UNFI VP to Head OTA Board of Directors
Melody Meyer, VP for policy and industry relations at Providence, R.I.-based wholesaler United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI), has been appointed the new board president of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), succeeding Matt McLean, of Clermont, Fla.-based Uncle Matt’s Organic, who was president for the past two years.
“We have great opportunities ahead to protect and advance organic agriculture and educate consumers on its benefits,” said Meyer, who has been on the board for five years and brings to her new role more than 37 years of organic industry experience in retail, wholesale, fair trade, policy and education.
Other officers named at OTA’s annual meeting, held Sept. 25 in Baltimore, are Sarah Bird, Annie’s Inc., as VP—USA; Ian Walker, Left Coast Naturals, as VP—Canada; Leslie Zuck, Pennsylvania Certified Organic, as secretary; and Tony Bedard; Frontier Natural Products Co-op, as treasurer.
Returning to the board after the recent OTA election are Chris Ely, Applegate Farms, and Zuck, who each were re-elected for a three-year term. In addition, Melissa Hughes, Organic Valley, is beginning her first term. Meanwhile, Marci Zaroff, Under the Canopy/Portico Brands, has been reappointed to serve a three-year term, and Ryan Benn, Alive Publishing Group Inc., has been appointed by the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA) to represent Canadian interests on the board for a one-year term.
Other members of the current board are Samantha Cabaluna, Earthbound Farm; Perry Clutts, Pleasantview Farm; Nicole Dawes, Late July Organic Snacks; McLean; Scott Nash, MOM’s Organic Market; and Kelly Shea, WhiteWave Foods.
Julia Sabin, of Chico, Calif.-based Smucker Natural Foods Inc., who was board president for three years prior to McLean, is retiring from the board after serving the maximum three, three-year terms. Also leaving the board is Gunta Vitins, of British Columbia-based Vitins Consulting, who was VP—Canada.
Brattleboro, Vt.-based OTA, the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America, represents more than 6,500 organic businesses across 49 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers’ associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others.