The International Fresh-cut Produce Association has elected new leadership to its 2005 board of directors and welcomed Robert J. Whitaker, Ph.D., a senior executive at NewStar Fresh Foods LLC, as its new chairman.

Joining the IFPA board as new officers are Mark Miller, president/owner of Fresh From Texas/Energy Sprouts, Inc., as vice chairman, and Matthew Caito, director of marketing for Caito Foods/Freshline, as secretary/treasurer.

Four new members, who will serve three year-terms, were also elected to the board, including: Gary Black, president, Condies Foods, Inc.; Parker Booth, vice president Food Service Division, Fresh Express, Inc.; Bob Jenkins, chief operating officer, River Ranch Fresh Foods LLC; and Tom Spohn, vice president of Operations for Club Chef, Inc. IFPA board members Phil Riggio, Aunt Mid Produce Co., and Marvin List, Del Monte Fresh Produce, finished their three-year term at the end of 2004.

“We have a very high-level and talented group of industry professionals joining IFPA's executive leadership, and I look forward to working with them to achieve the goals we have set for IFPA,” said IFPA Chairman Bob Whitaker VP, Product Development & Food Safety at NewStar Fresh Foods LLC. “Industry leadership will be crucial to our future success. I feel very confident that our 2005 board of directors will further our members' commitment to keeping IFPA a leading voice for the fresh-cut produce sector.”

IFPA's membership recently voted to amend the association's bylaws so that terms for officers and board members will run from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. In the past, board leadership transitioned during the annual conference and exhibition in the spring. In addition, the annual meeting of the association will now take place at IFPA's Annual Fall ExecTrends Conference.