Craig Delaney, chairman of the board for the International Fresh-cut Produce Association and executive vice president and chief financial officer of Ready Pac Produce, has announced the appointment of Jerry Welcome as the association's new president, replacing Edith Garrett who stepped down Jan. 1.

Welcome, who most recently served as vice president, member services, for the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI), brings extensive experience in packaging, food and agricultural policy, and legislative affairs to the IFPA position.

“I'm thrilled that Jerry has accepted the leadership position of our association,” Delaney says. “Jerry's many years of association background as well as experience on Capitol Hill will allow him to make an immediate impact. I look forward to working with him to execute our strategic plans and increase the value of IFPA membership for all our IFPA members. I know he's going to deliver outstanding results for the membership.”

In his position at PMMI, Welcome was responsible for overseeing the education and workforce development, technical services, public affairs and communications and membership programs of the Institute.

Promotional Activities

His duties included working on promotional activities for PMMI's PACK EXPO trade shows, overseeing development and publication of the group's monthly newsletter, and managing its Internet strategies. He also brings experience in such management areas as member relations, strategic planning, board and committee support, training certification and industry relations.

He spent a total of nine years on Capitol Hill, working for House Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill as a speaker's assistant, and seven years as a staff policy analyst on the House Agriculture Committee for Representative Thomas S. Foley (D-WA) and Representative E. Kika de la Garza (D-Texas). Welcome also served five years as director of legislative affairs for the American Meat Institute (AMI), managing the legislative agenda of the AMI.

“I'm excited to have been selected to represent the dynamic, fast growing fresh-cut produce industry and look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead,” Welcome says. “From what I've learned about the IFPA and the products it represents, it's clear to me that this organization is poised for further growth.

“My goal is to make IFPA an invaluable business resource for members. Working together with IFPA leadership and its members, I am confident we can create, expand and develop programs and services that help sell more products and support their business operations.”

Welcome will assume his new position at IFPA on Feb. 2, 2004.