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USDA appoints members to Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee

United States Department of Agriculture logo.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the appointment of 25 industry representatives to serve on the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (FVIAC). The reappointed and newly appointed members will serve two-year terms beginning immediately and ending in October 2024.

Newly appointed members are:


  • Alyssa Melendez, Operations and Supply Chain Manager, Burlap and Barrel: Single Origin Spices
  • Angel Santiago Colon, CEO, Caribbean Produce Exchange (CPE)
  • David Einstandig, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Mastronardi Produce-USA Inc.
  • Isabel Freeland, Vice President, Administrative Officer and CFO; Coast Citrus Distributors
  • Jorge Vazquez, President and CEO, Latin Specialties LLC

Industry/Trade Association

  • Donna Garren, Vice President, Science and Policy; the American Frozen Food Institute
  • Kay Swartz Rentzel, Consultant; the National Peach Council, the U.S. Sweet Potato Council and the American Sweet Potato Marketing Institute

Farmers Market/Food Hub/Retailer/Food Service

  • David Van Eeckhout, Farm Program Director, The Good Acre
  • Haven Baker, Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer, Pairwise
  • Jenifer DeAtley, Programs and Strategy Director, Sustainable Food Center
  • Nathan Pumplin, President and CEO, Norfolk Healthy Produce Inc.
  • Rebecca Serratos, Vendor Development Coordinator, Prescott Farmers Market
  • Susan Sutphin, Founder and Senior Advisor, Sutphin Tahoe Food Hub
  • Anthony Mirisciotta, General Manager, GrowFood Carolina

Farm Organization/Grower/Producer/Shipper

  • Amy Baker, Senior Director, Quality and Regulatory Compliance Management; Peterson Farms
  • Bruce Frasier, President, Dixondale Farms Inc.
  • Christopher Ciruli, Chief Operating Officer, Ciruli Brothers LLC
  • Darwin Inman, Vice President, Sales and Marketing; the Horizon Nut Company LLC
  • James Benson, Sales Director, Hronis Inc.
  • Michael Briano, Vice President, Sales and Marketing; Harris Woolf California Almonds
  • Morris Hodges, Owner and Farm Manager, Morris Watermelon Farm LLC
  • Reginald Marshall, Owner, Reggies Veggies
  • Andrew Garcia, East Coast Sales Manager, Altar Produce

Re-appointed members are:

Industry/Trade Association

  • Karla J. Stockli, Chief Executive Officer, California Fig Advisory Board

Farm Organization/Grower/Producer/Shipper

  • Julie Masser Ballay, Vice-President and CFO, Sterman Masser Inc.     

Originally chartered in 2001, the FVIAC advises the Secretary of Agriculture on issues affecting the fruit and vegetable industry. Committee members represent organic and non-organic growers, shippers, wholesalers, retailers, industry trade associations, importers, processors, foodservice suppliers, food brokers, state departments of agriculture and farmers markets; and represent local, regional and national levels. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) ensures the committee is administered according to the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

More information about the committee is available on the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee page on the AMS website.

AMS policy is that diversity of the boards, councils and committees it oversees should reflect the diversity of their industries in terms of the experience of members, methods of production and distribution, marketing strategies, and other distinguishing factors, including but not limited to individuals from historically underserved communities, that will bring different perspectives and ideas to the table. Throughout the full nomination process, AMS conducts extensive outreach, paying particular attention to reaching underserved communities, and consider the diversity of the population served and the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the members to serve a diverse population.