Produce industry veteran Blair Richardson has been named president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Potato Board.
During the past four years, Richardson was chief executive officer for the combined WesPak Sales Inc., and Enns Packing Inc., Dinuba, Calif., according to the release.
Richardson was not available for comment on his move Aug. 1, but a staff member of the board expects Richardson will bring a fresh perspective to the group.
“He brings a lot of experiences and skill sets to this position,” said David Fraser, vice president of industry communications and policy for the Denver-based U.S. Potato Board.
Fraser said the Pasadena-based The Mixtec Group helped in the recruitment for the position. After about eight finalists were identified and further narrowed to three candidates, Fraser said the board’s executive committee selected Richardson in mid-June.
Richardson became president of the California Tree Fruit Agreement in 2002, and five years later joined FreshSense, where he was responsible for rebranding the Ripe n Ready brand and building a new eco-label for growers participating in a new sustainable farming certification program, according to the release.
Previous U.S. Potato Board president Tim O’Connor left the group in March after a tenure of 14 years to become chief executive officer of the Denver-based Avocados From Mexico marketing group, a joint creation of the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association and the Michoacan Avocado Producers and Packers (APEAM).
Richardson is a founding member of the Coordinating Council for the Stewardship Index, and has served in leadership positions for the Produce for Better Health Foundation Financial Advisory Committee, the PBH Executive Committee, the Produce Marketing Association’s Foundation for Industhe try Talent, the California Minor Crops Council board and others, according to the release.
Richardson lives near Fresno, Calif., with his wife Marti, and daughter, Bryce, according to the release.