The U.S. Apple Association, based in Vienna, VA, announced that Nancy Foster, president and chief executive officer, has resigned after 11 years as head of the organization.
Foster will leave the association in late-August, and a search committee has been formed to seek her replacement. The committee will be headed by Mike Wade of Columbia Fruit Packers in Wenatchee, WA, and members of the committee include Mark Nicholson of Red Jacket Orchards in Geneva, NY, John Rice of Rice Fruit Co. in Gardners, PA, and Julia Rothwell of Belding Fruit Storage in Grand Rapids, MI.
"USApple is on a strong path to help American's apple growers and others in the industry with the challenges ahead," Foster said in a statement announcing her departure. "I am excited to pursue other opportunities and confident I leave the association in good hands."
"Nancy has been a dedicated leader with our membership, industry partners, Congress and federal agencies, the media and others with whom she has worked," Bill Dodd, an Ohio apple grower and chairman of the association, said in the statement. "Her talent, strategic vision and problem-solving skills have significantly increased our industry's political effectiveness on Capitol Hill, the number one priority of our association. Nancy also established our highly popular leadership development program for early-career apple growers. She has recruited and directed a talented team of association staff who have consistently demonstrated a commitment to excellence. We thank Nancy for her 11 years of service and she has made a significant contribution to USApple."
Foster joined the U.S. Apple Association in 2002, replacing Kraig Naasz, who was president and CEO from 1998 to 2002 before leaving to take a similar position at the Fertilizer Institute.