Feb 2, 2022
Washington Apple Education Foundation has new executive director

The Washington Apple Education Foundation (WAEF) announces the hiring of  Faviola Barbosa as its new executive director. Barbosa began Feb. 1 in this role with the tree fruit industry’s charity.

Faviola Barbosa

“On behalf of the WAEF board of directors, I am thrilled to welcome Faviola Barbosa as the new executive director of WAEF.  Her excitement and passion to work with students are easily conveyed when she shares what it means to be able to impact lives through access to educational opportunities,” WAEF chairman Laurie Knebusch said in a news release. “When the selection committee met Faviola and learned about her deep ties to the tree fruit industry, paired with her career background working in education, we knew we had found WAEF’s next executive director.” Knebusch led the search committee process that began in mid-October.

Barbosa worked within the Washington State Community & Technical Colleges system for more than 18 years. Her passion has been to promote higher education to students from an early age. “I am so excited about the opportunity to promote access and support to students from the tree fruit industry pursuing higher education. Furthermore, I look forward to working with such an amazing team and industry, continuing to strengthen the WAEF mission,” she says.

Barbosa migrated from Mexico to the United States with her family at the age of two years old. She grew up within the farm working industry in Orondo, Washington, and is a first-generation Latinx. She earned a BA in Business Administration from Washington State University, an MS in College Student Affairs from Nova Southeastern University and a Doctorate in Leadership in Higher Education from Capella University.

Barbosa is the fourth executive director in the foundation’s 28-year history. She follows outgoing executive director Jennifer Witherbee who served in the position for more than 20 years. Witherbee will remain on staff at WAEF in a support role for a few weeks to assist with the transition.

The Washington Apple Education Foundation is the charity of the tree fruit industry. Its mission is to impact lives through access to educational opportunities. WAEF relies on voluntary donations from over 400 contributors annually and the efforts of 200 committed

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