Industry Luminaries Highlight United Fresh Board Nominees

A slate of new officers and directors has been nominated to serve on the United Fresh Produce Association’s board of directors. The appointments take effect at the Washington-based organization’s upcoming April 20 annual convention and expo in Las Vegas.

Ascending to chairman of the board is Steffanie Smith, CEO of River Point Farms, LLC, while the Kroger Co.’s Reggie Griffin, corporate VP, produce & floral merchandising & procurement, will be chairman-elect.

Current chairman Jim Lemke, SVP at C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc., will move to the position of immediate past chairman and remain on the board and the executive committee. Mike Cavallero, president, North America Tropical Fresh Fruit at Dole Food Co., will continue to serve in an ongoing term as secretary-treasurer.

Meanwhile, the following industry leaders have been nominated to serve as new members of the United Fresh Board for a two-year term beginning April 2010:

—Will Steele, president/CEO, Frontera Produce, Ltd: vice chairman of the United Grower-Shipper board
—Ron Carkoski, president/CEO, Four Seasons Produce, Inc.:vice chairman of the Wholesaler-Distributor board
—Randy Scott, category manager, Food Lion, LLC: vice chairman of the Retail-Foodservice board
Walter Ram, VP/food safety, The Giumarra Co.: chairman of the Food Safety & Technology Council, on which he currently serves as vice chairman

The following industry leaders have been nominated to serve as new members of the United Fresh Board for a two-year term beginning April 2010:

—Paddy Callaghan, chairman, Nature’s Best, Ltd.
—Emily Fragoso, marketing manager, Coast Produce Co.
—Dan Mackey Almy, president and managing partner, DMA Solutions, Inc.
—Roger Pepperl, marketing director, Stemilt Growers Inc.
—Bruce Peterson, president, Peterson Insights, Inc.
—Ivan Tarriba, Owner-Director, Farmer’s Best International, LLC
—Greg Wohlleb, VP, processor division packaging, N.Al, Bunzl Distribution, Inc.

Current board members nominated to new positions of service-leading market segment boards are:

—Chairman, Grower-Shipper Board: Fred Williamson, Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce
—Chairman, Wholesaler-Distributor Board: Brendan Comito, Capital City Fruit Co., Inc.
—Chairman, Retail-Foodservice Board: Mitch Smith, McDonald’s Corp.

The following officers of market segment boards and councils who will continue service are:

—Chairman, Fresh-Cut Processor Board: Ron Midyett, Apio, Inc.
—Vice chairman, Fresh-Cut Processor Board: Jan Berk, San Miguel Produce
—Global Advisory Council chairman: David Barney, Bakkavor
—Supply Chain Logistics Council chairman: David Dever, Pandol Brothers Inc.
—Nutrition & Health Council chairman: Ashley Rawl, Walter P. Rawl & Sons, Inc.
—Government Relations Council: Barry Bedwell, California Grape & Tree Fruit League

Additionally, the following current at-large board members will continue to serve on the board: Mike Celani, Ready Pac Produce; John Chrosniak, DuPont Crop Protection; Tony DiMare, DiMare Co.; Charles Hall, Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association; Roger Harkrider, HEB; Brent Harrison, Al Harrison Co. Distributors; Ana Hooper, Darden Restaurants; Brian Kocher, Chiquita Brands International; Lorri Koster, Mann Packing Co.; David Krause, Paramount Citrus Association; Mike Martin, Rio Queen, Inc.; Phil Muir, Muir Copper Canyon Farms; Mark Murai, California Strawberry Commission; Doug Riley, Hy-Vee, Inc.; John Smith, Bayer Crop Science; Rick Urschel, Urschel Laboratories; Geoff White, Safeway, Inc.; and Jackson Woodward, Horton Fruit Co.

“In total, the slate of nominees for our consolidated board of directors, together with our returning board members and new officers, makes this a tremendously diverse and skilled set of leaders to represent our entire industry and guide our association in the year ahead,” said board development committee chairman Tom Lovelace.

Board members concluding service at the April meeting include:

—Tom Lovelace, McEntire Produce, who served as chairman of the board in 2008-2009, and this past year as immediate past chairman
—Mike Celani, Ready Pac Produce
—John Chrosniak, DuPont Crop Protection
—Tony DiMare, DiMare Co.
—Charles Hall, Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association
—Roger Harkrider, HEB
—Brent Harrison, Al Harrison Co. Distributors
—Ana Hooper, Darden Restaurants
—Brian Kocher, Chiquita Brands International
—Lorri Koster, Mann Packing Co.
—David Krause, Paramount Citrus Association
—Mike Martin, Rio Queen, Inc.
—Phil Muir, Muir Copper Canyon Farms
—Mark Murai, California Strawberry Commission
—Doug Riley, Hy-Vee, Inc.
—John Smith, Bayer Crop Science
—Rick Urschel, Urschel Laboratories
—Geoff White, Safeway, Inc.
—Jackson Woodward, Horton Fruit Co.

Also concluding service are at-large board members Nelia Alamo, Gills Onions; Peter John Condakes, Peter Condakes Co.; Pete Donlon, Earthbound Farm; Robin Poynton, One Harvest; Alan Temple, B&W Quality Growers; and Alessandro Turatti, Turatti.

“I’d like to personally thank those leaders who are concluding their service at this meeting,” said United Fresh president Tom Stenzel. “They have contributed greatly to our industry’s success in so many ways, and we appreciate the time and resources they have given to serve our industry.”

Stenzel also applauded the efforts of Lovelace and board development committee members Fred Williamson, Jan Berk, Brendan Comito, Mitch Smith, Mike Cavallero, Steffanie Smith and Jim Lemke for their work this year in nominating “an outstanding individual in Reggie Griffin to serve as chairman-elect, as well as a slate of great new board members.”
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