Our Team

The EMA Team

Chris Greissing


Chris Greissing is the President of the Essential Minerals Association. Chris has been with EMA since 2007. Prior to EMA, Chris provided counsel to clients on a wide range of federal legislative and regulatory issues while working in a lobbying firm representing pharmaceutical, biotech and other industries. He began his career working for former U.S. Congressman Fred Upton of Michigan.  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 and his family currently reside in Reston, VA. 

Wayne Palmer

Executive Vice President

Wayne Palmer is the Executive Vice President of the Essential Minerals Association. Prior to joining EMA, Wayne served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration. He previously worked as Senior Manager of Congressional Relations at the nonpartisan Center for Presidential Transition. Prior to that, he served 13 years in the U.S. Congress, lastly as Chief of Staff to Senate Republican Conference Chairman Rick Santorum, followed by government affairs and corporate governance roles at the UK’s second largest pharmaceutical manufacturer. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Penn State and a Master of Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania. Wayne lives in Alexandria, VA with his wife Ashley and their daughter and son.

Jenny Martin

Associate Vice President, Communications and External Affairs

Jenny Martin is the Associate Vice President of Communications and External Affairs at the Essential Minerals Association, where she plays an integral role in the development and implementation of the Association’s communications strategy. For the past 18 years, she has worked in various roles in agricultural communications. She has led industry communications efforts at the Sugar Association, The Fertilizer Institute, and the International Food Information Council. Additionally, Jenny served in federal government roles at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, communicating the benefits of federally funded agricultural research. She earned a BA in Journalism from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Georgetown University. She grew up on a small farm in Iowa and is still very loyal to her Iowa State Cyclones. She currently lives in Washington, DC, with her crazy, but charming dog Cooper.

John Cowie

Senior Director, Technical & Scientific Affairs

John Cowie leads the Essential Minerals Association technology and scientific related committees, which advance the best practices in areas of safety and health, environment, operations, and engineering. He has more than 30 years of experience in materials engineering and scientific research. Prior to joining EMA, John served as the Director of the Standards and Technology Department at the Aluminum Association. The Department is the backbone of a vital communication system that facilitates the production, sale, and use of aluminum. John began his career as a laboratory research scientist at Olin Metals. He then moved into industrial association technology management roles at the Copper Development Association, American Forest & Paper Association, and Air Movement and Controls Association. A Massachusetts native, Cowie received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute located in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Matthew Dermody

Senior Director, Federal Government Affairs

Matthew Dermody is the Senior Director of Federal Government Affairs for the Essential Minerals Association. Prior to joining EMA, Matthew served three years at the U.S. Department of the Interior as a Senior Advisor to the Director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, an Advisor to the Secretary, and a Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary. Before that, he was a Writer/Legislative Assistant at Water Strategies LLC, a Professional Staff member at the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources, a Policy Advisor at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, and a Legislative Correspondent in the office of U.S. Senator Jon Kyl. Matthew holds a BA in International Relations from Kent State University and enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and sports. He currently resides with his wife in Springfield, VA.

Paige Huggins

Senior Manager, Finance & Administration

Paige Huggins serves as the Senior Manager, Finance and Administration of the Essential Minerals Association 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 EMA and IDPA, Paige is also a bookkeeper for three other businesses. Paige is married and resides in Mount Airy, Maryland with her husband and daughter. 

Daniel Elliott

Railroad Consultant

Dan Elliott is currently serving as a consultant on all rail issues impacting Essential Minerals Association member companies. His focus is on issues appearing before the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) and related agencies. Mr. Elliott is a former Chairman of the STB serving two terms (2009 and again in 2015).  Mr. Elliott was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and grew up in Cleveland.  He graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. and the Ohio State College of Law with a J.D. He and his family reside in Virginia.