The Pacific Northwest tree fruit industry lost a leader with the sudden death of Glady Bellamy on October 1 at the age of 58.
Bellamy was president of Columbia Marketing International in Wenatchee, Washington, a company he founded in 1989 with partners Nick Buak, McDougall and Sons, Inc., and Columbia Fruit Packers. CMI is now one of the largest growers and shippers of apples, pears, and cherries in Washington.
“Glady was one of our industry leaders who was always willing to share his insights and time for the good of the group,” commented B.J. Thurlby, president of the Washington State Fruit Commission. “He was someone you looked forward to working with because he was a straight shooter who seemed to always find the positive in any situation or challenge. The stone fruit, apple, and pear growers have lost a true advocate in their efforts to successfully market their fruit.”
Born in Goldendale, Washington, Bellamy grew up in central California. After earning a business degree, he moved back to Washington in 1974 to work as a sales associate for Tennaco West. In 1980, he became sales manager for Beebe Orchards in Chelan. Buak said Bellamy cared deeply for his family, colleagues, and business associates. “Glady believed in the future of our industry, and leaves a legacy that will last for many generations to come.”
Bellamy was a board member of the Washington Apple Commission from 1997 to 2001. Commission President Todd Fryhover said he had worked with Bellamy in the tree fruit industry for more than 20 years and always found him to be extremely honest and a person of integrity. He appreciated that Bellamy had no hidden agenda. He was very knowledgeable about apples, pears, cherries, and many other commodities, and had excellent relationships with retailers.
A college scholarship fund has been established. Donations to the Glady Bellamy Memorial Scholarship may be sent to the Washington Apple Education Foundation, 2900 Euclid Avenue, Wenatchee, WA 98801.