Almond Board of California leadership class

The Almond Board of California is training 21 industry members to be the next generation of leaders, pairing them with mentors.

Program grooms new almond industry leaders

Year-long program to coach, mentor future leaders The Almond Board of California is a federal marketing order California produces about two billion pounds of almonds annually

In an effort to cultivate multifaceted leaders for the California almond industry, the 21 participants chosen for the 2016 Almond Leadership Program embarked on a year-long course that will train them to be tomorrow’s leaders.

The 21 participants chosen for the Almond Board of California’s (ABC) Almond Leadership Program for 2016 met for the first time earlier this year for their program orientation and kickoff activities.

When this class graduates in December the California almond industry will be enriched by the addition of 21 members poised to become industry leaders. The program, which was designed to provide a comprehensive education about the almond industry, will address topics such as production, processing and marketing.

At the next stage in their training, class members will attend a “Personality Profiles in Leadership” seminar. The seminar will include a DISC profile assessment, a personality and behavior tool used to improve work productivity, teamwork and communication. Participants will receive personal results from the assessment, which will help them understand and develop their leadership capabilities.

Following the personality profiles seminar, the leadership program participants will dive into some of the more pressing issues facing the industry today.

Seminars will delve into technical and regulatory affairs, environmental hot topics and the current media landscape.

Throughout the year, class members will have the support of a member from within the industry who will serve as their mentor. Participants will also gain valuable insight into the California almond industry as well as through job shadowing.

Who they are

Members of the Almond Leadership class of 2016 and their mentors are:

  • Ashley Bandoni, Syngenta; mentor: Randy Layne, Fresno Madera Farm Credit
  • Joseph Barnett, Blue Diamond Growers; mentor: Todd Meyer, Western Nut Company
  • Daniel Chui, Trinitas Partners; mentor: Jordan Phippen, Pacific Coast Sales
  • Rory Crowley, Nicolaus Nut Co.; mentor: Todd Meyer, Western Nut Company
  • Chad Cummings, JKB Energy; mentor: Ladd Hackler, JenJil Packaging
  • Blake Davis, Pacific Gold Agriculture; mentor: Chuck Dirkse, La Mancha Orchards
  • Scott Donald, Pearl Crop; mentor: Mike Ratto, retired ABC field representative
  • Rita Edwards, Coldwell Solar; mentor: Brian Dunning, Blue Diamond Growers
  • Sarah Gooder, Wonderful Orchards; mentor: Brendan Feder, Agricultural Investments unit of MetLife
  • Jarred Hettinger, Jackrabbit; mentor: Tommy Tickenoff, V-V Enterprises
  • Mallvinder Kahal, Kahal Farms; mentor: Ryan Cosyns, Cosyns Farms, Madera
  • Michael Locke, CH Farming; mentor: Dave Richmond, Braden Farms
  • Ethan Nicol, Portwood Farms; mentor: Kent Stenderup, Stenderup Ag Partners
  • Edgar Perez, Crop Production Services; mentor: Carlos Arellano, Hilltop Ranch
  • Angie Raimondi, Blue Diamond Growers; mentor: Lori Coburn, Hughson Nut
  • Wes Romero, The Almond Company; mentor: Stan Chance, Yosemite Farm Credit
  • Chris Taylor, Bayer CropScience; mentor: Danielle Lightle, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor, Glenn, Butte and Tehama counties
  • Jason Thomas, Syngenta; mentor: Emily Symmes, area IPM advisor, UC Cooperative Extension, Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Sutter, Tehama and Yuba counties
  • Miguel Vasquez, Sierra View Ranch; mentor: Martin Pohl, Hughson Nut
  • Robert Willmott, CSU Fresno; mentor: Darren Rigg, Meridian Nut Growers; and,
  • Brandon Windecker, Olam Farming; mentor: Jared Britschgi, Pearl Crop

The Almond Board of California administers a grower-enacted federal marketing order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. The board’s charge is to expand domestic and global markets for almonds and to fund environmental and production research projects that aid in the efficient and responsible production of almonds.

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