United Fresh Adds to Industry Relations Team
United Fresh Produce Association has expanded its industry relations team to provide support to member companies in various segments of the produce supply and demand chain, adding new staff positions to serve the grower-shipper, wholesaler-distributor, fresh-cut processor, retail and foodservice sectors, as well as industry service providers.
“As we’ve worked to support our members across the industry with education, training, networking and other opportunities, it’s become clear that multiple market segments really have unique needs that can best be served with a real focus on that segment,” explained United Fresh VP of Member Services Miriam Wolk. “Our volunteer market boards have been the first line of action to meet those needs, and we’re now excited to add new staff positions to drive added member value to each segment.”
United Fresh staff members Parker Linn and Andrew Marshall have moved into new roles within the association: Linn, who joined United Fresh in 2015 as government relations assistant, is now manager, industry relations for the grower-shipper community, while Marshall, a staff member of 10 years’ standing, has taken on the role of director, foodservice programs and foundation partnerships, adding to his workload all foodservice industry relations, based on his extensive experience with the school foodservice community.
United Fresh also hired new staff members to work with other industry sectors. Erin Hutchinson is now director, supply chain relations, in which capacity she will support the fresh-cut processor community, as well as United Fresh’s supply chain logistics and service provider members. Hutchinson joined the organization from GVM Inc./Independent Ag Equipment, where she worked in agricultural equipment and services supporting growers and their partners.
Mary Alameda, a recent graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, is now manager, industry relations for the wholesaler-distributor community. Alameda grew up in the produce industry; her family’s grower-packer-shipper operations has locations in Salinas, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz.
Spencer Crawford is now manager, industry relations for the retail community, joining the organization from the Educational Advisory Board, where he held multiple roles within the member services department. Crawford also previously interned for Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.
Natalia Gamarra is now manager, international member services, having most recently worked for Produce Business. Before that, she worked in international membership for the Produce Marketing Association. A fluent speaker of English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, the Argentina native will focus on supporting United Fresh members in Mexico and Central and South America.
“In my 25-year tenure at United Fresh, we’ve never been able to bring this level of staff support to our members,” noted President and CEO Tom Stenzel. “With the continuing growth of our convention and trade show, expanding membership, and our educational portfolio, it’s great to be in a position to double down on our increasing value to the industry.”
Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh brings together companies across every segment of the fresh produce supply chain, including growers, shippers, fresh-cut processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, foodservice operators, industry suppliers and allied associations.