Mark Munger has been hired as the senior director of marketing for Ocean Mist Farms. He brings over 36 years of experience in the produce industry, and previously served as the vice president of marketing and strategy at 4Earth Farms. Before that, he served as vice president of marketing at Andrew Williamson Fresh Produce.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has appointed Tyrone Bland to the California Water Commission. Bland has been head of government affairs at Creative Artists Agency since 2020. Before that, he was vice president of state and local government relations at Herbalife.

Ken Melban has been elevated to vice president of industry affairs and operations at the California Avocado Commission. Melban has been with the commission since 2011 when he was brought on as director of issues management. In 2015 he was promoted to vice president of industry affairs.

The Almond Alliance has named Annie Romero the director of membership and events. Romero joined the Alliance in 2016 and previously oversaw marketing and communications. She holds a baccalaureate degree in social science from California State University, Stanislaus.

Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan has been elected to the board of governors of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), which represents more than 130 public port authorities in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America. Wan, who is also the president of the California Association of Port Authorities, will serve as the U.S. South Pacific Ports delegate on AAPA’s governing board. 

Misionero, an organic and conventional leafy green grower, has selected Hana Mohsin to be the East Coast national sales manager. Mohsin joined Misionero in 2020 and before that was a retail specialist at Fresh Express and was a multi-unit account associate at Markon.

Ari Ruiz is the new field representative for Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif. He previously worked as the deputy district director for state assemblymember Autumn Burke.

Hana MohsinHana Mohsin, Misionero The Consumer Brands Association has tapped David Chavern to serve as the organization’s new president and CEO effective Jan. 3. Chavern most recently served as the president and CEO of News Media Alliance. 

Jacqlyn Schneider is a new partner at FGS Global’s food and agriculture practice. Schneider previously worked on the Senate Ag Committee for Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., where she served as the deputy staff director. She has 16 years of Capitol Hill experience and also has worked for the Biotechnology Industry Organization. 

The National Chicken Council has promoted David Elrod to director of government affairs. After an internship with NCC starting in 2017, Elrod was hired as a government affairs associate and then promoted to manager.

The Idaho Potato Commission has promoted Travis Blacker to vice president of industry relations and research and Ross Johnson to vice president of retail and international. The commission also added Sam Eaton as the new vice president of legal and government affairs. Eaton previously worked for Idaho Gov. Brad Little where he was the director of policy and counsel.

Chris Krepich has been hired as GOP press secretary for the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., is the committee's ranking member. Krepich previously served as the communications director at Nahigian Strategies. 

Iman Abdul Qadir is the new staff assistant for Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif. She previously interned for Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., and is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. 

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Steven Solomon, director of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine, plans to retire at the end of this year after 32 years at the agency. Solomon joined the agency as a veterinary medical officer in the division of surveillance and compliance and later moved to the Office of Regulatory Affairs, where he worked his way up to becoming deputy associate commissioner for regulatory affairs in 2013. FDA Administrator Robert Califf appointed him CVM director in 2017.

Cynthia Rosenzweig was awarded the 2022 World Food Prize for her contributions to understanding and predicting the impacts of the interaction between climate and food systems. Rosenzweig is a senior research scientist and head of the Climate Impacts Group at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Western Growers has selected its seventh class of Future Volunteer Leaders. Members of the class will be invited to participate in all regular Western Growers board meeting functions for the next two years, along with standalone farm tours. The class includes Celeste Alonzo, Junior Enterprises; Jose Covarrubias, Wholesum Farms; Krystal Del Bosque, Del Bosque Farms; Briana Giampaoli, Live Oak Farms; Shay Myers, Owyhee Produce; Garrett Nishimori, San Miguel Produce; Nisha Noroian, Nish Noroian Farms, Hye Farms; Sal Parra, Coyula Farms; Spencer Quinn, Quinn Co.; Anthony Reade, Betteravia Farms; Byron Talley, Talley Farms; and Mitchell Yerxa, River Vista Farms.

Former California Undersecretary of Food and Agriculture and Secretary of Natural Resources Phillip Chrisman passed away on Oct. 11 at the age of 78. He served as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Secretary of Natural Resources from 2003 until 2010 and was appointed by Gov. Pete Wilson to serve as Undersecretary of California Dept of Food and Ag. He also served as the chief of staff for Assemblymen Bill Jones.

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