( Courtesy FPAA )

Leonardo Tarriba, CEO of Farmer’s Best International, is the new chairman of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, Nogales, Ariz.

Tarriba began his two-year term at the organization’s annual meeting — a Sept. 29 virtual event open to board members. He succeeds Scott Vandervoet of Vandervoet & Associates, who remains on the board for two more years as past chairman.

Vandervoet spoke of the increased challenges to the Nogales area industry in the past year, according to a news release, including the COVID-19 pandemic and greater resistance to Mexican imports from domestic growers and the Trump administration.

Lance Jungmeyer, FPAA president, said Vandervoet helped rally donations to Native American tribes and local organizations, and represented the area’s importers in Washington, D.C., and Mexico City on trade issues.

Tarriba has been a member of FPAA’s tomato, mango and grape divisions.

“Fighting for our industry is a moral obligation and one I take very seriously,” Tarriba said in the release. “I thank my coworkers, the owners of my company, my family and my peers for making it possible for me to dedicate myself to the position of chairman for the next two years.”

New FPAA board distributor directors who started two-year terms are:

  • Bobby Astengo,Peppers Plus;
  • Gonzalo Avila, Malena Produce;
  • Jaime Chamberlain, Chamberlain Distributing;
  • Martin Ley, Shipley Sales;
  • Matt Mandel, SunFed;
  • Jose Antonio Martinez, Divine Flavor;
  • Eric Meyer, Prime Time;
  • Bert Monteverde Jr., H.M. Distributing; and
  • Lesley Sykes, The Sykes Co.

Chuck Thomas, of Thomas Produce and Jorge Gamez of Atlas International, are serving one-year terms as associate member directors.

Jimmy Munguia of Del Campo Supreme was re-elected chairman of the tomato division. Chris Ciruli of Ciruli Bros. continues as mango division chairman and John Pandol of Pandol Bros. continues as grape division chairman.

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