Date: Nov 05, 2010

Western Growers President & CEO is inducted into San Diego Business Hall of Fame

IRVINE, CA. (November 5, 2010) - Tonight, Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif, will be inducted into Junior Achievement’s San Diego Business Hall of Fame along with three other prominent members of the area’s business community. A dinner will be held in their honor at the Del Coronado Hotel. Honorees are selected for their vision, exceptional leadership, excellence in business, remarkable innovation in their respective fields and courageous actions.

Nassif, who joined Western Growers as President and CEO in 2002, has a long history of professional achievements and community involvement. In the 1970’s Nassif moved his family from Los Angeles to the Imperial Valley where he represented the Imperial Valley Vegetable Growers Association as a young agricultural labor lawyer. His client list grew to include numerous growers and shippers in the Imperial Valley, Salinas, Central Valley and Arizona. Nassif was one of the first attorneys to try a case before the Agricultural Labor Relations Board and represented his clients in their elections, contract negotiations, arbitrations, unfair labor practice hearings and multi-employers bargaining.

Nassif joined President Ronald Reagan’s administration in 1981 and moved to Washington, D.C. where he served as Deputy and Chief (A) of Protocol and went on to become Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near East and South Asian Affairs in 1983. In 1985 was named by President Reagan as his ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco.

An agricultural industry leader, Nassif was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve as the co-chair for the Commission for Economic Development, serves as a co-chair for the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance, is a founding member and co-chair for Agriculture for a Democratic Workplace and serves on the American Task Force for Lebanon. Nassif is a leading voice on immigration policy for agriculture and following a serious food safety episode in 2006, he led the industry to develop new food safety standards establishing the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement, among other accomplishments.

Through the years, Nassif has never forgotten his roots. He has continued to be involved with the community especially through his church, St. Anthony’s Antiochian Orthodox Church, where he is a deacon, a founding member, and took a leadership role in establishing and funding a new church building in San Diego.

Junior Achievement is a worldwide nonprofit organization dedicated to educating students about work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. Founded in 1919, the program now reaches 9.7 million students per year throughout the United States and 122 countries around the world. Junior Achievement of San Diego and Imperial Counties initiated the Business Hall of Fame 22 years ago and selects laureates for induction and recognition based on one or more of three categories; entrepreneurial achievement; strategic leadership and business and industry development. Nassif will be joined by family and friends at tonight’s honorary dinner.

Western Growers is an 85-year-old agricultural trade association whose more than 2,500 members from Arizona and California grow, pack and ship about half of the nation’s fresh produce.

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