2017 Brings Changes to the LGMA Board

2017 commemorates ten years of LGMA members working to establish a culture of food safety on leafy greens farms.  As we reach this milestone, we are seeing some big changes in our advisory board membership and leadership.

New Leadership

On Friday, March 31st the LGMA Advisory Board met and elected a slate of officers to lead the organization throughout 2017 and 2018.   Elected by their peers to lead the organization were:

Steve Church
Church Brothers Farms, Salinas, CA
Chairman of the Board

Dan Sutton
Pismo Oceano Vegetable Exchange, Oceano, CA
Vice Chairman of the Board

Jan Berk
San Miguel Produce, Oxnard, CA

We congratulate these individuals and applaud their willingness to serve the industry.

The change in leadership saw the end of Ron Ratto’s two-year term as Chairman of the LGMA Advisory Board. Ratto, of Ratto Bros., Inc. in Modesto, presided over a busy time for the LGMA. He oversaw a dramatic increase in the LGMA’s training and education programs, helped work with the FDA as the new federal food safety rules were finalized, and presided over the organization’s latest strategic planning effort. New Chairman Steve Church praised Ratto, citing his calm, steady leadership as a key benefit to the leafy greens industry.


Outgoing Chairman Ron Ratto of Ratto Bros., Inc. and incoming Chairman Steve Church of Church Brothers Farms

Outgoing Chairman Ron Ratto of Ratto Bros., Inc. and incoming Chairman Steve Church of Church Brothers Farms

New Board Members

In March, LGMA members had the opportunity to vote for representatives on the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement Advisory Board.  New members of the LGMA Board this year are:

Ashley Avilla
Dole Food Company, Salinas, CA

Sharan Lanini
Pacific International Marketing, Salinas, CA

Kristina Nunes
The Nunes Company, Salinas, CA

New Alternate Board Members

The new members serving in alternate seats on the LGMA Board this year are:

Rod Faurot
Faurot Ranch, Watsonville, CA

Chato Valdez
Sabor Farms, Salinas, CA

John Eade
Andrew Smitch Company, Salinas, CA

Ralph Treadway
Coastline Family Farms

With the exceptions noted above, all incumbent members and alternates who were running have been reelected to their currents seats. Click here for a complete list of the LGMA Advisory Board. These are the individuals who represent leafy green handlers and growers in overseeing the programs of the LGMA.  They take time from their personal and business affairs to direct this important program and we hope you will take the time to discuss the LGMA with them.

Departing Board Members

We also want to acknowledge the dedication of LGMA Board Members and Alternates who have served the industry since the LGMA’s inception and who are stepping down from the Board: Joe Pezzini of Ocean Mist; Jamie Strachan of Growers Express; Jack Vessey of Vessey Farms; Tom Russell of Pacific International Marketing and Barbara Matthews our Public Member.

LGMA's first two Chairmen Jamie Strachan of Growers Express and Joe Pezzini of Ocean Mist Farms

LGMA’s first two Chairmen Jamie Strachan of Growers Express and Joe Pezzini of Ocean Mist Farms

Both Joe and Jamie are former chairmen of the LGMA Advisory Board, and Jack was a long-time member of our executive committee. All three were among the industry leaders who created the LGMA ten years ago.

We also acknowledge the contributions of our public member, Barbara Matthews. Barbara has served admirably as the voice of the public on the LGMA Board and she has been nothing less than a pleasure to work with.

With sadness, we acknowledge and mourn the passing of Alternate Board Member Tom Russell of Pacific International Marketing. Tom was an LGMA member from the beginning and was one of the industry leaders who stepped forward in 2006 to see the LGMA get established. He will be greatly missed.

Change is the only thing that is constant.  We welcome our new members and leadership and look forward to working with them.  We also thank those who have built the organization to where it is today.

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