( United Fresh )

United Fresh Produce Association has added to its industry relations staff in a big way.

The additions will serve members throughout the produce supply chain, according to a news release.

“As we’ve worked to support our members across the industry with education, training, networking and other opportunities, it’s become clear that multiple market segments really have unique needs that can best be served with a real focus on that segment,” United Fresh vice president of member services Miriam Wolk said in the release. “Our volunteer market boards have been the first line of action to meet those needs, and we’re now excited to add new staff positions to drive added member value to each segment.”

In addition to four new hires, the release said current United Fresh staff members Parker Linn and Andrew Marshall have transitioned into new roles within the association. 

Parker, who joined the association in 2015 as government relations assistant, now is manager of industry relations for the grower-shipper community.  

Andrew, a 10-year veteran staff member, is now director of foodservice programs and foundation partnerships, according to the release. 

“In my 25-year tenure at United Fresh, we’ve never been able to bring this level of staff support to our members,” said Tom Stenzel, president and CEO of United Fresh, said in the release. “With the continuing growth of our convention and trade show, expanding membership, and our educational portfolio, it’s great to be in a position to double down on our increasing value to the industry.”

Four new staff members have recently joined the association:

  • Erin Hutchinson is director of supply chain relations. Hutchinson will support the fresh-cut processor community, as well as United Fresh’s supply chain logistics and service provider members, according to the release. She had previously worked for GVM Inc./Independent Ag Equipment;
  •  Mary Alameda serves as manager of industry relations for the wholesaler-distributor community. A recent graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Alameda grew up in the produce industry with her family’s longtime grower-packer-shipper operations located in Salinas and Yuma;
  • Spencer Crawford serves as manager of industry relations for the retail community. He joins United Fresh from the Educational Advisory Board, according to the release; and 
  • Natalia Gamarra joins United Fresh as manager of international member services. Gamarra has most recently worked for Produce Business magazine, and previously worked in international membership for the Produce Marketing Association.