Nicholas Bozick, chairman of the Sunkist Growers Inc. board of directors, has been named 2009 Director of the Year by the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC), headquartered in Washington, D.C.

NCFC, comprised of nearly 3,000 local farmer cooperatives throughout the nation, selected Bozick for this prestigious award based on his ability to provide leadership, good business judgment, and effective communication.

Bozick, a well-respected California agribusinessman, is president of Richard Bagdasarian, Inc., a family-run multi-commodity produce growing, packing, and shipping business based in Mecca in California’s Coachella Valley. In addition to citrus, the company also produces grapes and several vegetable crops.

“We were very pleased with the NCFC decision to single out Nick for its leadership honor,” said Sunkist President and CEO Russ Hanlin. “Nick is a dedicated board member and an outstanding board chairman.

“Nick commands the respect of a diverse group of men and women representing thousands of citrus growers in California and Arizona, and his leadership is instrumental in our organization’s ongoing success,” Hanlin added. “He certainly understands, and is dedicated to the principles, of farmer-ownership and innovation.”

In addition to his Sunkist chairmanship, Bozick also chairs the board of Fruit Growers Supply Co., Sunkist’s manufacturing and supply cooperative affiliate. He has served as a director of both companies for nearly a decade.

Bozick is a former chairman of the California Grape and Tree Fruit League, serving on its executive committee for seven years and the board of directors for more than 15 years.