Silbermann said Riley’s understanding of how technology is changing the industry and his importing-exporting experience are critical for the industry and PMA.
“Tim’s more introspective in some respects than Jan but brings a breadth of experience,” Silbermann said. “He’s very good at letting people give the best of themselves.
“He will take a lot of the lessons he’s learned as vice chairman and apply it to how he leads the board. He’s the perfect guy to be in the chairman’s seat when technology is playing such an important role in the industry’s future,” Silbermann said.
During the mid-1980s, Riley received information technology training in the U.S. Navy before developing communication systems between Giumarra and its Chilean exporters as a consultant.
In 1990, he joined Giumarra as a developer in grower communications. In grower services, Riley helped build a support system for Giumarra’s growing operations and external growers.
In 2002, he became vice president of grower and sales support, helping improve grower efficiencies. He also oversaw the company’s administration, human resources and technology. He advanced to executive vice president in 2010.
Throughout his career, Riley studied management and finance at the University of Michigan’s school of business and negotiations and human resources at Stanford University. He also completed the marketing and the executive training program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
DeLyser, vice president of the California Avocado Commission, Irvine, began working with Riley on committees with the Fresh Produce & Floral Council in La Mirada, Calif., about a decade ago.
“He’s a very smart thinker and works for a really innovative global marketing organization,” DeLyser said. “He’s great at building consensus. He’s very thoughtful in the questions he asks to create additional thinking amongst members of the group. He’s a very good and solid leader.”
Riley also has served on the council’s board, the board of the Center for Produce Safety in Davis, Calif., and on committees with the United Fresh Produce Association, Washington, D.C.
In January, when Giumarra adopted a more formal leadership structure, Riley became president.
He succeeded Don Corsaro, who became chairman, and Corsaro’s son, John Corsaro, who moved from an executive vice president to chief executive officer.