About

About

The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council is the blueberry industry growers’ voice to consumers.

The USHBC’s
Bluetiful Mission

  • Earning and maintaining market confidence through good agricultural practices and good management practices
  • Generating research findings on the health benefits associated with blueberries and collaborating with the industry to ensure they are continually communicated to consumers

The USHBC’s mission is to serve growers and handlers by growing a healthy highbush blueberry industry. The Council supports farms like yours through promotion, research, and education while increasing awareness and consumption of blueberries. The USHBC supports the blueberry industry in a variety of critical ways, including:

  • Improving grower and handler participation in pursuit of the USHBC’s and the blueberry industry’s goals
  • Initiating activities that will increase demand for highbush blueberries in all the varied forms and settings in which they are offered, and encouraging the expansion of these forms and settings.

The NABC

While the USHBC is a federal research and promotion program, the North American Blueberry Council (NABC) is a voluntary organization that serves as the voice of the highbush blueberry industry. While the audiences the NABC and the USHBC serve overlap, their missions are very different. The NABC’s duties include legislative, executive, and regulatory interface and liaison on behalf of the blueberry industry.

Officers, Members, and Staff

The USHBC exists thanks to the dedication and passion of members throughout the blueberry industry. To ensure that the Council is always a diverse representation of our industry, the USHBC has adopted a diversity outreach plan.

USHBC Executive Officers

Chairman: Chris Barnhill
Vice Chairman: Shelly Hartmann
Treasurer: Brittany Lee
Secretary: George Fritz, Jr.
Member at Large: Bill Steed
Past Chairman: Art Galletta

USHBC Staff

Executive Director: Mark Villata
Assistant Manager: Julie Fogarty
Marketing Manager: Victoria De Bruin
Compliance Coordinator: Rick Ruckman
Office Manager: Mary Nezbeth
Administrative Assistant: Mandy Boarman

States

California

Member - William Steed
First Term Ends 12/31/19

Alternate - Young Kwun
First Term Ends 12/31/19

Florida

Member - Brittany Lee
First Term Ends 12/31/19

Alternate - Janet Swilley
First Term Ends - 12/31/19

Georgia

Member - John Bennett
First Term Ends 12/31/19

Alternate - Jerome Crosby
First Term Ends 12/31/19

Michigan

Member - George Fritz, Jr.
First Term Ends 12/31/19

Alternate - Bob Carini
First Term Ends 12/31/19

New Jersey

Member - Denny Doyle
Second Term Ends 12/31/19

Alternate - Paul Macrie, III
First Term Ends 12/31/19

North Carolina

Member - Chris Barnhill
First Term Ends 12/31/19

Alternate - Neil Moore
First Term Ends 12/31/19

Oregon

Member - Steve Erickson
Second Term Ends 12/31/19

Alternate - Doug Krahmer
Second Term Ends 12/31/19

Washington

Member - Rob Dhaliwal
First Term Ends 12/31/19

Alternate - Bryan Sakuma
First Term Ends 12/31/19

Handler, Importers, Exporters & Public Members

Handler

Member - Guy Cotton
Second Term Ends 12/31/19

Alternate - Risa Bakker
First Term Ends 12/31/19

Importer #1

Member - John Johnston
First Term Ends 12/31/21

Alternate - Bonnie Lundblad
First Term Ends 12/31/21

Importer #2

Member - Brian Bocock
Second Term Ends 12/31/19

Alternate - Brian Caster
First Term Ends 12/31/19

Importer #3

Member - Janice Honigberg
First Term Ends 12/31/19

Alternate - Andrew Maiman
First Term Ends 12/31/19

Importer #4

Member - Bo Slack
First Term Ends 12/31/19

Alternate - Tom Bodtke
First Term Ends 12/31/19

Exporter #1

Member - Jorge Andres Varela
Second Term Ends 12/31/21

Alternate - Carlos Abujatum
First Term Ends 12/31/21

Exporter #2

Member - Ray Biln
First Term Ends 12/31/19

Alternate - Jesse Brar
First Term Ends 12/31/19

Public Member

Member - Amy Howell, PhD
First Term Ends 12/31/21

Alternate - Bill Cline
First Term Ends 12/31/21

Regions

Western

Member - Verne Gingerich
Second Term Ends 12/31/21

Alternate - Ellie Norris
Second Term Ends 12/31/21

Midwest

Member - Shelly Ann Hartmann
First Term Ends 12/31/21

Alternate - Pat Goin
First Term Ends 12/31/21

Northeast

Member - Dave Arena
First Term Ends 12/31/21

Alternate - Art Galletta
First Term Ends 12/31/21

Southeast

Member - Ryan Atwood
Second Term Ends 12/31/21

Alternate - Stacy Spivey
First Term Ends 12/31/21

Committees

Assigned committee members are not-elected USHBC members, but are assigned to committees because of special expertise (denoted by "*")

