USHBC and NABC Honor Industry Luminaries and Celebrate Leadership Program Graduates at The Blueberry Summit


USHBC and NABC Honor Industry Luminaries and Celebrate Leadership Program Graduates at The Blueberry Summit

Hall of Fame Inductees Honored 

FOLSOM, Calif, October 3, 2023 — During The Blueberry Summit held Sept. 27 to Sept. 29 in Savannah, GA the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) and North American Blueberry Council (NABC) honored and celebrated those past, present and future leaders of the blueberry industry.

With over 350 people in attendance, the NABC honored its first inductees into the Blueberry Hall of Fame. The NABC Hall of Fame Award is a new recognition that honors and celebrates blueberry leaders, growers and suppliers who have made a lasting impact on the blueberry industry in North America. The award was established as the council and industry’s highest honor, and is open to influential leaders both past and present. This year’s inaugural Hall of Fame inductees were: Denny Doyle, Atlantic Blueberry CO., New Jersey; Art Galletta, Atlantic Blueberry Co., New Jersey.

“Denny and Art’s impact on the blueberry industry is a testament to a lifetime of unwavering dedication and a legacy that will inspire generations of blueberry professionals for generations,” said Kasey Cronquist, President, USHBC and NABC.

In addition to inducting the industry’s first Hall of Fame recipients, the NABC also honored Ridley Bell, owner, Mountain Blue Orchards with the Duke Galleta Award and John Shelford, Naturipe with the Alex Wetherbee Award. NABC Awards spotlight exceptional individuals whose long standing career accomplishments have benefited the blueberry industry as a whole.

The Blueberry Summit also marked the graduation of the USHBC’s first Blueberry Leadership class. The Blueberry Leadership Program, launched in March 2021, is designed to elevate up-and-coming leaders in the blueberry industry by providing in-depth training, industry education and connection to other ag leaders for passionate blueberry professionals across the supply chain.

“These 10 individuals came together two years ago from different segments of the industry with curiosity, passion and vision for the blueberry industry,” said Amanda Griffin, USHBC and NABC vice president engagement and education. “It has been an absolute pleasure and joy to stand by them throughout this process and I am excited to see what the future holds for each of them in their careers and as leaders in our industry.”

This year’s graduates were: Christy Butler, MBG Marketing;Gonzalo De Elizalde, Driscoll’s; Ernesto Diaz, Berry Brothers; Anna Jesse, Forest Hills Farms; Scott Mainord, WECO; Luke McCreesh, California Giant Berry Farms; Jennifer Pulcipher, North Bay Produce, Inc.; Darrin Sinn, Berry Fresh; Micah Weiss, WICE, Fall Creek; Karan Kohli, Mastronardi Produce.