Jun 9, 2022
USHBC names inaugural Blueberry Industry Leadership Program

The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council has chosen the inaugural class of its Blueberry Industry Leadership Program.

Launched in March, the program is designed to elevate up-and-coming leaders in the blueberry industry by providing in-depth training, industry education and connection to other ag leaders for passionate blueberry professionals across the supply chain.

Fellows in the program are:

  • Christina Butler, director of Northwest and New Jersey business units for MBG Marketing
  • Gonzalo de Elizalde, blueberry product leadership senior director at Driscoll’s
  • Ernesto Diaz, director of operations for Berry Brothers
  • Anna Jesse, vice president of Forest Hills Farms Inc.
  • Karan Kohli, account manager for Mastronardi Produce
  • Scott Mainord, Southeast regional sales manager for WECO
  • Luke McCreesh, North American blueberry operations manager for California Giant Berry Farms
  • Jennifer Pulcipher, director of food safety and compliance for North Bay Produce Inc.
  • Darren Sinn, Northwest business manager for Berry Fresh LLC
  • Micah Weiss, sales and grower support for Fall Creek Farm & Nursery Inc.

The Blueberry Industry Leadership Program is the first of its kind in the blueberry industry and will help fellows grow their leadership skill set, learn from decades-long industry leaders and develop their network of connections. Professional development within the industry is a priority as members of the blueberry industry work together to make blueberries the top berry in sales volume and premium value. Fellows in the new program will lead the industry into its next period of growth.

The fellows will begin their training this summer and continue through next year, taking an interactive approach to leadership development through hands-on training, immersive learning experiences, engagement with key industry players and exposure to the many components of the produce supply chain.

Fellows will participate both virtually and in person, traveling four times over the course of the curriculum through August 2023, with a graduation ceremony at the 2023 USHBC fall meetings. The second group of fellows will be selected in the fall of 2023.


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