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Gavel passes to new USApple board chair

The U.S. Apple Association named a new chair to lead its board of directors. Jeff Colombini, a third-generation California grower and tree fruit business owner, will serve the 2019-20 term. Colombini succeeds Chair Kaari Stannard, owner of New York Apple Sales Inc. in Glenmont, NY. Passing-gavelUSApple 2018-19 Chair Kaari Stannard passing the gavel to new board Chair Jeff Colombini.

Colombini is president of Lodi Farming Inc., a company that farms 1,800 acres of apples, cherries, olives and walnuts in the northern San Joaquin Valley. Prior to farming full time, Colombini worked as an operations analyst for Stanislaus Food Products and as a loan officer for the Farm Credit System.

“Jeff’s significant knowledge of the apple industry, coupled with his business acumen and hands-on leadership, will be a tremendous asset to USApple as he takes on his new role as chair,” said Jim Bair, USApple president and chief executive officer. “Jeff always goes the extra mile to champion the apple industry, whether it’s by participating in a meeting at the White House or on Capitol Hill, speaking at a press event, or capturing video of himself advocating apple issues for social media. We’re excited for the coming year with Jeff at the helm.”

Colombini has been active in the apple industry for years, including three years of service as a USApple officer. His immediate past role was vice chair of the USApple board of directors.

Aside from his leadership with USApple, Colombini serves as chairman of the California Apple Commission and past chair of the California Cherry Advisory Board and the Olive Oil Commission of California. He currently serves as secretary for the Olive Oil Commission and is active in the Linden Lions Club, serving as president from 2012 to 2013. He is a graduate of the California Agricultural Leadership Program.

Colombini earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture business management and a technical degree in fruit science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He and his wife, Sarah, have three children, Andrew, Gianna and Gillian.