Where science and industry

come together with a focus on

Soy & Health


SNI Global aims to provide unmatched value to members and the industry as the scientific organization leading the way in soy and health research, education, outreach and advocacy. SNI Global strives to be a leader in plant protein research and outreach, with an added focus on soybean oil.

The organization leverages member funds, magnifies collaborations, and champions soy at every turn. Members include domestic and international soyfood companies, ingredient companies, processors, soybean farmers, scientists and researchers, non-profit organizations, and more.

SNI Global works to identify, develop, and fund soy-related research priorities and provide evidence of the impact of soy on human health.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. SNI Global also works to remove barriers and build bridges among stakeholders, all who share the goal of better understanding the role of soy in human consumption. Findings are then communicated to members, targeted audiences and the soy industry at large.

SNI Global also focuses on respected and reputable influencers in food and nutrition, connecting with health professionals and researchers to deliver the latest research directly to those who need it.


The Soy Nutrition Institute was founded in 2004 through the initiative of the United Soybean Board. In 2021, it was reorganized with a new name – SNI Global — and more robust mission.


The Soy Nutrition Institute Global provides value to the soy industry as it:
• Provides a process for the review and discussion of emerging soy research.
• Provides a forum for discussion within the industry and academia.
• Provides evidenced-based messaging through blogs, social media and other outreach platforms.
• Serves as a credible resource for information on soy nutrition.


Soyfood companies worldwide are invited to become members of the Soy Nutrition Institute Global. An organization that brings value and third-party credibility, SNI Global offers members a wide range of benefits that fall into four main categories: scientific research, communications, outreach and education, and advocacy. Learn more about the value SNI Global membership can provide to your company or organization in our membership brochure.


Join SNI Global


Julie Ohmen is the new CEO of SNI Global. She is deeply seeded in the soybean world. For the past seven years, she ran a consulting firm and served as the new uses consultant for the Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA). Her work focused on developing growth innovation strategy within bio materials, bio products, and food ingredients.

Before launching her consulting firm, Julie worked for over twenty years with Archer Daniels Midland, working predominantly in the commercial side of the business with a focus on innovation and business development.

She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Science degree and received her MBA from Illinois State University. She is also a CPA. Julie lives in a western suburb of Chicago with her husband and two teenage daughters.


Michelle Braun

SNI President (IFF)

Michelle Braun (IFF)

Michelle Braun is a nutrition scientist who leads Global Protein Scientific Affairs for IFF.  In her research, she has maintained a focus on nutrition needs of children but spans other health related outcomes in adults as it relates to science translation and communication.  In her role, she plays an active role in research, education and outreach across the food, nutrition and agriculture sectors.

She is engaged and active in several organizations related to the field of food and nutrition research and communication.   She holds leadership positions in organizations that bring the topic of nutrition to a variety of audiences.  Examples include serving as president of the Soy Nutrition Institute (SNI), the Institute of Food Technology (IFT), the International Food Information Council (IFIC) and the American Society for Nutrition (ASN).

Michelle earned her Doctorate and Masters degrees in Foods and Nutrition from Purdue University with a BS in Nutrition Science from Indiana University. Her career has been a journey enriched with experiences in teaching, research, scientific affairs and science communication.

Chi Hee Kim

SNI Vice President (Herbalife Nutrition)

Chi Hee Kim (Herbalife Nutrition)

Chi Hee Kim is Senior Director of Global Government Affairs for Herbalife Nutrition, providing strategic guidance for proactive policy and regulatory development and issues management. With her expertise in international nutrition policy and food and dietary supplement regulations, and years of experience in engagement with thought leadership community, she also serves in leadership roles at key trade associations to help advance and protect the industry. In January, Chi was elected president of SNI Global, the interim advocacy organization, which has now become SNI Global, Inc., the larger organization replacing SNI.


Kevin Wilson

SNI Secretary/Treasurer (USB)

Kevin Wilson (United Soybean Board)

Kevin raises soybeans, corn and processing tomatoes on his farm in Walton, Indiana. He and his wife, Karen, have three children: Nick, Nate and Khyla.



Polly Ruhland (CEO, United Soybean Board)

Polly Ruhland has provided executive management expertise to the agriculture community for many years. She brings an extensive background in agricultural non-profit management, strategic planning, communications and regulatory compliance to her position serving the directors of the United Soybean Board and the larger soybean community.

Formerly, she was the Chief Executive Officer at Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion & Research Board. She graduated from Colorado State University with a Master’s Degree in Agriculture and University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Communications. She also did post-graduate work at the PhD level in agriculture and rural sociology with an emphasis on grower decision making in cooperative structures.

She has served as the chairman of the Commodity CEO Roundtable, a group of CEOs in research, promotion, and marketing programs. She is an Eisenhower Fellow, a certified mediator, and holds a professional certificate in the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts. 


