The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas members elected new directors to its board and celebrated the Member of the Year and the Pillar of the Industry honorees at its Nov. 2 annual meeting.
The meeting was held prior to the start of the inaugural SouthWest International Produce Expo and the 54th annual golf tournament.
According to a news release, election results for the 2023 FPAA board members are as follows:
Distributor board members (reelected for a two-year term)
- Juan Manuel Ibarra of Marengo Foods.
- James Martin of Wilson Produce.
- Guillermo Martinez of Frello Fresh.
- Walter Ram of The Giumarra Cos.
- Jose Luis Obregon of IPR Fresh.
Newly elected distributor board members (elected for two-year term)
- Rafael Roiz of TruFresh.
- JC Myers of Sunfed.
- Jorge Donnadieu of 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 (reelected as FPAA Tomato Division chairman).
- John Pandol of Pandol Bros. (reelected as FPAA Grape Division chairman).
- Chris Ciruli of Ciruli Bros. (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 Co.
- Scott Vandervoet of Vandervoet & Associates.
The FPAA says it appreciates the retiring board members for their 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.
The FPAA also presented two awards at the annual meeting. Raquel Espinoza of Produce House and FPAA chairwoman-elect was named Member of the Year in recognition of her outstanding contributions and dedication to the industry, according to the release.
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, the release said.