Last Wednesday, February 8, the fourth class of Future Volunteer Leaders assembled at the Western Growers’ Irvine headquarters for the inaugural activities of the two-year networking and leadership development program.
Eleven Class IV participants began the three-day program with an introduction to the history and organizational structure of Western Growers, as well as an in-depth look at the member services provided by staff. The ensuing two-day Arbinger leadership seminar, titled Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box, was punctuated by a social media workshop encouraging class members to leverage existing digital tools to better tell the story of agriculture.
Members of the class will be invited to participate in all regular board meeting functions for the next two years, including the March meeting in Sacramento, Washington, D.C., trip in May, July meeting in Newport Beach and Annual Meeting in November. The second year will be also be highlighted by a Florida production tour with members of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association’s leadership program.
The competitively-selected Future Volunteer Leaders Program is designed for the next generation of leaders within Western Growers member companies interested in becoming more informed and effective advocates for the fresh produce industry. These individuals are policy-minded and have expressed a desire to serve the industry – both now and in the future – in volunteer leadership capacities.
Class IV participants include:
- Ben Barnard, Mission Produce
- Domenick Buck, Anthony Vineyards
- Ross Franson, Woolf Farming & Processing
- Greg Lewis, Duda Farm Fresh Foods
- Brent McKinsey, Mission Ranches
- Sutton Morgan, Oasis Organics
- Heather Mulholland, Mullholland Citrus
- Eric Reiter, Reiter Affiliated Companies
- Kyle Richardson, Rich-Pak Farms
- Chris Rotticci, Taylor Farms
- Kelly Strickland, Five Crowns Marketing
If you would like additional information about the Future Volunteer Leaders Program or are interested in applying for future classes, please contact Cory Lunde or (949) 885-2264.
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Farming has never been more challenging, which is why Western Growers invests in fully committed advocates – your advocates – in Sacramento, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. Only Western Growers offers members so many business services, supported by more than 400 dedicated employees.