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Stemilt CEO named Washington State Apple Blossom Apple Citizen of the Year

Stemilt logo with world famous fruit slogan.

WENATCHEE, Wash. – Following the legacy of his grandfather, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. After serving 19 years as the president and CEO of Stemilt Growers BB #:113654, West Mathison received the 2024 Apple Citizen of the Year Award presented by the Washington State Apple Blossom Festival on February 10 at the Performing Arts Center in Wenatchee Washington.

Headshot: West Mathison
West Mathison

The award was chosen by leaders of the apple industry and past recipients of the Apple Citizen of the Year award to recognize an individual who contributes to improving the Washington State tree fruit industry.

“Thank you for this award and all the kind words,” says West. “For me, it’s really about celebrating the legacy of my grandfather Tom. Him and my grandmother packed a few hundred boxes of cherries on Stemilt Hill years ago, and this year, we’ll have over 20 million boxes of fruit all over the world. It’s really a testament to this community to support not only Stemilt, but other leaders and growers of the fruit industry.”

During West’s tenure, Stemilt has grown its footprint in apples, pears, cherries and organic tree fruits and solidified its position as tree fruit leader focused on “cultivating people and delighting consumers through excellence with World Famous Fruit.”

Stemilt also celebrates its 60th year anniversary in business in 2024. Some milestones that have taken place in the past 19 years include the construction of commercial buildings including the Olds Station area of Wenatchee, including Stemilt’s headquarters, Fresh Cube Distribution Center, and a soon-to-open pear packing facility.

“Without a doubt, we’re so blessed with amazing people at Stemilt and the industry who works hard to pick our crops diligently for quality keeping Wenatchee a competitive place where we can grow fruit,” says West. I’m thankful for all the great leaders and congratulations to all the families here tonight.”

Under West’s leadership, long-term marketing partnerships with Douglas Fruit and Hansen Fruit have helped Stemilt grow its position in apples, pears and organics. Stemilt also parented with Confluence Health to offer all employees and their dependents access to a free, on-site health clinic.

In addition, West was honored for his participation in industry organizations, his service on multiple committees for the improvement and advancement of the industry. He has continued a legacy of giving at Stemilt by supporting the Washington Apple Education Foundation with over $100,000 in scholarship annually, including a full-ride scholarship that honors his late grandfather.

“It’s truly an honor and a blessing to receive such an award and I look to my family and Stemilt to thank,” says West. “I’m grateful we’re able to continue on a legacy of innovation and freshness as Stemilt celebrates 60 years of 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