Washington Apple Commission hires new president

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Washington Apple Commission hires new president

The Washington Apple Commission (WAC), responsible for all international advertising, promotions, education, and market development for the fresh Washington apple crop, has named Michael Schadler as their new president.

Schadler, Executive Vice President for the Florida Tomato Exchange (FTE), the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange (FTGE), and the Florida Tomato Committee (FTC), will succeed predecessor Todd Fryhover, who plans to retire after leading the Washington Apple Commission for 18 years.

Schadler will assume the position in September 2024 and work closely with the WAC international marketing team to develop and implement strategies for the Commission’s promotional programs in foreign markets. He will also act as the primary liaison for Washington apple growers and shippers, the WAC Board of Directors, Industry organizations, and the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, including overseas offices and staff in Washington DC.

Prior to representing Florida’s tomato growers, packers, and shippers, Schadler directed international marketing programs for the Florida Department of Citrus for three years.

“Michael’s background with trade associations, international marketing, advocacy, and grower relations make him an ideal fit for this position,” stated Fryhover.  “I have confidence Michael and WAC staff will work seamlessly to represent the Washington apple grower community and take our programs to the next level in these challenging times for Washington State tree fruit.”

Schadler graduated from the University of Washington in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in international studies. He is also a member for several trade committees including the USDA Advisory Committee for Trade in Fruits and Vegetables, the Canadian Produce Association North American Trade Committee, Florida Farm Bureau Fruit and Vegetable Advisory Committee, the International Fresh Produce Association Government Relations Council, the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance, and several others.

“Having been away from Washington for more than a decade, I'm excited to be returning and to have the opportunity to work on behalf of the state’s signature crop,” Schadler said. “I’m looking forward to helping the apple industry manage a very competitive international landscape.  There are a lot of headwinds, but the industry is well-positioned to continue building on its long-term export success.  It will be a privilege to join the Washington Apple Commission this September."

Established in 1937 by the Washington State Legislature, the Washington Apple Commission is one of the oldest commodity commissions in the United States.

The Commission is considered a governmental agency since it is state mandated but is completely governed and partially funded by the growers and focuses on increasing international consumption of Washington apples.

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