Tucson, AZ (November 9, 2023) – The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA) held its annual membership meeting on November 2, 2023. Attendees gathered at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort to talk about FPAA activities for the year, to talk about upcoming efforts, and to hear about the efforts of the board and staff. The meeting was held just prior to the start of the 1st Annual SouthWest International Produce Expo (SWIPE) and the 54th Annual Golf Tournament. As part of the annual meeting, FPAA members elected new directors to the board and celebrated the Member of the Year and the Pillar of the Industry.
FPAA Chairman, Rod Sbragia of Crown Jewels Produce, led the meeting and talked about the importance of member participation on the board and throughout the year in various FPAA meetings and events.
The FPAA is a membership organization, and the guidance of the board on behalf of all members is extremely valuable for the success of the organization. The FPAA extends gratitude to all members who have volunteered to serve on the board, as their dedication and commitment are essential to the success of the industry.
The election results for the 2023 FPAA board members are as follows:
Distributor Board Members (Re-elected for a two-year term):
– Juan Manuel Ibarra – Marengo Foods
– James Martin – Wilson Produce
– Guillermo Martinez – Frello Fresh
– Walter Ram – The Giumarra Companies
– Jose Luis Obregon – IPR Fresh
Newly Elected Distributor Board Members (Two-year term):
– Rafael Roiz – TruFresh
– JC Myers – Sunfed
– Jorge Donnadieu – Fresh Farms
Associate Board Members (Newly elected for a one-year term):
– Jorge Ruiz of Agri-Packing
– Mary Paz of Robinson Fresh
– JJ Badillo of Fresh International (Re-elected as FPAA Tomato Division Chairman)
– John Pandol of Pandol Brothers (Re-elected as FPAA Grape Division Chairman)
– Chris Ciruli of Ciruli Brothers (Re-elected as FPAA Mango Division Chairman)
The following members will continue to serve with one year remaining on their term:
– Gonzalo Avila of Malena Produce
– Enrique Gracia of Flavor King
– Demetrio Kyriakis of Nogales CHB
– Martin Ley of Shipley Sales
– Kyle McGrath of Tricar Sales
– Lesley Sykes of The Sykes Company
-Scott Vandervoet of Vandervoet & Associates
The FPAA appreciates the retiring board members for their valuable contributions:
– Omar Losolla of Seeded Produce
– Juan Pablo Molina of Fresh Farms
– Alex Suarez of Suarez Brokers
– Mikee Suarez of MAS Melons & Grapes
– Chuck Thomas of Thomas Produce
Member of the Year and Pillar of the Industry Awards:
The FPAA also announced two prestigious awards presented at the annual meeting. Raquel Espinoza of Produce House and FPAA Chairwoman-elect has been named “Member of the Year” in recognition of her outstanding contributions and dedication to the industry.
In addition, Emilia Gotsis was posthumously awarded the “Pillar of the Industry” honor, recognizing her as a pioneer in the fresh produce sector, whose impact and leadership has been pivotal in shaping the industry.
Founded in 1944 in Nogales, Arizona, the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas has grown to become one of the most influential agricultural groups in the United States. Today, the FPAA provides a powerful voice for improvement and sustainability by serving the needs of more than 100 North American companies involved in the growth, harvest, marketing, import, and distribution of produce. For more information, visit www.freshfrommexico.com.