Date: Oct 21, 2010

IRVINE (October 21, 2010) - California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced yesterday the reappointment of Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif to the California Commission for Economic Development (CED).

Nassif has once again been called on by the governor to serve on the bipartisan advisory board focused on addressing economic and development issues for the executive and legislative leadership of the state. During Nassif’s first appointment, he developed an agricultural committee and the state-wide California Agricultural Communications Coalition (CACC), whose purpose is to re-connect Californians with where their food comes from – farms and farmers.

“It is an honor to be called upon once again by Governor Schwarzenegger to serve this great state,” Nassif said. “The Governor has shown wisdom and foresight in ensuring agriculture is adequately represented on this commission and I will work tirelessly in this role to ensure the economic viability of California’s family farms. Our industry affects this state’s economy in so many ways, and I will use what I have learned during my time with Western Growers and from previous posts to ensure our state’s economic development flourishes.”

The commission, which is chaired by Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonaldo, is responsible for addressing regional and local economic problems and making recommendations for solving problems; providing a forum for ongoing dialogue on economic issues between state government and the private sector; recommending legislation to require evaluation of demonstration and ongoing economic development projects and programs to ensure continued cost effectiveness; identifying and reporting important secondary effects on economic development of programs and regulations which may have other primary purposes; and undertaking specialized studies and preparing specialized reports at the request of the governor or legislature.

The CED meets once a quarter and plays an integral role in the formulation of legislation and regulations as they pertain to the state’s economic stability.

Nassif has served as president and CEO for Western Growers since 2002. From 2001 to 2002, he was founding and managing partner for Aequitas International Consulting. Previously, Nassif served as President and CEO for the Los Alamos Land Company from 1994 to 2001 and Chair for Gulf Interstate Engineering from 1988 to 1994. Prior to that, he served as a U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco from 1985 to 1988. Nassif served in the U.S. Army from 1961 to 1969.

Western growers is an agriculture trade association whose nearly 3,000 members grow, pack and ship ninety percent of the fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in California and seventy five percent of those commodities in Arizona. This totals half of the nation’s fresh produce.

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