November 2015

By Matt Bigham


Employers face a multitude of insurance challenges in today’s market.  The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has understandably garnered a majority of the insurance media coverage since it fundamentally changed how medical insurance is offered.  However, dramatic changes in the workers’ compensation market should pique the attention of employers as well.


Forrest Melton, a well-respected senior research scientist, recently said: “When people hear that NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) is interested in understanding E.T., the last thing that may come to mind is agriculture.”

Sonia Salas

While much of the recent public attention on immigration reform has been negative, Western Growers and many others continue efforts to educate members and quietly encourage the need for rationale rhetoric and positions from conservative-oriented officials.

Ken Barbic

(Editor’s Note: The questions and answers have been paraphrased for brevity and clarity)


Jacqui Irwin was first elected to the Assembly in 2014 after serving 10 years on the Thousand Oaks City Council, including two stints as mayor.  She was the first Democrat elected in Thousand Oaks in many years, and replaced Republican Jeff Gorell in the Assembly, as he ran for Congress instead of seeking reelection.


Where did you grow up and were there any defining moments in your youth?

Tim Linden

On Wednesday, September 30, Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif was a featured speaker at the Bayer Horticulture Symposium held in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Addressing a multinational audience, Nassif spoke on trends in fresh fruit and vegetable consumption and how the industry is responding to evolving demands from buyers and consumers.  He was one of the first speakers of many during the two-day conference that explored the worldwide horticultural sector and how it adapts to a changing world.

Sambrailo Packaging Company has an impressive history in the produce industry dating back almost a full century.  But when Tom Byrne joined the third-generation, family-owned firm a couple of years ago as its vice president and general manager, he was equally impressed with the array of services provided by the packaging company.

Tim Linden

Although I am an ordained deacon in the Antiochian Orthodox Church, I am observant of the wisdom offered by religious leaders of many other denominations.  Oftentimes, the spiritual guidance provided by leaders of different faiths tenders valuable insight into our own personal conduct, as well as the character of our social institutions.  This was most certainly true during Pope Francis’ recent visit to the United States, which included stops in Washington, D.C., New York, and Philadelphia.  During his six-day trip, the Bishop of Rome shared moments of profoundness that should provoke some

Tom Nassif

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