( File photo )

Jimmy Munguia, the chairman of the tomato division for the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, has been busy in recent months supporting the group’s position in favor of keeping a tomato suspension agreement in place.

Munguia, sales manager at Del Campo Supreme, was recognized for his efforts on the issue, which included testifying before the Arizona legislature, receiving the FPAA Member of the Year Award. The award was announced May 29 at the association’s annual meeting in Nogales, Ariz.

The award recognizes a member “who goes above and beyond in working for the betterment of the membership,” according to a news release. 

“Jimmy has earned the respect of his peers because of a steady demeanor, and a wise outlook,” Lance Jungmeyer, FPAA president, said in the release. “He has also made himself available to serve his peers in the association with his knowledge and expertise. He is a fighter – our fighter.”

During the meeting, the FPAA approved a $250,000 loan to the Greater Nogales and Santa Cruz County Port Authority, to construct a cold inspection facility at the Mariposa Port of Entry at Nogales. The state of Arizona recently approved $700,000 for the project, according to the release, and Santa Cruz County has ok’d $250,000 for the facility. The facility is still in the design phase.

FPAA members elected to the association’s board as distributor directors are:

  • Raquel Espinoza, Produce House;
  • Juan Manuel Ibarra, Marengo Foods;
  • James Martin, Wilson Produce;
  • Juan Pablo Molina, Fresh Farms;
  • Atanasio Panousopoulos, Delta Fresh;
  • Walter Ram, Giumarra Cos.;
  • Rob Sbragia, Tricar; and
  • Mikee Suarez, MAS Melons & Grapes.

Associate members directors elected to the board are:

  • Sabrina Hallman, Sierra Seed Co. LLP; and
  • Chuck Thomas, Thomas Produce.

Commodity division chairment elected at the meeting are:

  • Chris Ciruli, Ciruli Bros., Mango Division;
  • Munguia, Tomato Division; and
  • John Pandol, Pandol Bros., Grape Division.

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