(UPDATED COVERAGE, 5:15 p.m.) 

Kam Quarles has taken a position with the Washington, D.C., office of the McDermott Will & Emery law firm.

Quarles had served since October 2008 as vice president of government relations and legislative affairs for the Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association.

UPDATED: Quarles leaves United Fresh to take position with law firm


His last day at United Fresh was March 2 and his first day with McDermott Will & Emery will be March 8, he said.

“Kam is hard to replace, but we will fill his slot,” said Ray Gilmer, vice president of communications for the Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association,   Gilmer said the association’s  president Tom Stenzel and senior vice president of public polity Robert Guenther are working on a candidate list for the position.

“I have a feeling we are going to figure out what we are going to do with that position very soon,” Gilmer said.

Quarles said he will be part of the government strategies group at the law firm, which he said includes a strong agricultural component.

Among its clients, the law firm represents:

  • Sherman, Calif.-based Sunkist Growers;
  • Washington, D.C.-based National Potato Council,
  • the Maitland, Fla.-based Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association; and
  • the Minor Crop Farmer Alliance.

Quarles said working at United Fresh was everything he thought it would be.

“United is serving a great purpose for its members in Washington and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there,” he said.

Quarles said he expects to be involved in many of the same issues that he dealt with at United Fresh.

“As I told them when I was leaving, I’m not really going very far,” he said. “I’m going to be in all the meetings and they are going to wonder if I actually left or not.”

Before coming to United Fresh, Quarles had served the past four years as vice president of government affairs for the Washington, D.C.-based National Council of Farmer Cooperatives.