gfg-portraits-melissa Maria Fernandez was the magazine’s circulation manager from 2013 until 2019. She was born and raised in the Yakima Valley where her family worked in the fruit industry, harvesting crops such as cherries, apples and grapes, and in the reforestation business.

Maria earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Heritage University and a master’s degree in business administration from City University of Seattle. Maria then became a business development and management consultant, working primarily with the state of Washington’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and various local nonprofit organizations addressing a diverse range of needs such as feasibility studies, grant writing, marketing, and  development and training for boards of directors.

While part of the Good Fruit Grower team, Maria assisted with the magazine marketing and promotions effort and oversaw the distribution process of the magazine.