Craig Gundersen

Craig Gundersen is the Soybean Industry Endowed Professor in Agricultural Strategy in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois and Executive Director of the National Soybean Research Laboratory. He is also a member of the Technical Advisory Group of Feeding America and is the lead researcher on the Map the Meal Gap project.  Previously, he was at the Economic Research Service of the USDA and at Iowa State University.  Gundersen’s research is primarily focused on the causes and consequences of food insecurity and on evaluations of food assistance programs. Among other journals, he has published in Journal of the American Statistical Association, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Health Economics, Journal of Econometrics, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Journal of Nutrition, Pediatrics, Demography, Obesity Reviews, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, and American Journal of Public Health.  His work has been supported by over $10 million in external funding from various government and non-government sources including, among other sources, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institutes of Food and Agriculture (NIFA); ConAgra Foods Foundation; Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR); American Beverage Association; US Agency for International Development (USAID); USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS); Merck Foundation; National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH); and USDA, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).


John W. Erdman (University of Illinois at Urbana)

John W. Erdman (University of Illinois at Urbana)

Dr. Erdman is Emeritus Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Professor of Internal Medicine and Professor of Nutrition in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana.  Dr. Erdman’s training and expertise encompass the nutritional and physiological biochemistry of man and animals.  He has authored over 170 original research articles on these subjects and has over 300 total publications including other articles and chapters.

Dr. Erdman is a member of a variety of professional organizations including the American Society for Nutrition (ASN), the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), and the American Heart Association (AHA).  He is past President of the American Society for Nutritional Sciences (now ASN), has been elected Fellow for ASN,  AHA and IFT.  He has been extensively involved with the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences (NAS), where he served on the FNB for nine years, six as Vice Chair.  Among other committees of the FNB, he served as Chair of the Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) and is currently Chair of the Committee on Military Nutrition Research.  Recently this committee published the report “Nutrition and Traumatic Brain Injury.”

For his extensive contributions to the NAS, Dr. Erdman was named as Lifetime National Associate of the NAS in 2001 and was elected as a Member of the Institute of Medicine, NAS in 2003.  Other honors include: receipt of the Samuel Cate Prescott Award for Research and the William Cruess Award for Teaching from IFT: the Borden Award from ASN; being named as an Original Member in Agricultural Science by ISI as an Highly Cited Researcher (top 0.05%); and several University of Illinois Excellent and Outstanding Teaching awards.  He is a member of the Board of Trustees of ILSI- NA.  Dr. Erdman has is past Executive Director of the Mars Science Advisory Council and is currently Executive Director of the Wrigley Science Institute.  Dr Erdman received his B.S., M.S., M.Ph., and Ph.D. in Food Science from Rutgers University.

Alison Duncan (University of Guelph)

Allison Duncan is a professor at the University of Guelph.

Andrew Brown (University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute)

Andrew Brown, PhD, Associate Professor of Biostatistics and Director of the Biostatistics Core of the Center for Childhood Obesity Prevention at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute.


Mark Messina (Nutrition Matters)

Mark Messina, PhD, MS

Dr. Messina is the co-owner of Nutrition Matters, Inc., a nutrition consulting company, an adjunct associate professor at Loma Linda University, and the Executive Director of the Soy Nutrition Institute.  He is a former program director with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and while at the NCI he initiated a multi-million dollar research program on the anticancer effects of soy.

Since leaving the NCI, Dr. Messina has devoted his time to the study of the health effects of soyfoods and soybean isoflavones.  He writes extensively on these subjects, having published more than 100 articles and book chapters for health professionals, and has given more than 650 presentations to both consumer and professional groups in 55 countries.

Dr. Messina is the chairperson of the editorial advisory board of, and writes a regular column for The Soy Connection, a quarterly newsletter that reaches over 250,000 dietitians and other health professionals.  He has also organized and chaired nine international symposia on the role of soy in preventing and treating chronic disease and has organized soy meetings in China, India, Brazil and Italy.  Dr. Messina is the co-author of three books, The Simple Soybean and Your Health (Avery Publishing Group, 1994), The Vegetarian Way (Crown Publishers, 1996), and The Dietitian’s Guide to Vegetarian Diets: Issues and Applications (Aspen Publishers, 1996, Jones and Barlett, 2004, 2010).

Steve Veile (Communique, Inc.)

Steve Veile, Facilitator (Communique, Inc.)

Steve Veile is the moderator for the Soy Nutrition Institute. He facilitates meetings of the board and helps coordinate logistical details for all SNI meetings and conference calls. Veile was Managing Editor of the Soy Connection newsletter for 25 years and was project manager for the Soy Health Research Program. Both the newsletter and the research program are projects currently or previously funded by the United Soybean Board.

In addition to his work with USB, Veile is founder of Communiqué, Inc., a strategic communications firm providing health and nutrition PR services to clients primarily in the agriculture sector.

A graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, Veile served as an adjunct professor for the strategic communication department, teaching a capstone course and PR writing.

Sarah Alsager, Communications Director (Communique, Inc.)

Sarah Alsager serves as the acting secretary and manages all communications, outreach and education efforts of the Soy Nutrition Institute. Alsager is president of Communiqué, Inc., a strategic communications firm providing health and nutrition PR and marketing services to clients primarily in the agriculture sector.