The California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association (CACASA) recently named Sandy Elles as its new executive director. Elles will officially assume her new role June 27.
CACASA is a voluntary organization comprised of county agricultural commissioners and sealers of weights and measures from California’s 58 counties. CACASA provides the venue for collaborative opportunities to address matters of statewide significance that effect California’s agricultural production, its natural resources, marketing, food safety, equity, and public health as it relates to our environment.
County agricultural commissioners and county sealers of weights and measures provide regulatory services through numerous programs that are coordinated with the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
“This year CACASA celebrates its 135th year, and we need a leader going forward who can help our association continue to grow by strengthening our membership and managing our extensive integrated systems management projects,” said Cathleen Fisher, CACASA President.
For the past few years CACASA has been engaged with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation in building new advanced integrated management systems that improve restricted materials permitting, pesticide use reporting, and compliance and enforcement activity tracking.
“Providing all California counties with access to the same system is expected to greatly increase productivity, enhance the speed and accuracy of communications, and eliminate significant volumes of redundant data entry,” Fisher said.
California’s pesticide use reporting program is recognized as the most comprehensive in the world. The California Department of Pesticide Regulation has been collecting, compiling and making use of pesticide use data for over 60 years.
In 1990, California became the first state to require full reporting of agricultural pesticide use in response to demands for more realistic and comprehensive pesticide use data.
Elles’ experiences uniquely qualify her for CACASA’s executive director. Since 2001, Elles served as executive director for the Napa County Farm Bureau. During her tenure, Napa County Farm Bureau excelled and received recognition as county of the year (2009-12) from the California Farm Bureau Federation.
Elles is a retired professional mariner. She worked 22 years with the Blue & Gold Fleet on San Francisco Bay, advancing to the positions of vice president of ferry contracts and senior captain. She has also held public office, serving as mayor and council member of the city of Cotati from 1990-1998.
With her significant experience in managing for-profit and non-profit entities, along with her public service, Elles will advance CACASA’s future contributions to California agriculture and the environment.
Elles holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science from American University, Washington, DC and a Bachelor’s degree in urban planning from Rutgers University.