International Fresh Produce Association announces Board of Directors

PMA and United Fresh announce new organization: International Fresh Produce Association

PMA and United Fresh announce new organization: International Fresh Produce Association

PMA and United Fresh leaders have announced the name of their new combined organization - International Fresh Produce Association.

Co-CEOs of the new association, Cathy Burns and Tom Stenzel, were joined by Executive Committee members at the online announcement on Thursday to share details including the Board of Directors.

The merger plans were announced in late March. The two associations will continue to operate as independent organizations through 2021, with the new association to be launched Jan. 1, 2022.

 The new association will be led jointly by Burns and Stenzel as Co-CEOs throughout 2022. After that time, Burns will become the sole CEO.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to lead and collaborate with this Board of Directors,” said Bruce Taylor, Chair of the new organization and CEO of Taylor Farms.

“This group, in partnership with staff, will help set the strategic tone and direction as we deliver against the seven strategic priorities."

The board will work in partnership with staff to provide expertise for industry members across the produce and floral supply chains.

"In assembling this Board of Directors, we sought to strike a balance of those individuals who had strong prior experience from serving on United and PMA volunteer groups as well as emerging leaders,” said Danny Dumas, UFPA Chair and President, of Courchesne Larose USA Inc.

When the new International Fresh Produce Association was announced, PMA and United Fresh also shared the strategic commitments that will be the core priorities of the new association launching in January 2022.

These include a commitment to all sectors of the fresh produce and floral supply chains; a commitment to growing demand and profitability; and a commitment to global engagement.

“Because the new organization will reflect global fresh produce and floral communities, the new Board is organized to represent the many businesses we’ll serve in coming years as we work together to help our members prosper,” said Dwight Ferguson, PMA Chair and President and CEO of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation.

The new association Board of Directors are:

Directors representing Market Segments

  • Grower-Shipper: Jeff Huckaby, CEO, Grimmway Enterprises, Inc.
  • Foodservice: Melissa Ackerman, President and Operations Director, Produce Alliance
  • Fresh-Cut Processor: Raina Nelson, President US, Westfalia Fruit Marketing USA LLC
  • Wholesaler-Distributor: Tom Brugato, President, Pacific Coast Fruit Company
  • Retail: Pending

Directors representing Industry Expertise

  • Finance & Business Management: Michael Castagnetto, President, Robinson Fresh
  • Food Safety: Cheryl Enlow, VP of QA and Food Safety, Renaissance Food Group
  • Supply Chain Logistics: Drew Zabrocki, General Manager, Value Chain Insights & Interoperability, Semios
  • Marketing & Merchandising: Abby Prior, SVP Sales & Marketing, Bright Farms
  • Sustainability: Nikki Cossio, Founder & CEO, Measure to Improve LLC.
  • Technology: James Rogers, CEO, Apeel Sciences

U.S. Government Relations Director:   

  • Brian Kocher, President and CEO, Castellini Companies

Directors representing Global Markets:  

  • Australia-New Zealand: Katie De Villers, Head of Sales, One Harvest
  • Brazil: Gilson Lucato, Commercial Director, Citricola Lucato
  • Chile: Cristian Ureta, CEO, Exser
  • Mexico: Ernesto Cardona, President and Operations Director, Australtrading
  • South Africa: Trevor Dukes, CEO, The Fruit Farm Group
  • China: Liu Mau Wah, Chairman of the Group, Joy Wing Mau Group

Directors representing Floral:  

  • Carlos Oramas, CEO, Gems Group, Inc.
  • Debora Steier, Vice President of Floral, Albertsons Companies

At-large directors:  

  • Amelie Aust, Owner, Board Vice-Chair, Fall Creek Farm & Nursery
  • Erik Brown, Executive Leader – Procurement, Produce, Whole Food
  • Adriëlle Dankier, Chief Commercial Officer, Nature’s Pride
  • Inci Dannenberg, Head of Vegetable Seeds Global Strategic Marketing, Bayer
  • Karen Fernald, SVP Category, Merchandising Pricing, Food Lion
  • Jose Antonio Gomez, CEO, Camposol
  • Candice Herndon, President, North America, IFCO Systems N.A.
  • Jamey Higham, President and CEO, Idaho Potato Commission
  • Jacob Krempel, Vice President, Procurement, HelloFresh
  • Zak Lafitte, President, Wonderful Citrus
  • Dan Mathieson, CEO, Zespri International, LTD.
  • Amy McClellan, Vice President, Fresh Merchandising, SpartanNash
  • Nelson Montoya, President, Fresh Fruit, Dole Food Company
  • Julie Olivarria, Vice President, Produce, Sysco Corporation
  • Mark Powers, President, Northwest Horticultural Council
  • Michael Simonetta, CEO, Perfection Fresh
  • Brie Reiter Smith, VP of Product Leadership, Driscoll’s
  • Debbie Raton Walker, Vice President, Purchasing & Analytics, Darden
  • Dorn Wenniger, SVP Produce, UNFI

As previously announced, the Executive Committee for the new organization includes: 

  • Chair: Bruce Taylor, CEO, Taylor Farms
  • Chair-Elect Laura Himes, DMM Produce, Walmart
  • Secretary Treasurer Patrick Vizzone, Head of Food, Beverage & Agribusiness, ANZ Banking
  • Past Chair(s): Danny Dumas, President, of Courchesne Larose USA Inc. and Dwight
  • Ferguson, President and CEO, California Agricultural Leadership Foundation
  • Foundation Chair: Martha Hilton, VP Produce and Floral Merchandising, Wegman’s.


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