United Fresh Produce Association has expanded its industry relations team to provide an unparalleled level of support to member companies in different segments of the produce supply and demand chain, adding new staff positions to serve members in the following sectors – grower-shipper, wholesaler-distributor, fresh-cut processor, retail and foodservice, as well as industry service providers.
“As we’ve worked to support our members across the industry with education, training, networking and other opportunities, it’s become clear that multiple market segments really have unique needs that can best be served with a real focus on that segment,” said United Fresh Vice President of Member Services Miriam Wolk. “Our volunteer market boards have been the first line of action to meet those needs, and we’re now excited to add new staff positions to drive added member value to each segment.”
Current United Fresh staff members Parker Linn and Andrew Marshall have transitioned into new roles within the association. Parker, who joined United Fresh in 2015 as Government Relations Assistant, now serves as Manager, Industry Relations for the Grower-Shipper community.
Andrew, a 10-year veteran staff member, transitions to the role of Director, Foodservice Programs & Foundation Partnerships, adding to his portfolio all foodservice industry relations based on his extensive work with the school foodservice community.
United Fresh also welcomes new staff members to support additional sectors of the industry. Erin Hutchinson serves as Director, Supply Chain Relations. In her role, Erin will support the Fresh-Cut Processor community, as well as United Fresh’s supply chain logistics and service provider members. Erin joins United Fresh from GVM Inc./Independent Ag Equipment where she worked in agricultural equipment and services supporting growers and their partners.
Mary Alameda, a recent graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, serves as Manager, Industry Relations for the Wholesaler-Distributor Community. Mary has grown up in the produce industry with her family’s longtime grower-packer-shipper operations located in Salinas and Yuma.
Spencer Crawford serves as Manager, Industry Relations for the Retail Community. He joins United Fresh from the Educational Advisory Board, serving multiple roles within their member services department. He also previously interned for Congressman Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming.
Finally, Natalia Gamarra joins United Fresh as Manager, International Member Services. She has most recently worked for Produce Business Magazine, and previously worked in international membership for the Produce Marketing Association. A fluent speaker of English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, Natalia is a native of Argentina. She will focus on supporting United Fresh members in Mexico, Central and South America.
United Fresh’s President & CEO, Tom Stenzel put this significant expansion of membership support in perspective. “In my 25-year tenure at United Fresh, we’ve never been able to bring this level of staff support to our members. With the continuing growth of our convention and trade show, expanding membership, and our educational portfolio, it’s great to be in a position to double down on our increasing value to the industry.”