• Grand Del Mar Pool
  • Grand Del Mar Aerial Clubhouse
  • Grand Del Mar Golf Course

Welcome Letter

We look forward to welcoming you to Western Growers’ 90th Annual Meeting at the Grand Del Mar in San Diego. We guarantee you’ll have a memorable time at one of Southern California’s most spectacular resorts. For three days, you will have the opportunity to connect with old friends, make new ones, and learn about the latest technologies, trends and issues in the fresh produce industry… all while having a little fun.

Festivities begin Sunday, November 8, at our Welcome Reception held on the resort’s stunning Aria Lawn.

Beginning Monday morning, November 9, join Top Chef’s vivacious Shirley Chung for a lively cooking demonstration that is sure to challenge and inspire your culinary talents. Then get involved with the WG Political Action Committee Luncheon, where Stuart Varney, a Fox News contributor and co–host of Varney & Co. on the Fox Business Network, will opine on the national and global economy and political landscape. Afterwards, attendees of our second workshop of the day will hear from expert panelists on the latest developments in GMO marketing and labeling opportunities and challenges.

Monday night, join members and guests for the  popular premier networking cocktail party and dinner experience – the Suppliers’ Event “Party in the Paddock” featuring the electrifying Pink Flamingoes. The “Pinks” are renowned for their artistic talents and are no strangers to the Western Growers’ family.

On Tuesday, November 10, we’ll turn to AgTech as we entice entrepreneurs to “Step into The Innovation Arena.” A “Shark-tank” like format, this workshop will place several aspiring ag innovators before a panel of influential growers and shippers who just might be willing to invest in their ideas. The Major Lunch will feature a doubleheader as I give my Chairman’s Address followed by former Cisco Chief Futurist, Dave Evans. Evans holds a number of patents and will offer his insights on emerging technologies and how those technologies will affect agriculture and humankind. He has been designated as one of the 150 Most Influential Thought Leaders in the World by LinkedIn.

After lunch, in our second workshop of the day, a panel of legal and policy experts from California and Arizona will examine challenges to water rights and share their insights about the conflicts looming over farm water use in the increasingly urbanized West.

On Tuesday night, we will gather for the Chairman’s Reception and to honor this year’s Award of Honor recipient, former WG Chairman, Bob Gray. Following the recognition of our former chairman, attendees will have their funny bone tickled by film, television and radio personality, Tom Papa, who is sure to bring the house down.

On Wednesday, November 11, be sure to stick around for our golf tournament held on property at the Tom Fazio-designed Grand Del Mar Country Club. This is one of San Diego’s premier golf destinations.

Overall, the 90th Annual Meeting is a great opportunity to have fun, strengthen our bonds and address the critical issues and opportunities facing our industry.

Thanks for your continued support of Western Growers and the agricultural industry. We look forward to seeing you in San Diego! 

Vic and Karen Smith

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Special Guests

Partner, Duane Morris LLP

Thomas M. Berliner is partner at Duane Morris LLP and chair of their Energy, Environment and Resources Practice Group.

Senior Fellow, Morrison Institute ASU

Grady Gammage, Jr. is a part time academic, a practicing lawyer, an author, a sometime real estate developer and a former elected official.

Director, PPIC Water Policy Center

Ellen Hanak is director of the PPIC Water Policy Center and a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California.

Fox Business Network Anchor

For more than 35 years, journalist, economist and popular news anchor, Stuart Varney has been a fixture in global and national economic news.


Chef Shirley Chung is the chef owner of Twenty Eight restaurant and lounge in Irvine California.

Stringify, co-founder and CTO

Dave Evans is a futurist—a passionate evangelist who shares his vision of technology’s evolution in anticipation of the coming decades.

Stand-up Comedian

With more than 20 years as a stand-up comedian, Tom Papa has found success in film, television and radio as well as on the live stage.

