Date: Jan 07, 2010

IRVINE (January 7, 2010) - Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif announced today that Henry (Hank) Giclas III, has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Science & Technology, Strategic Planning, effective January 1, 2010.

"Hank began his career with Western Growers in 1990 as Arizona's director of legislative and regulatory affairs with an emphasis on pesticides and pesticide related issues," said Nassif.

Hank developed an expertise in agricultural chemical and environmental issues and led Western Growers to becoming more actively engaged in the science aspects of agricultural policy in California, Arizona, and the Federal level. His division has oversight on food safety and security programs, sustainability, water and air quality issues, pesticide registration, including grassroot activities, grant writing, and the development and implementation of the association’s strategic plan.

Over the past 20 years, as Western Growers and its members have been confronted with ever increasing scientific and technology challenges, Hank has been at the Western Growers and industry forefront in addressing, handling and influencing these very difficult and complex science and technology issues as they have arisen.

"Probably the best example of Hank’s initiative and problem solving is his leadership on the establishment of the leafy green metrics," continued Nassif. "With other state and national association counterparts, Hank conceptualized and collaborated on the development of the leafy green best practices metrics that have been implemented and recognized by industry and regulators alike. Working very closely with industry and WG member experts, Hank, Western Growers and the fresh produce industry were able to implement the best agricultural practices that are a national template for a science based and commodity specific approach to food safety."

Hank is fundamentally involved with the association’s leadership efforts and is a tireless advocate for the agricultural industry. “Hank’s leadership and advocacy skills warrant this well deserved promotion,” concluded Nassif.

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

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