Nogales, AZ — Members of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA) held their annual meeting on May 15, 2018 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 over the past year, including NAFTA renegotiation efforts, important infrastructure improvements, Mexico and Washington, DC advocacy, and more.

Lance also discussed the 50th Nogales Produce Convention & Golf Tournament, which is set to take place this year on Nov. 1-3. Lance urged members to join the FPAA at this year’s produce convention, which will be a huge celebration, with multiple events over the course of the year.

FPAA chairman, Gonzalo Avila from Malena Produce, spoke to the members about change, innovation, and moving forward in the industry. After completing his two-year term, Gonzalo passed on the chairman position to Scott Vandervoet from Vandervoet & Associates.

Also elected at the Annual Meeting was Leonardo Tarriba from Farmers Best International as chairman-elect. Chairman-elect is a two-year position, and at the end of the term, they take on the role of FPAA chairman.

Before electing board members, Gonzalo Avila presented the FPAA Member of the Year Award.  The Member of the Year is someone who goes above and beyond in working for the betterment of the membership.  This year’s recipients were Bobby Bennen, Jr. Ta-De Distributing and Gerardo Ritz of Ritz Produce. Bobby and Gerardo served the industry for many years on the FPAA Board, contributing their energy and commitment to the FPAA’s ideals. Their spirit embodies the legacy of FPAA. Bobby and Gerardo passed away earlier this year and they had both been recently re-elected as board members in 2017 for a two-year term.

During the meeting, FPAA members elected eight distributor directors and two associate directors to the FPAA board.  The distributor directors are as follows: Bobby Astengo, Peppers Plus; Alejandro Canelos, Apache Produce LLC; Jaime Chamberlain, J-C Distributing Inc.; Martin Ley, Shipley Sales; Enrique Gracia, Flavor King; Bert Monteverde, H.M. Distributing; Jose Antonio Martinez, Divine Flavor LLC; Matt Mandel, Sunfed.

Sabrina Hallman of Sierra Seed Company LLP was re-elected for a one-year term as associate member director. Chuck Thomas of Thomas Produce was newly elected for a one-year term as associate member director.

The FPAA members re-elected Jimmy Munguia of Del Campo Supreme, 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.


Photo Above: Members of the Year Award