IRVINE, Calif. -- Western Growers named new directors to its board and elected board leadership during the WGA Annual Meeting Nov. 8 at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.

The association has created districts throughout California and Arizona, and members who work within those districts vote annually for their representative board.

This year, 11 new members assumed responsibility, including: Carol Chandler of Chandler Farms LP in Selma, Calif.; Verne Crookshanks of Venida Packing Co. in Exeter, Calif.; Catherine Fanucchi of Tri-Fanucchi Farms Inc. in Bakersfield, Calif.; Mike Jarrard of Mann Packing Company in Salinas Calif.; Harold McClarty of The HMC Group Marketing Inc. in Kingsburg, Calif.; Gordon Miller of Western Farm Service in Fresno, Calif.; Kevin Pascoe of Grimmway Enterprises Inc. in Bakersfield, Calif.; J. Miles Reiter of Driscoll Strawberry Associates in Watsonville, Calif.; Sonny Rodriguez of The Growers Company Inc. in Somerton, Ariz.; Ryan Talley of Talley Farms in Arroyo Grande, Calif.; and Mark Teixeira of Teixeira Farms Inc. in Santa Maria, Calif.

"I have full confidence in the new board members, and I know they will serve our association and this industry with distinction," said Tom Nassif, president and CEO of Western Growers.

Additionally, the new leadership of the board was named. Steve Patricio of Westside Produce in Firebaugh, Calif. was named chairman of the Board. Robert Gray of Duda Farms in Salinas, Calif.; Kevin Andrew of Sun World International in Bakersfield, Calif.; Rick Stacey of Visalia Citrus Packing Group LP in Visalia, Calif.; and David Mills of Mills family Farms in Salinas, Calif; were all named to the executive board.

"Our new executive board members are truly the right men at the right time in our history to tackle the various issues we all face each day," Nassif said. "From food safety to immigration to international trade issues, these new executive committee members will have a lot on their plates, but they are in position to affect positive change within the agricultural industry."

Western Growers is an agriculture trade association whose members grow, pack and ship 90 percent of the fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in California and 75 percent of those commodities in Arizona. This totals about half of the nation's fresh produce.

SOURCE: Western Growers via PR Newswire.