(May 2, 1:50 p.m.) The United Fresh Produce Association is implementing a new organization structure, creating four boards representing market segments of the produce supply chain and establishing two new advisory councils.

Changes to the United Fresh volunteer leadership structure will be implemented following its annual convention, May 4-7 in Las Vegas, according to a news release.

United Fresh, Washington, D.C., is establishing boards representing grower-shippers, wholesale distributors, fresh-cut processors and retail-foodservice. Each board will consist of 15 to 20 members mostly representing companies in those business segments, and the chair and vice chair of each market segment boards will serve on the United Fresh board of directors.

Amy Philpott, vice president of marketing and industry relations for United Fresh, said the business development council has been abandoned. Created in 2005, it had about 50 members.

“The goals of the business development council will now be met by the market segment boards,” she said.

United Fresh also said it will formalize operations of four advisory councils for the group. They are the Government Relations Council (currently operating), Food Safety & Technology Council (currently operating), Global Advisory Council (recently formed in January) and the Transportation & Logistics Council (to be formed).

The chairman of each advisory council will also fill an automatic seat on the United Fresh board of directors.

“(Members) say they wanted something that dealt with just the issues that their particular market segment deals with,” she said. “The councils are more issue-oriented and the boards are more market segment-oriented.”

Nominated leaders of the new boards and councils, as well as nominees for open at-large seats, will be introduced at Las Vegas, according to the release. Members of the market segment boards serve two-year terms.

United Fresh has tabbed its new slate of officers and directors nominated to serve on the board of directors.

The leadership positions begin May 3 of this year.

The leadership at United Fresh for the coming year is:

  • Tom Lovelace, chairman of the board of directors and executive vice president of R.C. McEntire & Co. Inc., Columbia, S.C.;

  • Jim Lemke, nominated as chairman-elect and senior vice president of C. H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn.;

  • Michael Cavallero, president of Dole Fresh Fruit Co. and nominated to a two-year term as secretary-treasurer; and

  • Emanuel Lazopoulos, current chairman and senior vice president of sales and product management for Del Monte Fresh Produce, N.A., in Coral Gables, Fla. He will be in the office of immediate past chairman, and remain on the board and the executive committee.

(Web Editor’s Note: For a list of nominees for positions on United Fresh’s new supply chain boards and on the United Fresh Councils, see “United Fresh picks nominees for boards, councils” under the Web Exclusive section of the home page).