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Nancy Foster

Nancy Foster

The U.S. Apple Association is searching for a new president and chief executive officer to succeed Nancy Foster when she leaves at the end of August after 11 years at the helm.

Mike Wade, a member of the association’s executive board and chair of the search committee, said Foster and the board reached an amicable agreement that her contract would not be renewed when it expires on September 1. Foster declined to comment when contacted by the Good Fruit Grower.

The board has hired Carol Barber, an executive recruitment professional with the American Society of Association Executives, to handle the recruitment process.

Wade, who is president of Columbia Fruit Packers, Inc., Wenatchee, Washington, said the search committee is looking for someone who can foster collaboration between USApple’s various member states. It has members from 40 states and regional apple associations and represents 7,500 apple growers and more than 1,000 individual firms. Washington State provides about 60 percent of the association’s $2 million annual budget through the Washington Apple Commission.

USApple’s main function is to represent the apple industry on national legislative issues, although it also has some public relations functions and promotes the health benefits of apples. In addition, it provides information on U.S. apple issues and production. It is based in Vienna, Virginia, and has six staff members.

Wade said Barber seemed optimistic that the association would be able to hire a high-caliber leader within the timeframe. The selection committee plans to interview about four finalists before the association’s 2013 Apple Crop Outlook and Marketing Conference, which will be held in Chicago, August 22-23, and have the new person in place by September 1.

Also serving on the selection committee are Mark Nicholson of New York, Bill Dodd of Ohio, Julia Rothwell of Michigan, and John Rice of Pennsylvania.

Before joining USApple in 2002, Foster was vice president of legislative affairs with CropLife America. She succeeded Kraig Naasz, who left to lead The Fertilizer Institute.

For more information about the position, email Carol Barber.