Jesse Driskill, president of the Nogales, Ariz.-based Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, plans to leave the organization Nov. 15 to become operations manager of the Nogales office of Meyer LLC.

Driskill’s mid-November return to Meyer, where he worked from 1990 to 2003, comes about six weeks after the departure of Sergio Chamberlain, sales and general manager of Meyer ’s Nogales office.

Driskill, who succeeded Lee Frankel as FPAA president in March 2008, was general manager of Meyer’s Nogales office from 1996 to 2003. After leaving Meyer, Driskill founded his own company, Driskill Agricultural Services Inc., Rio Rico, Ariz.

Allison Moore, the association’s communications director, and Brent Harrison, association board member and president of Nogales-based Al Harrison Co. Distributors, said Oct. 15 that a search committee was still being put together to look for Driskill’s successor.

Harrison said the association would miss Driskill’s knowledge of the Mexican vegetable deals and border procedures.

“I think he did a great job, and I hate to see him leave,” he said. “He has an opportunity it’s hard for him to pass up.”

While Driskill was impressive on trips Harrison took with him to Washington, D.C., Harrison said the next association president’s skill set could be tilted more toward government and lobbying experience.

Moore said the board was in the process of determining the most important qualifications for the next president. She did not anticipate “any drastic change in what we do.”

Moore said the board was in no hurry to pick Driskill’s successor.

“They’re going to take their time and look around,” she said. “All the staff is still here, so there’s no huge rush.”

Two other employees have left Meyer LLC. Salesman Butch Bachelier left the company about three months ago and is now working for Nogales-based Ruby J Farms LLC, said Alma Noriega, accounts receivable manager in Meyer’s Nogales office. John Oliver, the company’s former quality control manager, who left about six months ago, is now working for Nogales-based Mex Produce Sales, Noriega said.

Chamberlain had not joined another company as of Oct. 15, Noriega said.

Driskill and  Chamberlain were unavailable for comment Oct. 15.
Before working for Meyer, Chamberlain worked at several Nogales-based companies, including Chamberlain Distributing Inc., Amex Distributing Co. Inc., Bionova Produce Inc. and RB Packing Inc.

Bachelier previously worked in the Nogales office of Fresno, Calif.-based Crown Jewels Marketing & Distribution LLC, and Oliver in the Nogales office of Cincinnati-based Chiquita Fresh, North America.

FPAA president leaving to join Meyer LLC