Firestone Pacific Foods CEO Josh Hinerfeld plans to step down from the helm and Shawn Campbell has been tapped as the next CEO. Hinerfeld first joined the company in 2019 after its acquisition by Agriculture Capital. Campbell most recently worked at Charcuterie Artisans and previously at NorPac Foods and Darigold. He also served as the board chair of the American Frozen Food Institute.

ShawnCampbell.jpgShawn Campbell, Firestone Pacific Foods

Heike Prinz will be taking on a new role at Bayer AG as chief talent officer and labor director, effective Sept. 1. Prinz, who will also assume a seat on Bayer's board of management, has been with the company for 37 years and most recently was the head of commercial operations for Bayer's pharmaceutical division in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The company also announced it would not renew the contract of Sarena Lin, who will depart the company Aug. 31. 

Sun World International has promoted Pablo Ramirez and Petri van der Merwe to global licensing director roles. Ramirez will lead South America, Europe, and China, and van der Merwe will be responsible for North America, South Africa, Israel, Australia, and North Africa regional territories. They both were licensing managers for North and South America. Sun World International has also brought on three new licensing managers to fill the roles previously held by Ramirez and van der Merwe. Ben Taieb is now a licensing manager for North Africa and selected territories. He brings 30 years of experience in the fruit industry. Daniel Lopez has been hired as a licensing manager for Peru. He previously focused on agribusiness in Mexico, Chile, and Peru with previous companies. Lastly, Zach Cason has been brought on as the licensing manager for North America. He previously worked for an agricultural biotech startup working with growers and packers throughout California.

Sergio Gonzales has been selected to serve as Vice President Kamala Harris’ senior adviser for the Biden-Harris 2024 reelection campaign. He currently serves as the executive director of the Immigration Hub and previously was a senior policy adviser to Vice President Kamala Harris when she represented California in the U.S. Senate. He also worked for Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., on Capitol Hill.

After filing the necessary paperwork a few weeks ago, Democrat Melissa Hurtado officially launched her campaign Tuesday for Congress in California's 22nd Congressional District. She is currently serving her second term in the California State Senate and chairs the agriculture committee. Fellow Democrat Rudy Salas, who lost to Republican David Valadao by just three percentage points last year, announced in mid-July that he planned to once again challenge Valadao. Hurtado’s announcement pits the two Democrats against each other for the March 2024 primary.

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Abbey Meller has taken a new job with Johnson & Johnson as a political programs analyst. She has experience working for the Department of Agriculture as a confidential assistant in the Office of Congressional Relations during the Biden administration and previously worked at Shinola as a key holder.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has appointed several new members to district ag associations. Benjamin Clark of Oroville has been picked to sit on the 3rd District Agricultural Association, which heads up the Silver Dollar Fair in Chico. Since 2016, Clark has served as the Tribal Chairman of Mooretown Rancheria. Before that, he was vice chairman. San Diego's Mark Arabo has been tapped to serve on the 22nd District Agricultural Association, the San Diego County Fair Board of Directors. Arabo has been president and chief executive officer of Refined Management since 2015. Richard Hobin of Antioch has been appointed to the 23rd District Agricultural Association which puts on the Contra Costa County Fair. He has been an owner and an attorney at Hobin & Hobin LLP since 1977.

Mary Matava has been honored as the 2022 Farmer of the Year by the San Diego County Farm Bureau. Matava is from Oceanside, Calif., and has more than 40 years of experience with Southern California soils as an agronomist and owner of Agri Service, Inc.

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