Aug 31, 2023
IFPA announces slate of 2024 board members, executive committee

The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) has a new slate of officers and directors.

The volunteer leaders will be confirmed by a ballot shared with membership and will begin their term at the Global Fresh Produce & Floral Show, October 19-21, in Anaheim, California. 

The board’s executive committee will be led by current chairman-elect Joh Anderson, CEO and managing partner of Oppy. Laura Himes, vice president of sourcing-fresh for Walmart, will be past board chair. Anderson and Himes will take the stage in Anaheim at the show to share their reflections on IFPA accomplishments in 2023 and what members can expect from the organization in 2024. 

Other executive committee members are:

  • Chair-elect — Tammy DeBoer, president of Harris Teeter
  • Secretary-treasurer — Clint Lewis, CEO of AgroFresh Solutions Inc.
  • At-large — Judy Clark, current Fresh-Cut Processor Council chair, CEO of Fresh Texas
  • At-large — Patrick Vizzone, current secretary-treasurer, managing director and head of agri-food and impact investment for Franklin Templeton Global Private Equity.
  • IFPA Foundation for Fresh Produce chair — Alex DiNovo, president and COO of DNO Produce
Courtesy of IFPA

“I’ve served on many industry volunteer leadership groups over the years, and this is, by far, one of the most diverse and wide-ranging boards I have ever had the pleasure of working with,” Anderson said in a news release. “In order to grow IFPA members’ prosperity and move toward creating a vibrant future for all, it requires diversity of thought and representation.

“The incoming board will be a near 50-50 balance between male and female leadership and has a worldwide footprint in terms of companies that are U.S.-based, U.S.-based with global operations, and those who are based entirely outside the U.S,” he said in the release. “I cannot wait to tackle the big issues facing our member community with this group. I greatly appreciate the contributions of the Leadership Development Committee, led by current past chair Bruce Taylor, for their diligence in collaborating with the board to develop the ballot and slate.”

The new board slate for 2024 is: 

  • Brazil Council Chair Alex Lee, commercial director of Rio Bonito Orgânicos, São Paulo
  • Grower-Shipper Council Chair Mark Campion, president of Taylor Farms Retail, Salinas, California 
  • Foodservice Council Chair Chip Walker, president and CEO of SSi LLC/PRO*ACT, Monterey, California 
  • Mexico Council Chair Adelina Metodieva, CEO of Zeliotech Mineral Fertilizers, Cuernevaca 
  • Supply Chain Council Chair Steve Alaerts, director of Foodcareplus NV, Antwerp, Belgium 
  • Sustainability Council Chair Rachel Depree, head of sustainability for Zespri, Mount Maunganui, New Zealand 

At-large representatives are: 

  • Tim Bulow, president and COO of Mission Produce, Oxnard, California
  • Hein Deprez, co-CEO of Greenyard, Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Belgium
  • Elliott Grant, CEO of Mineral (an Alphabet company), Mountain View, California
  • Lam Lin, group strategy lead of Joy Wing Mau Group, Shenzen, China 
  • Anna Lopez, vice president of produce for H-E-B Grocery, San Antonio 
  • Ruth McLennan, chief merchant of cold storage for The DFI Group, Singapore 
  • Bas Pellenaars, commercial director-LATAM for Dümmen Orange, Miami
  • Oleen Smethurst, vice president of produce, Loblaw, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 
  • Rodolfo Spielmann, president and CEO of NatureSweet, San Antonio
Courtesy of IFPA — Click to enlarge

Board directors completing their service in Anaheim are: 

  • Melissa Ackerman, CEO of Planet Harvest 
  • Amelie Aust, owner and board vice-chair of Fall Creek Farm & Nursery 
  • Ernesto Cardona, CEO of Austral Trading 
  • Nikki Cossio, founder and CEO of Measure to Improve LLC 
  • Jose Antonio Gomez, CEO of Camposol 
  • Jamey Higham, president and CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission 
  • Jeff Huckaby, CEO of Grimmway Enterprises Inc. 
  • Zak Lafitte, president of Wonderful Citrus 
  • Gilson Lucato Jr., commercial director of Citricola Lucato 
  • Dan Mathieson, CEO of Zespri International 
  • Julie Olivarria, vice president of Produce at Sysco Corp. 
  • James Rogers, CEO of Apeel Sciences 
  • Debora Steier, vice president of floral for Albertsons Cos. 
  • Bruce Taylor, CEO of Taylor Farms 
  • Debby Walker, vice president of purchasing and analytics for Darden  
  • Dorn Wenninger, senior vice president of produce for UNFI 
  • Drew Zabrocki, general manager of value chain insights and interoperability for Semios


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