Renee Pinel, The Western Plant Health Association (WPHA) director of policy and legislation, has been selected president and CEO of the association, replacing Steve Beckley who resigned in October.

“Renee’s knowledge of the plant health industry from both the political and business perspectives made her the ideal candidate for the CEO position,” said Walt Johnson, chairman of the WPHA board of directors and director of marketing for The Lyman Group. “We are very pleased to promote from within the organization, providing continuity to the day to day operations.”

Pinel joined the California Fertilizer Association (CFA) as director of legislative affairs in 1992. When CFA merged with Western Crop Protection Association to form the California Plant Health Association in 2001, Pinel’s legislative responsibilities expanded to include fertilizer, retail and crop protection issues. She also became the staff liaison with the Western Regional Alliance (WRA), a coalition of agricultural associations and groups that advocate in support of crop protection and biotechnology issues in the West.

Born in Ludlow, Vermont, Pinel grew up in the Los Angeles area, but has resided in Stockton, Calif., for 24 years. She earned a bachelor of science in organizational development and a master of public administration at the University of San Francisco. Prior to joining CFA, Pinel served as the director of human resources for the western U.S. at Moorman’s Manufacturing Co. of California.

“This is an exciting opportunity for me to expand my commitment to the membership of the Western Plant Health Association,” said Pinel. “I would like to thank the board of directors for their support and their vote of confidence in selecting me. I look forward to leading the association in its mission of enhancing the business environment of our members in the West.”

WPHA represents the fertilizer, crop protection, and biotechnology manufacturers, distributors, formulators and retailers in California, Arizona and Hawaii. WPHA members market commercial fertilizers, soil amendments, agricultural minerals, crop protection and biotechnology products. More than 90 percent of all fertilizer and crop protection companies are represented by WPHA.