November/December 2019

The employee benefits renewal season is upon us and many of our members are evaluating their current benefits options. As always, one of the key questions is: how does their plan positively improve the lives of their employees and their families, with what sort of financial impact on the bottom line of their business?

Western Growers Insurance Services (WGIS) has heavily invested in people and technology, significantly increasing our capabilities to help you answer the many questions and challenges associated with the employee benefits process and experience.

Health and wellness are ideals everyone strives for, but finding a balance of the two while navigating the intricacies of our daily lives is something many struggle to achieve. When life throws some unexpected turns into the mix, it not only creates stress at home but also in the workplace. The effects of those stressors can have a significant impact on employees’ mental wellbeing and even affect their performance at work.

David Zanze

In a recent article, I talked about Western Growers’ leadership in the food safety arena. For decades now, Western Growers has been the leader in what has been the single largest shift in food safety culture for growers and handlers on record. We have worked hand-in-glove with our members to design and consistently enhance preventive controls in the field as the first line of defense in food safety.

Hank Giclas

By Mark Petersen, Vice President of C.H. Robinson

Autonomous vehicles are making headlines. Whether for personal or commercial use, there’s a lot of speculation about what the future will bring. However, autonomy isn’t all or nothing. As shown in the graphic below, it’s a progressive continuum with five distinct levels of capabilities.

Not all levels of automation are equal

“Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” – The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

Lobbying is a vital part of American democracy and helps ensure that grievances that threaten the livelihood of individuals or an industry are heard and, ideally, resolved. This tool is especially important for agriculture, which continually faces a plethora of legislation and regulation that make it increasingly difficult for farmers to grow healthy, nutritious food.

A few months ago, former Western Growers chairman and longtime board member Gary Pasquinelli commenting on the career of soon-to-be-retired WG President & CEO Tom Nassif, said the association got more than it bargained for when it hired the former ambassador to Morocco almost two decades ago.

“When we hired Tom, we knew we had a good man. He possesses a rare skill set and has brought a remarkable degree of professionalism to the job,” Pasquinelli said. “His commitment to the job and his integrity are unmatched.”

The American Dream, the idea that anyone, regardless of social class or location of birth, can attain prosperity through perseverance and hard work, has inspired the migration of millions of people from around the world to the United States. Though the term was not officially coined until it appeared in James Truslow Adams’ best-selling novel, “Epic of America,” in 1931, the concept has been deeply rooted in our nation’s history since before its inception, and has formed the foundation of its success.

I have discovered that as I near retirement, I have become more introspective. The song, “Seasons of Love,” asks a thoughtful question: “How do you measure a year?” Lately, I have found myself asking a similar philosophical question: “How do you measure a career?”

Tom Nassif

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