Event Schedule

Sunday, November 8, 2015 Event Location
01:00pm to 07:00pm Sunday Registration Desk West Foyer A
01:00pm to 03:30pm Executive Committee Meeting Burgundy
04:30pm to 05:30pm VIP Sponsor Reception – Invitation only Chairman’s Suite
05:30pm to 07:00pm Welcome Reception Aria Lawn
07:00pm to 10:00pm Past Chairmen’s Dinner – Invitation only Burgundy
Monday, November 9, 2015 Event Location
08:00am to 06:00pm Monday Registration Desk West Foyer A
08:00am Board of Directors Breakfast Elizabeth Capella
08:30am to 11:30am Board of Directors Meeting Elizabeth Capella
10:45am to 12:15pm Workshop I – Top Chef Ballroom A
12:30pm to 02:15pm PAC Lunch Ballroom B
02:30pm to 04:00pm Workshop II – GMO; What’s On Your Label? Ballroom A
06:30pm to 09:00pm Suppliers’ Event Elizabeth Ballroom
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 Event Location
08:00am to 04:30pm Tuesday Registration Desk West Foyer A
09:15am to 11:15am Workshop III - Step Into the Innovation Arena Ballroom A
11:30am to 01:15pm Major Luncheon Ballroom B
01:30pm to 03:00pm Workshop IV – Under Attack: Water Rights, Water Use Ballroom A
06:00pm to 06:45pm Chairman’s Reception Manchester Salon/Terrace
06:45pm to 10:00pm Award Dinner Elizabeth Ballroom
Wednesday, November 11, 2015 Event Location
07:00am to 08:15am Golf Registration and Breakfast Grand Golf Clubhouse
08:30am to 12:30pm Men’s & Women’s Shotgun Golf Grand Golf Course
12:30pm to 01:30pm Wednesday Lunch Grand Golf Clubhouse

Hotel Information

The Fairmont Grand Del Mar is a luxury golf and spa resort nestled in the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. From stunning views to championship golf, flawless accommodations and one of the only five-star spas in the country, The Grand Del Mar is a world-class setting for this year's Annual Meeting.

A reserved block of rooms is available to all Western Growers Annual Meeting attendees and their families at a special group rate from November 7 - 12, 2015. The cutoff for this group rate is October 5, 2015, and the hotel fills up quickly. Book early to reserve your room.

5300 Grand Del Mar Court
San Diego, CA 92130
Phone: (855) 222-7668 | Mention the group code WEST1115 when booking your room

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What to Wear

Welcome Reception - Business Casual (slacks and jacket; no tie required)
Board of Directors Meeting - Business Casual (slacks and jacket; no tie required)
Suppliers' Event* - Vintage Hollywood (c. 30's/40's)
Workshops and PAC Luncheon - Resort Casual (no jacket or tie required)
Chairman's Reception - Business (coat/tie)
Award Dinner - Business (coat/tie)
Golf Tournament - Golf attire and spike-less shoes

*Come celebrate with us the Del Mar tradition of "Opening Day at the Races." Ladies, wear your special hats!

Platinum Sponsors

Supplier Sponsors

Accelerated Imaging, Inc
Agrilogic Consulting LLC
Allen Lund Company Inc
Bard Valley Medjool Date G.A.
Barkley Ag Enterprises LLC
Barkley Insurance Agents & Brokers
Barsamian & Moody Law Firm
Blue Book Services
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP
Buckman Mitchell
Bunzl Agriculture
Buttonwillow Warehouse Co Inc
Calpine Containers Inc
Central Valley Seeds Inc
Commercial Truck Company
Desert Applicators Inc
DP Seeds LLC
Fruit Growers Supply
Green Rubber - Kennedy Ag LP
Greenheart Farms Inc
Grimmway Enterprises Inc
Growers Company Inc, The
Holaday Seed Company Inc
JS Ag Packaging
Keithly-Williams Seeds
Lengner & Sons Express
Marsh Risk & Insurance Services
NH3 Service Company
Nicholas L Saakvitne, A Law Corp
O M Contracting Inc
Progeny Advanced Genetics
Progressive Packaging Group Inc
R & B Helicopters Inc
Sakata Seed America Inc
Sensitech Inc
Skyview Cooling Company
Southern Valley Chemical Co
Sturdy Oil Company
Terkelsen, Smith, Tyree & Snell PLC
Tuttle Taylor & Heron
Weather Tec Corporation

Latest Annual Meeting News

Oct 01, 2015

Western Growers new Center for Innovation and Technology is expected to open later this month in Salinas, California.  As part of that initiative, we are launching a comprehensive “innovation” program to help find and accelerate the availability of technologies and services that will help members

Sep 15, 2015

When “chef-testant,” Shirley Chung was eliminated from the Top Chef show’s final four episode in Hawaii in 2014, she graciously lamented about her performance saying, “I feel like I disappointed a lot of people, but I have to be honest and say that I agreed with the judges.