Aug 13, 2020
Washington Apple Education Foundation elects board members, renews officers

The Washington Apple Education Foundation (WAEF) held its quarterly meeting on Aug. 13.  It is the second time this year for WAEF directors to meet via video conference. 

Elections of board members and officers had been postponed from their traditional May schedule with the intent that this August meeting would be held in person.  With the need to continue distance communications, elections commenced without further delay.

Dale Hall and Irene Birdsall of Wenatchee and Nate Fulton and Tyler Price of Yakima were elected to each serve three-year terms as members of the WAEF board of directors.  Dale Hall is the general manager of Valley Tractor & Equipment.  Irene Birdsall is the chief financial officer atMcDougall & Sons.  Nate Fulton is the agribusiness practice director for PayneWest Insurance.  Tyler Price is senior management, office & warehouse for Price Cold Storage.  All four have been involved in the tree fruit industry for multiple years and have a volunteer history with WAEF.

Due to the current Covid situation, current officers of WAEF were asked to remain in their officer roles for an additional year.  Chris Willett, Wenatchee, was elected to serve a second year as chairman of WAEF.  Jeff Fagg, Moses Lake, was elected vice-chairman for a second year. Laurie Knebusch, Yakima, was elected secretary for a second year. Dwaine Brown, Selah, was elected treasurer for a seventh year.  Bob Mast, Wenatchee, will also remain on the executive committee as immediate past chairman.

Six current board members were elected to serve additional three-year terms on the board of directors.  Bart Gebers, Wenatchee; Darrin Belton, Zillah; Dennis Bigness, Pasco; Jeff Fagg, Moses Lake; Laurie Knebusch, Yakima; and LaVerne Bergstrom will each continue as members of the board of directors for an additional three years.

A complete list of current members of the board of directors can be found on the foundation’s website, at

Retiring board members James Foreman, Wenatchee, and Ruth Pringle, Naches, were recognized earlier this month, though without the fanfare deserved or normally awarded.  Ruth Pringle joined the board of directors in 2002 and in 2009 was elected chairman of WAEF.  James Foreman was elected to the WAEF board of directors in 2014 and became chairman soon after in 2017.

The Washington Apple Education Foundation (WAEF) is the charity of the tree fruit industry.  Its mission is to impact lives through access to educational opportunities.  The foundation provides scholarships to students whose parents work in the tree fruit industry.  Currently, WAEF provides over $1 million in scholarship funding aid annually.

For more information, visit or call (509) 663-7713.

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