Executive Committee

Chris Barnhill (NC) - Chairman

Shelly Hartmann (MI) - Vice Chairman

Brittany Lee (FL) - Treasurer

George Fritz, Jr. (MI) - Secretary

Bill Steed (CA) - Member at Large

Art Galletta (NJ) - Past Chairman

Finance Committee

George Fritz, Jr. (MI) - Chairman

Brittany Lee (FL) - Vice Chair

Risa Bakker (CA) - Handler

John Bennett (GA)

Art Galletta (NJ) - Region 3

Janice Honigberg (IL) - Importer 3

Mark Hurst* (OR)

John Johnston (CA) - Importer 1

Doug Krahmer (OR)

Lorrie Merker* (MI)

Neil Moore (NC)

Bill Steed (CA)

Chris Barnhill (NC) - USHBC Chairman

Health Research Committee

Dave Brazelton (OR) - Chairman

Karen Avinelis* (CA)

Amy Howell, Ph.D. (NJ) - Public Member

Mike Mainland, Ph.D.* (NC)

Adair Peterson* (GA)

Mark Sweeney, Ph.D.* (Canada)

Dave Trinka* (MI)

Leslie Wada, Ph.D.* (CA)

Dave Wyckoff* (WA)

Chris Barnhill (NC) - USHBC Chairman

Good Practices Committee

Denny Doyle (NJ) - Chairman

Cecilia Allende* (PA)

Cort Brazelton* (OR)

Christy Butler* (OR)

Brian Caster (CA) - Importer 2

Bill Cline - Public Member

Verne Gingerich (OR) - Region 1

Pat Goin (IN) - Region 2

Carlos Abujatum (Chile) - Exporter 1

Paul Macrie (NJ)

Ellie Norris (OR) - Region 1

Bryan Sakuma (WA)

Jason Smith* (B.C., Canada)

Chris Barnhill (NC) - USHBC Chairman

Industry Relations Committee

Bo Slack (WA) - Chairman

Dave Arena (NJ) - Region 3

Ryan Atwood (FL) - Region 4

Tom Bodtke (MI) - Importer 4

Jesse Brar (Canada) - Exporter 2

Guy Cotton (CA) - Handler

Jerome Crosby (GA) 

Rob Dhaliwal (WA)

Steve Erickson (OR)

Young Kwun (CA)

Andrew Maiman (FL) - Importer 3

Stacy Spivey (FL) - Region 4

Janet Swilley (FL)                                                                           

Jorge Varela (Chile) - Exporter 1

Chris Barnhill (NC) - USHBC Chairman

Promotion Committee

Bob Carini (MI) - Chairman

CarrieAnn Arias* (CA)

Andres Armstrong* (Chile) 

Ray Biln (Canada) - Exporter 2

Brian Bocock (MI) - Importer 2

Stan Crafton* (CO)

Denny Doyle (NJ)

Shelly Hartmann (MI) - Region 2

Zack Kuster* (MI)

Bonnie Lundblad (NJ) - Importer 1

Jeff Malensky* (OR)

Ken Patterson* (FL)

Nathan Sakuma* (WA)

John Shelford* (FL)

Chris Barnhill (NC) - USHBC Chairman

Export Subcommittee

Dave Arena (NJ) - Chairman

Bob Carini (MI)

Mark Hurst* (OR)

Jeff Malensky* (OR)

David Munger* (CA)

Nathan Sakuma* (WA)

Don Van De Werken* (MS)

Chris Barnhill (NC) - USHBC Chairman

Blueberry Technology Committee

Rod Cook* (WA) - Chairman

Andres Armstrong* (Chile)

Christy Butler* (OR)

Michael Christensen* (CA)

Mark Hurst* (OR)

Paul Macrie (NJ)

Mike Mainland, Ph.D.* (NC)

Mike Makara* (B.C., Canada)

Rex Schultz* (MI)

Chris Barnhill (NC) - USHBC Chairman