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July 7, 2016

WG 91st ANNUAL MEETING: Kauai Offers Great Backdrop For Exciting Gathering

Just as they did a bit more than 90 years ago for the first time, the movers and shakers in the California and Arizona fresh produce industry have picked an impressive venue in which to hold their annual meeting.

On March 9, 1926, it was the newly-opened Planters Hotel in Brawley, CA, that hosted the first organizational meeting of what would become the Western Growers Protective Association.  On Nov. 6-9, Western Growers will hold its 91st meeting at the Grand Hyatt on the island of Kauai in Hawaii.  On its website, Hyatt officials promise that “an extraordinary experience awaits you at Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa. You’ll discover the true spirit of grand Hawaiian hospitality at every turn in our spectacular beachside resort.”

The elegantly-designed guestrooms offer stunning ocean, garden or pool views from a private lanai.  The world-class spa and championship golf course offer amenities second to none in this area.  In addition, there are many dining options, from poolside casual to elegant Italian to contemporary Hawaiian.

The hotel encompasses more than 65,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space with spectacular views.  One of those great outdoor spaces will be utilized for the Opening Reception on Sunday, Nov. 6 as well as the closing Suppliers’ Party on Wednesday, Nov. 9.  In between there will be many educational and social functions to keep the discerning Annual Meeting attendee engaged, informed and entertained.

Many of the events are still moving through their planning stages as speakers are being lined up and invited.  But much is also already known:



A strong lineup of workshops has been developed.

1.   Criminal Liability for Food Safety Violations: This workshop will explore strategies to deal with the Department of Justice’s new Yates Memo, and the increased criminal exposure for executives in the fresh produce industry.

2.   Innovation Arena 2: Select tech companies are being invited to pitch their innovations and ideas for agricultural technology to a panel of Western Growers judges. Audience participation will be part of the process as attendees of the workshop will help determine the winner(s).

3.   Top Chef: There will once again be a food preparation demonstration.  The details of this always-popular workshop are still being developed.

4.   A lively fourth workshop will also be held though the details have yet to be revealed.


PAC Lunch Speaker

James Nicholson –

Nicholson served as Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs from 2005 to 2007.  Prior to his tenure at the VA, he served as U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See.  Nicholson has led an active political life, which includes serving as chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1997-2001.  He has worked on a number of political campaigns at every level, from county commissioner to U.S. President.  As Chairman of the Republican National Committee, he set records for fundraising, and in 2000, presided over winning the presidency and majorities in the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House, state houses and state legislatures.


Western Growers Award of Honor Recipients

Miles and Garland Reiter



Jeff Tracta has become the most sought after impressionist in the world today.  With an array of more than 100 spot-on impressions, he pays tribute to 50 years of music, comedy and pop culture in his act.  From legendary icons such as Bob Dylan and Elton John to current music stars such as Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga, his show has something for everyone.



Schedule of Events

November 6

Sunday                              Event                                                                                  Location

10:00am to 02:00pm     Executive Committee Meeting                        Garden Isle 4, 5

01:00pm to 07:00pm     Registration Desk Open                                          Circle of Life

05:30pm to 07:00pm     Welcome Reception                                                Ilima Garden


November 7

Monday                             Event                                                                                  Location

08:00am to 06:00pm     Registration Desk Open                                          Circle of Life

08:30am                           Board of Directors Breakfast                                  Grand 1, 6, 7

08:30am to 11:30am      Board of Directors Meeting                                   Grand 1, 6, 7

10:45am to 12:15pm     Workshop I                                                                        Grand 2

12:30pm to 02:15pm     PAC Lunch                                                               Grand Garden

02:30pm to 03:45pm     Workshop II                                                                Workshop II


November 8

Tuesday                             Event                                                                                  Location

08:00am to 04:30pm     Registration Desk Open                                          Circle of Life

09:45am to 11:15am      Workshop III                                                                      Grand 2

11:30am to 01:15pm     Major Lunch                                                            Grand Garden

01:30pm to 03:00pm     Workshop IV                                                                      Grand 2

06:00pm to 06:45pm     Chairman’s Reception                                           Grand Garden

06:45pm to 10:00pm     Award Dinner                                                      Grand Ballroom


November 9

Wednesday                      Event                                                                                  Location

07:00am to 08:15am      Golf Registration and Breakfast            Poipu Bay Golf Course

08:30am to 12:30pm     Shotgun Golf Tournament                     Poipu Bay Golf Course

12:30pm to 01:30pm     Lunch                                                         Poipu Bay Golf Course

06:30pm to 09:30pm          Suppliers’ Event   Shipwreck Lagoon



The Western Growers Annual Meeting will be held during the November Presidential Election.  That will require all but the Hawaiian members of the association who attend to vote by absentee ballot.


Absentee Vote By Mail


Any registered voter may vote using a vote-by-mail ballot instead of going to the polls on Election Day.  California law also allows any registered voter to become a permanent vote-by-mail voter.  To request a vote-by-mail ballot for one election or to become a permanent vote-by-mail voter, follow the simple process described on the California Secretary of State website (  The application to vote by mail can also be found on that website. Applications must be received by November 1, 2016.



You can request to vote early and cast an early ballot in-person at the same time.  You can vote early at any early voting location in the county you are registered to vote, or at your county recorder’s office.  Times and dates may vary at locations based on the early voting facilities’ business hours.  Early voting starts 26 days before the election.  You can request an early ballot within 93 days of any election.

For information on early voting locations, including times and dates for early voting, contact your County Recorder.



Colorado has “no-excuse” mail-in voting.  All registered voters will automatically receive a ballot in the mail.  Complete your ballot and return by mail.