2015 Outstanding Alumni
Joel Brandenberger, a 1982 graduate of Texas Tech, is president of the National Turkey Federation, the only national trade association exclusively dedicated to representing the $13-billion U.S. turkey industry. He also serves as associate publisher and co-owner of FORWARD Florida, an award-winning economic development magazine.
Brandenberger joined NTF in 1991 as its director of public affairs and served in a variety of positions – including senior vice president for legislative affairs – before being appointed president in December 2006. For the first 15 years of his tenure at NTF, he represented the turkey industry before Congress on a wide range of issues, including food safety, farm policy, the environment, energy policy and animal health and welfare.
While retaining his duties at NTF, Brandenberger returned to journalism in 2013 when he and his wife, Susan Revello, purchased a 50-percent interest in FORWARD Florida. The magazine covers economic development and related business issues in Florida, with an emphasis on Central Florida. Earlier this year, he and Susan became sole owners of the publication, and in August, FORWARD Florida won six “Charlie” Awards from the Florida Magazine association for excellence in writing, editing and design.
Immediately before joining NTF, Brandenberger was legislative director and press secretary for then-U.S. Rep. Bill Sarpalius. He also was Sarpalius' press secretary and chief of staff in the Texas Senate and press secretary for Sarpalius' successful 1988 congressional campaign.
Prior to his legislative and political work, he spent almost three years as a general assignments reporter, political reporter and agriculture editor at the Amarillo Globe-News.
Brandenberger holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Texas Tech. He and Susan split their time between homes in the Washington, D.C., and Orlando, Fla., areas. His son and daughter-in-law, Chris and Amber Hillstrom, live in Lubbock with their four children.
College of Media & Communication
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