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IDPA Staff

Mark Ellis, President

Mark Ellis has worked as a lawyer and business professional in the federal government, trade associations, and in the private sector.  Since 2004, Mr. Ellis has served as President of the Industrial Minerals Association – North America (IMA-NA), the principal trade association representing the industrial minerals industry in North America. IMA-NA’s members include companies that mine or process industrial minerals, as well as companies that provide equipment and services to the industry.  Mr. Ellis began his career as an attorney with the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, serving in both its Office of Administrative Law Judges and its Office of General Counsel.  As Senior Counsel to the American Mining Congress (known today as the National Mining Association), he represented the U.S. domestic mining industry before Congress, executive departments, and the federal courts on occupational health, safety, and industrial relations issues.  He was Manager of Government and Environmental Affairs for U.S. Borax (known today as Rio Tinto Minerals), the world’s largest supplier of refined borate minerals.  He also served as Vice President and General Counsel of the National Legal Center for the Public Interest, a nonprofit legal and educational foundation.  Prior to joining IMA-NA, Mr. Ellis served as Special Assistant and senior policy advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health. Mr. Ellis is a graduate of the University of Denver College of Law and its College of Business Administration.  An avid outdoorsman, his pastimes include hunting, hiking, and cycling.  He and his family reside in Arlington, Virginia.

Darrell K. Smith, Ph.D., Executive Vice President

Darrell K. Smith is Executive Vice President of the International Diatomite Producers Association (IDPA), the Industrial Minerals Association - North America (IMA-NA) and the National Industrial Sand Association (NISA). For over a decade, Darrell has been active in the public policy arena in Washington, DC. Previously, Darrell represented the petroleum industry as President of the National Association of Shell Marketers, and the chemical industry as Director of the Public Health Team for the American Chemistry Council. Darrell has also served in the past as Vice President, Government & Environmental Affairs for IMA-NA and NISA. Darrell has a reputation of assisting heavy industry in the promotion of a positive, progressive image. He is well-versed in business sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. Darrell received a Bachelor of Science degree from The Citadel, and a Master of Public Health degree in environmental science from the University of South Carolina. He also possesses a Doctorate in Environmental Science and Policy from George Mason University, where his research interests involved the resolution of environmental conflict between indigenous populations and the mining industry. Darrell's dissertation is listed as a Noteworthy by the Taos Institute. Prior to his public policy career, Darrell worked in the environmental and safety compliance fields for a number of industries including hazardous waste, telecommunications and electronics. Darrell is a registered lobbyist, and a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene. He is a former board member of Innovative Resources Management, Inc. and former member of the board of governors of the American Biofuels Council. Darrell resides in Washington, DC.

Chris Greissing, Vice President, Government Affairs

Chris Greissing is the Director, External Affairs for the International Diatomite Producers Association (IDPA), the Industrial Minerals Association – North America (IMA-NA) and the National Industrial Sand Association (NISA).  Chris brings an extensive knowledge of Capitol Hill to IMA-NA. Before coming to IMA-NA, Chris worked within the health care and food service industries lobbying and providing counsel to clients on a wide variety of federal legislative and regulatory issues impacting the industry.  Prior to that, Chris began his career by working on Capitol Hill for Congressman Fred Upton.  Chris holds a B.A. from Georgetown University and a J.D. from California Western School of Law in San Diego, CA, and is admitted to the DC Bar.  Chris resides in Reston, VA with his wife Sharon and three daughters.

Ariel Hill-Davis, Director, Industry Affairs

Ariel Hill-Davis is the Director, Industry Affairs of the Industrial Minerals Association — North America (IMA-NA) and the National Industrial Sand Association (NISA). Ariel brings expertise in both manufacturing and technology industries to IMA-NA. Prior to joining IMA-NA, Ariel worked extensively on various federal legislative and regulatory issues related to the manufacturing community. In addition to her work on behalf of manufacturers, Ariel worked on Capitol Hill for Congressman Michael Castle as well as on the launch of a real estate and technology company. Ariel earned her M.A. from the University of St. Andrews before moving back to the states. Ariel resides in the Columbia Heights area of Washington D.C. along with her dog Zanzibar.

Paige Huggins, Financial Assistant

Paige Huggins serves as the Financial Assistant of the Industrial Minerals Association – North America (IMA-NA), the National Industrial Sand Association (NISA) and the International Diatomite Producers Association (IDPA).  Paige performs routine financial duties as well as compiles the financial statements, assists with the annual budgets and prepares for the annual audits.  In addition to her role at IMA-NA, NISA and IDPA, Paige is also a bookkeeper for three other businesses.  Paige is recently married and resides in Mount Airy, Maryland with her husband and three dogs.

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