Cancel OK

Stemilt, Douglas Fruit honored at Washington events

119th Washington State Tree Fruit Association annual meeting banquet
Mark Hambelton, left and Marty Olsen, right, presents Mike Taylor with the Silver Pear Award during the 119th Washington State Tree Fruit Association annual meeting banquet, on Dec. 5, 2023, in Kennewick, Washington. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

December 21, 2023 – WENATCHEE, Wash. – Impact can be defined by the big accomplishments, but it’s also the thousands of small things that add up to separate the ordinary from the extraordinary.

Stemilt BB #:113654 is eager to share its Sr. Vice President of Business Strategy, Mike Taylor, was presented the Silver Pear Award at the Washington State Tree Fruit Association Annual Meeting and NW Hort Show awards banquet on Dec 5 in Kennewick, WA.

Douglas Fruit BB #:345922, a grower and marketing partner of Stemilt, was also honored as the Good Fruit Grower 2023 Growers of the Year, selected by the magazine’s advisory board.

“It’s a wonderful honor to receive this award,” says Taylor. “I’m grateful to have come from a passionate pear-farming family who gave me lots of opportunity to try new things, then the amazing event of coming to Stemilt and being embraced by a culture built around delighting consumers with World Famous Fruit. I couldn’t have done it without my family and the team we have here today. Everyday, I feel I get to go to the best job in the world.”

Taylor received this award for his commitment and impact to pears in the Northwest industry. With Taylor as a lead advocate, Stemilt has launched its new Happi Pear® variety and will open a new automated pear production facility in 2024.

He is also a board member of the Pear Bureau Northwest, participates in the Washington Pear Marketing Association and is a past board member of the Pacific Northwest Canned Pear Service. Taylor and his family grow fresh pears for Stemilt, and also grows cherries and apples in the Wenatchee and Entiat river valleys.

“The Stemilt team and I are grateful to have Mike and his many years of pear growing experience and expertise leading us into an exciting time for pears,” says West Mathison, Stemilt President. “With his leadership, we are bringing innovation to pears along with better quality, accuracy, and freshness. It truly is a unique and special time to be celebrating two growers of Stemilt World Famous Fruit!”

Douglas Fruit, a grower-packer in Pasco, WA and Stemilt marketing partner, also took home Good Fruit Grower’s Grower of the Year Award at the Hort Show for their continued commitment to quality, diverse and innovative farming practices and their generosity with industry service and collaboration, according to a release from Good Fruit Grower. The Douglas family grows peaches and nectarines organically for Stemilt and a variety of apples.

“The passion and dedication Douglas Fruit shows for growing organic peaches and nectarines for Stemilt is reflected by the hard work they do to advance the industry,” says Mathison. “Thank you for your loyal friendship and helping Stemilt stand out with high quality tree fruit that delights with explosive flavor.”

Stemilt and Douglas Fruit’s commitment to growing high-quality fruit for freshness and flavor first will continue to be part of their approach and partnership into the future. Stemilt looks to the future for labor-friendly and new automation gleaned from the apple industry when it comes to pears and stone fruit.

“The thought leadership that Mike brings to the Stemilt team, and Douglas Fruit’s commitment to growing quality fruit is going to play a key role in our ability to delight consumers around the world with fresh, great tasting fruit for the years to come,” says Mathison. “Mike will continue to work on growth and new genetics, and the Douglas family is bringing in a new Unitec line for stone fruit next summer to help Stemilt keep making the small steps everyday toward World Famous Fruit.”

About Stemilt
Stemilt is a family-owned grower, packer, and shipper of tree fruit. Owned and operated by the Mathison family, Stemilt’s mission is to cultivate people and delight consumers with its World Famous Fruits. Stemilt is a leader in sweet cherries and organic tree fruits, and a key supplier of apples and pears. The company stewards an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible business through its Responsible Choice® program, which has been in place since 1989. For more information about Stemilt, visit

Contact Information:
Brianna Shales
Marketing Director