Her name may sound familiar. After all, Alicia Adler, USHBC and NABC’s new vice president, has been working for you since 2015. In fact, she’s secured $3.67 million in USDA grant funding for USHBC over the last four years, with another three-quarters of a million pending. She’s nearly quadrupled annual USDA funding from $350,000 to $1.36 million in 2019.
Among the funds Alicia secured on behalf of USHBC: $1.8 million to address technical barriers to trade (through the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops program) and $600,000 from the Trump administration’s tariff relief program.
And after initiating a global assessment of opportunities and challenges for U.S. highbush blueberries in 28 countries and regions, she developed an online database for growers with user-friendly trade data, regulatory information and opportunity analysis.
Which is all to say that Alicia gets blueberries. She understands the industry. She knows how to support it with funding. And she has the best interests of blueberry growers at heart.
She’s also a trend-watcher who’s identified the recent shifts in the industry. The new voices emerging. The fact that the growth in the global supply of blueberries means U.S. growers need to secure their position in the world. The need to share the U.S. blueberry story in overseas markets.
In other words, Alicia knows what the pain points are in the blueberry industry and has big ideas about how to address them. And that’s why we brought her on board.
“Alicia brings a track record of success, experience and a vision for leadership that will serve our industry well into the future,” noted Kasey Cronquist, president of NABC and USHBC. “We’re committed to leading the way to grow and expand market opportunities globally, and Alicia will help us do just that.”
In addition to securing grant funding to support NABC and USHBC initiatives, Alicia will form advisory groups of industry experts to inform U.S. trade policy and technical affairs. She’ll evaluate all USHBC export development efforts to ensure the right markets are targeted for fresh, frozen and further processed blueberries. And she’ll make sure U.S. growers have the best data to inform their export plans.
Let’s give her a warm “blues” welcome!