts in North America. UNICA's international presence
is led from its office in Brussels by the organization's Head for
International Affairs and Senior Advisor to the President for International
Affairs, Geraldine Kutas.


The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) represents the top
producers of sugar and ethanol in the country's South-Central region,
especially the state of Sao Paulo, which accounts for about 60% of the
country's sugarcane harvest and of total ethanol production. UNICA develops
position papers, statistics and specific research in support of Brazil's
sugar, ethanol and bioelectricity sectors. In 2010, Brazil produced an
estimated 620 million metric tons of sugarcane, which yielded 37.8 million
tons of sugar and 27.4 billion litres of ethanol, making it the number-one
sugarcane grower and sugar producer in the world, and the second-largest
ethanol producer on the planet, behind the United States.


    In Brazil:
    CDN Corporate Communications
    Rosa Webster - (+5511)-3643-2707 /
    Mariane dos Santos - (+5511)-3643-2730 /

    In Washington:
    Carolina Lessa - +1-202-506-5299 /


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