The proposal also calls for a 13-member board of directors, with four growers, four packers and five at-large members.
One issue that still needs to be addressed is who could serve as at-large members, said Scott Dorsing, vice president of Dorsing Farms Inc., Othello.
“How do you keep fair representation so it’s not weighted to one organization?” he asked.
Before the proposal can move forward, the boards of all four groups would have to vote on it.
The task force has developed a timeline from January through August that includes transitioning the individual group boards and searching for a chief executive officer, Kershaw said.
Once a CEO is selected, he or she will move forward with staffing.
The proposed consolidation also meshes with pending retirements of leaders within three of the four organizations, Mathison said.
“It just works out that there’s going to be succession processes for a lot of the association leaders here in the next 12-24 months,” he said.
Mathison said he’s made several presentations on the proposal to various groups and believed the task force has received comments from about 80% of the industry.
Nevertheless, he and fellow task force members used the horticultural show to make one more request for comments.
The deadline to submit input is Jan. 10, Mathison said.
“We have to make sure we have the appropriate input from everybody in the industry, because we have one shot to get this right,” Kershaw said.