Nov 20, 2019
Julie Gordon to succeed Phil Korson to lead Cherry Marketing Institute

The Cherry Marketing Institute Board of Directors has named Julie Gordon to replace Phil Korson as the president/managing director of the Cherry Marketing Institute.

Gordon has worked at the Cherry Marketing Institute (CMI) for 19 years and has led the international marketing program as CMI’s export marketing director and chief financial officer. She has led the expansion of the tart cherry export program into China and South Korea while maintaining programs in the United Kingdom and Germany.

According to a news release, Gordon has worked closely with Korson over the course of her employment at CMI and is very familiar with the details of all the programs at CMI.  In 2012 she picked up the work she is doing now on the international stage and is the primary contact between CMI’s in-country marketing representatives and the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) at USDA.  She has a strong working relationship with the marketers who work to expand markets abroad. She has been very passionate about the cherry industry and is dedicated to the growers in the industry. She serves on the USDA Fruit and Vegetable Advisory Committee (FVIAC) and in June 2019 she was appointed by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Processed Foods (ATAC).  Both committees deal with important trade issues.

Mike Van Agtmael, chairman of CMI’s Board of Directors noted that he is thrilled to work with Gordon in her new role. Van Agtmael also announced that CMI will post a policy/grower relations position that will work closely with growers on pesticide related issues as well as government issues.

“CMI has a long history working on important crop issues,” Van Agtmael said.  “This new position will work to ensure growers have the tools and protection that are needed for our industry”.

“Julie has been a passionate leader and strong supporter of the cherry industry. She is up to the challenge and will serve the industry well” noted outgoing Chairman Randy Willmeng. “I am looking forward to her vision for the programs and moving the industry forward in a positive way”.

“It’s been a challenging couple of years for cherry growers and I’m committed both domestically and internationally to leverage grower dollars to expand and strengthen promotion and research efforts for the U.S. tart cherry industry.  Trade has become a very important issue for our industry and my goal is to ensure that the U.S. tart cherry industry is well represented at both the state and federal level,” Gordon said.

Korson will work with Gordon to assist in this transition and will retire Jan. 1, 2020 after working in the tart cherry industry for over 40 years.

CMI is a nonprofit organization funded by North American tart cherry growers whose mission is to increase the demand for U.S. Montmorency tart cherries through promotion, market expansion, product development, and research. For more information about the promotion and research programs at CMI visit

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