FPAA’s Annual Meeting: Handing over the Gavel to Incoming Chairman,
Election of Chairman-Elect and New Board Members
Nogales, AZ — Members of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA)
held their annual meeting on May 12, 2016 in Nogales, Arizona. The annual meeting is
an opportunity for members to discuss key actions from the previous year with detailed
updates from the FPAA’s president, chairman, and staff. In addition, the annual meeting
is the opportunity to vote for board members to fill the terms that ended this May.
FPAA president, Lance Jungmeyer, talked about a variety of activities and opportunities
that the association has been working on in the past year, including important
infrastructure improvements ranging from State Route 189 to the key arteries leading to
key produce warehouses hubs. He also talked about updates in Mexico City,
Washington, DC, Phoenix, and more.
Jungmeyer said, “We are seeing that FPAA’s message about boosting efficient trade with
Mexico is resonating, both in Arizona and in Washington, D.C. This is manifested in the
interest of the Arizona legislature and Governor Ducey in supporting SR 189 as an
infrastructure enhancement to boost trade. And it is seen as Senators McCain and Flake
continue to push for accelerated hiring of Customs officers in Arizona.”
Matt Mandel of SunFed concluded his two-year term as FPAA chairman and will serve
as past-chairman for two years. Stepping into the chairman position is Gonzalo Avila of
Malena Produce. Elected as the FPAA’s chairman-elect was Scott Vandervoet of
Vandervoet & Associates. Scott will serve as chairman-elect for two years and then step
into the role of chairman.
Matt Mandel said of his time as chairman, “I thoroughly enjoyed my time serving as
chairman of the FPAA. I am confident that Gonzalo will ensure that the association will
continue to flourish under his leadership. I also want to thank my fantastic crew at
SunFed who have supported me in my endeavors during my time as chairman.”
Addressing a room full of FPAA members, Gonzalo Avila said, “I would like to thank
you all for confiding in me to be your next Chairman. I’m conscious of the duties and
tasks that we have upon us in the next couple of years and I promise to work hard to
represent you well.” He concluded his remarks by welcoming Scott Vandervoet as
chairman-elect and thanking Matt for his years of service to the FPAA.
During the meeting, FPAA members elected eight distributor directors and two associate
directors to the FPAA board.
The distributor members elected to a two-year term are: Bobby Astengo of Healthy
Trends Produce Company; Alejandro Canelos of Apache Produce Imports, LLC; Jaime
Chamberlain of JC Distributing; Ricardo Crisantes of Wholesum Family Farms; Martin
Ley of Shipley Sales; Bert Monteverde, Jr. of H.M. Distributors; Rod Sbragia of Tricar
Sales, Inc.; and Leonardo Tarriba of Farmer’s Best International.
Sabrina Hallman of Sierra Seed Company LLLP was re-elected for a one-year term as
associate member director. Terry Shannon, Jr. of Shannon Brokerage was newly elected
for a one-year term as associate member director.
The FPAA honored outgoing board members Chuck Thomas of Thomas Produce and
Jose Luis Obregon of IPR Fresh for their valuable service and commitment to the
industry. Both Thomas and Obregon give generously of their valuable time and have
made very important contributions to the FPAA over many, many years of service.
JJ Badillo of Delta Fresh Sales, LLC; Chris Ciruli of Ciruli Brothers; Walter Ram of The
Giumarra Companies; James Martin of Wilson Produce; Eric Meyer of Prime Time
International; Gerardo Ritz of Ritz Produce; and Mikee Suarez of MAS Melons & Grapes
have one year remaining in their two-year term of office.
The FPAA members also re-elected JJ Badillo of Delta Fresh Sales, LLC as chairman of
the FPAA Tomato Division. Chris Ciruli of Ciruli Brothers continues as chairman of the
FPAA Mango Division. John Pandol of Pandol Brothers also continues as the chairman
of the FPAA Grape Division.
The FPAA and its members rely on the commitment and expertise of their board of
directors, division directors, and the engagement of the FPAA membership in advancing
the goals of improving business for its member companies. Their service builds the
foundation of success for all FPAA initiatives.
About the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas:
The FPAA is a nonprofit trade association headquartered in Nogales, Arizona, that
represents over 120 U.S. member companies involved in growing, packing, sales and
transportation of fresh fruits and vegetables grown in Mexico. The FPAA leverages the
efforts of private companies and partner-associations to increase the consumption of fresh
fruits and vegetable from Mexico.