Melvin Ward, Sunsweet Growers, Inc., Elected as CLFP 2024-2025 Chair

Melvin Ward, Sunsweet Growers, Inc., was elected the 2024-2025 chair of the California League of Food Producers (CLFP) at its Annual Board of Directors Meeting on May 2, 2024.

Ward is the Vice President of Member Services & Dryers with Sunsweet Growers, Inc., based in Yuba City, CA. Sunsweet is a leading agricultural cooperative, renowned for its production of premium dried fruits, particularly prunes. With a rich history spanning over a century, Sunsweet has established itself as a trusted provider of high-quality, nutritious products enjoyed by consumers worldwide.

Other 2024-2025 CLFP officers elected were Mona Shulman of Pacific Coast Producers as 1st Vice Chair, David Kiehn of Campbell Soup Supply Company as 2nd Vice Chair, and Jim Lipman of California Olive Ranch remains in the position of Immediate Past Chair. CLFP Board of Director members were nominated to serve new and continued terms on the Executive Committee.

Nominated for 2024-2026 terms were Jon Alby (Leprino Foods Company), Nick Kastle (J.G. Boswell Company), John Pieretti (Musco Family Olive Co.), Chris Lehikainen (Stanislaus Food Products), Aret Meyer (Sensient Natural Ingredients, LLC.), and Julie Connel (Hilmar). 

Executive Committee members continuing to 2025 include: Lily Andrion (Kagome, Inc.), Dan Green (Los Gatos Tomato Products), Jeremy LaMendola (ConAgra Brands, Inc.), Frank Mecozzi (Del Mar Food Products Corp.), and Chris Rufer (The Morning Star Packing Company).