Committees

The USHBC is an organization fueled by the dedication and passion of our industry. Our committees are the engine that drives us forward. Assigned committee members are not elected USHBC members, but are assigned to committees because of special expertise (denoted by “*”).


Executive Committee

Oversees all business and operations of the USHBC, supporting all efforts to grow the value of and sell more blueberries to people in the U.S. and around the world.

  • Shelly Hartmann – Chair
  • Bryan Sakuma – Vice Chair
  • George Fritz, Jr. – Treasurer
  • Bill Steed – Secretary
  • Art Galletta – Past Chair

Finance Committee

Manages the financial interests of the USHBC, helping secure the infrastructure that supports and enables success for the blueberry industry and its stakeholders.

  • George Fritz, Jr. (MI) – Chair
  • Art Galletta (NJ, Region 3) – Vice Chair
  • John Bennett (GA)
  • Mark Hurst* (OR)
  • Doug Krahmer (OR)
  • Lorrie Merker* (MI)
  • Neil Moore (NC)
  • Brenton Roy (WA)
  • Bill Steed (CA)
  • Shelly Hartmann (MI) – USHBC Chair

Health Research Committee

Oversees the scientific studies funded by USHBC to provide information on blueberries’ health benefits, ultimately used in responsible marketing and education to increase value and demand.

  • Dave Brazelton (OR) – Chair
  • Mark Sweeney, Ph.D.* (Canada) – Vice Chair
  • Amy Howell, Ph.D. (NJ) – Public Member
  • Mike Mainland, Ph.D.* (NC)
  • Adair Peterson* (GA)
  • Dave Trinka* (MI)
  • Shelly Hartmann (MI) – USHBC Chair

Good Practices Committee

Identifies agricultural practices that foster greater sustainability and food safety and supports USHBC growers, marketers and importers implementing these practices.

  • Pat Goin (IN, Region 2) – Chair
  • Bryan Sakuma (WA) – Vice Chair
  • Carlos Abujatum (Chile) – Exporter 1
  • Cecilia Allende* (PA)
  • Cort Brazelton* (OR)
  • Christy Butler* (OR)
  • Bill Cline – Public Member
  • Denny Doyle (NJ)
  • Verne Gingerich (OR, Region 1)
  • Brittany Lee (FL)
  • Matt Macrie (NJ)
  • Jason Smith* (B.C., Canada)
  • Shelly Hartmann (MI) – USHBC Chair

Promotion Committee

Oversees consumer and health marketing programs that keep consumer-relevant blueberry health messages in the news, in social media and top of mind, through influencer and health professionals recommending blueberries. Programming also targets the increase of blueberry volume in restaurants, in schools and through contract feeding, as well as the use of real blueberry ingredients in prepared foods and beverages.

  • Jeff Malensky* (OR) – Chair
  • Brian Bocock (MI) – Vice Chair
  • CarrieAnn Arias* (CA)
  • Andres Armstrong* (Chile) 
  • Ray Biln (Canada) – Exporter 2
  • Bill Brasswell (FL)
  • Bob Carini (MI)
  • JC Clinard – Importer 2
  • Denny Doyle*
  • Janice Honigberg – Importer 3
  • John Johnston (CA, Region 1)
  • Bonnie Lundblad (NJ) – Importer 1
  • Ken Patterson* (FL)
  • Nathan Sakuma* (WA)
  • John Shelford* (FL)
  • Amanda Steele* (OR)
  • Shelly Hartmann (MI) – USHBC Chair

Industry Relations Committee

Keeps the blueberry industry informed and engaged through events and other channels, demonstrating the USHBC’s value to growers and industry stakeholders.

  • Bo Slack* (WA) – Chair
  • Ryan Atwood (FL, Region 4) – Vice Chair
  • Risa Bakker – Handler
  • Tom Bodtke (MI) – Importer 4
  • Jesse Brar (Canada) – Exporter 2
  • Guy Cotton (CA) – Importer 2
  • Jerod Gross*
  • Ryan Lockman – Importer 3
  • Andrew Maiman* (FL)
  • Michael Railey (GA)
  • Jorge Varela (Chile) – Exporter 1
  • Shelly Hartmann (MI) – USHBC Chair

Export Committee

Works to increase exports to high opportunity markets and grow trade, industry and government funding to support export market growth.

  • Dave Arena (NJ, Region 3) – Chairman
  • Mario Flores* – Vice Chair
  • Bob Carini (MI)
  • Elizabeth Carranza*
  • Ryan Gentel*
  • Jeff Malensky* (OR)
  • Ellie Norris (OR, Region 1) 
  • Nathan Sakuma* (WA)
  • Stacy Spivey (Region 4)
  • Don Van De Werken* (MS)
  • Shelly Hartmann (MI) – USHBC Chair

Blueberry Innovation & Technology Committee

Collaborates with blueberry growers and the technology sector to meet industry goals and support the innovation necessary to drive the next generation of growth.

  • Rod Cook* (WA) – Chair
  • Paul Macrie (NJ) – Vice Chair
  • Andres Armstrong* (Chile)
  • Christy Butler* (OR)
  • Chad Hansen*
  • Mark Hurst* (OR)
  • Mike Mainland, Ph.D.* (NC)
  • Noel Sakuma* (WA)
  • Rex Schultz* (MI)
  • Shelly Hartmann (MI) – USHBC Chair

* Assigned by USHBC as a non-elected committee member