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National Watermelon Association names new executive director

National Watermelon Association Hires George Szczepanski as New Executive Director

National Watermelon Association BB #:163428 Chairman John Gee – Vice-President of Eagle Eye Produce – announced that George Szczepanski has been named as the organization’s new executive director effective February 26, 2023.

Szczepanski’s experience in agricultural and environmental issues spans 15 years in the produce industry, with the last twelve (12) years with the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and the newly formed International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA), BB #:378962 serving most recently as the Director of Production, Supply Chain and Environmental Policy.  

His experience includes a wide variety of critical industry issues and initiatives, including organics, international trade economics, international marketing, agricultural investments, global trade and retail solutions.  

“George is uniquely equipped to lead the NWA into the future,” Gee said. “Given his experience and leadership in agriculture, he has a unique grasp of the issues that watermelon producers face in growing and shipping their crops. Many thanks and gratitude go to the entire Search Committee that invested their time, energy and input into this vital process to select the next leader of the NWA.  We are all looking forward to a bright future with George at the helm.”

“I’m excited to join this association, which I’ve admired for many years,” Szczepanski said. “The positive influence that NWA’s advocacy work has had on public policy, and the solid programs that they have in place with pest & disease research, food safety and promotions is impressive. There are challenges ahead for agriculture, which means that the relevancy and importance of the NWA will be more important than ever.”

Szczepanski is a graduate of St. Joseph’s University with a bachelor’s degree in Food Marketing, and the University of Delaware with a Master’s degree in Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics. He and his wife – Laura, daughter – Maddie (4) and a son – Jay–(2) live in Claymont, Delaware. 

Outgoing NWA Executive Director Bob Morrissey will complete his service in late February and remain on board to complete a transition period before his retirement at the end of March.  

Gee said, “Bob’s tireless efforts and contributions to the association and to the watermelon industry have been monumental,” he said. “We’re grateful for his leadership, talents, integrity and stewardship over the years.  Our entire leadership is grateful for his service and dedication, and we look forward to a smooth succession to new leadership and a bright future with George.”

The 108th National Watermelon Association Convention and Annual Meeting will take place from February 22-26, 2023 at the Omni Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa in Asheville, North Carolina.  Go to for details.