(March 18, WEB EXCLUSIVE) DENVER — After morning caucus meetings, board members of the U.S. Potato Board named their picks for the executive and administrative committees.

Chip stock grower Tom Qualey, a partner in Three Oake Farms, Sherman, Maine, was elected chairman of the board’s executive committee March 13. Bart Connors, general manager of Skone & Connors Inc., and also sales manager for Basin Gold Cooperative Inc., Pasco, Wash., became the immediate past chair.

Joining Qualey on the executive committee are:

  • North Central region — Todd Michael, Urbana, Ohio, domestic marketing committee co-chair;


  • Northwest region — Cheryl Koompin, American Falls, Idaho, international marketing committee co-chair; Shane Webster, Rexburg, Idaho, domestic marketing committee co-chair, and Lon Baley, Malin, Ore., international marketing committee co-chair;


  • South Central region — Monty Smith, Blanca, Colo., industry communications and policy committee co-chair;


  • Southeast region — Jimmy Harrell, Elizabeth City, N.C., industry communications and policy committee co-chair; and


  • Southwest region — Sid Staunton, Tulelake, Calif., finance committee chair

Appointed to the administrative committee were:

  • North Central region — Tim Stevenson, Lake Delton, Wis., domestic marketing committee; Tim Young, Howard City, Mich., domestic marketing committee; Tom Campbell, Grafton, N.D., domestic marketing committee; Eric Halverson, Grand Forks, N.D., international marketing committee, and Andy Diercks, Coloma, Wis., industry communications and policy committee;


  • Northeast region — John Probasco, Chesterfield, N.J., domestic marketing committee; Steve Whited, Bridgewater, Maine, international marketing committee, and Keith Labrie, Saint Agatha, Maine., industry communications and policy committee;


  • Northwest region — Carl Ball, Hamer, Idaho, domestic marketing committee; James Hoff, Idaho Falls, Idaho, domestic marketing committee; Ritchey Toevs, Aberdeen, Idaho, international marketing committee; Kent Bitter, Shelley, Idaho, domestic marketing committee; Kevin Searle, Shelley, domestic marketing committee; Michael Pink, Pasco, Wash., international marketing committee; Chris Olsen, Othello, Wash., finance committee; Molly Connors, Richland, Wash., international marketing committee; Rob Davis, Connell, Wash., international marketing committee, and Troy Betz, Hermiston, Ore., industry communications and policy committee;


  • South Central region — Rodney Lenz, Wray, Colo., domestic marketing committee, and Ernie Ford, Center, Colo., domestic marketing committee;


  • Southeast region — Bruce Richardson, Capeville, Va., finance committee;


  • Southwest region — Ronald Lehr, Edison, Calif.; and


  • Importer member — Sanjiv Kakkar, Lawrenceville, N.J.
  • There is one open spot in the 33-person committees. Don Zimmerman, a professor at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, left the board after serving one year of his three-year term because of a heavy research work load, said Robin Vest, executive administrator of the U.S. Potato Board. The new committee members plan to fill that spot this year, she said.