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.

  • Chris Barnhill (NC) – Chairman
  • Shelly Hartmann (MI) – Vice Chairman
  • Brittany Lee (FL) – Treasurer
  • George Fritz, Jr. (MI) – Secretary
  • Bill Steed (CA) – Member at Large
  • Art Galletta (NJ) – Past Chairman

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) – Chairman
  • Brittany Lee (FL) – Vice Chair
  • Risa Bakker (CA) – Handler
  • John Bennett (GA)
  • Art Galletta (NJ) – Region 3
  • Janice Honigberg (IL) – Importer 3
  • Mark Hurst* (OR)
  • John Johnston (CA) – Importer 1
  • Doug Krahmer (OR)
  • Lorrie Merker* (MI)
  • Neil Moore (NC)
  • Bill Steed (CA)
  • Chris Barnhill (NC) – USHBC Chairman

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) – Chairman
  • Karen Avinelis* (CA)
  • Amy Howell, Ph.D. (NJ) – Public Member
  • Mike Mainland, Ph.D.* (NC)
  • Adair Peterson* (GA)
  • Mark Sweeney, Ph.D.* (Canada)
  • Dave Trinka* (MI)
  • Leslie Wada, Ph.D.* (CA)
  • Dave Wyckoff* (WA)
  • Chris Barnhill (NC) – USHBC Chairman

Good Practices Committee

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

  • Denny Doyle (NJ) – Chairman
  • Cecilia Allende* (PA)
  • Cort Brazelton* (OR)
  • Christy Butler* (OR)
  • Brian Caster (CA) – Importer 2
  • Bill Cline – Public Member
  • Verne Gingerich (OR) – Region 1
  • Pat Goin (IN) – Region 2
  • Carlos Abujatum (Chile) – Exporter 1
  • Paul Macrie (NJ)
  • Ellie Norris (OR) – Region 1
  • Bryan Sakuma (WA)
  • Jason Smith* (B.C., Canada)
  • Chris Barnhill (NC) – USHBC Chairman

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.

  • Bob Carini (MI) – Chairman
  • CarrieAnn Arias* (CA)
  • Andres Armstrong* (Chile) 
  • Ray Biln (Canada) – Exporter 2
  • Brian Bocock (MI) – Importer 2
  • Denny Doyle (NJ)
  • Shelly Hartmann (MI) – Region 2
  • John Johnston (CA) – 
  • Zack Kuster* (MI)
  • Bonnie Lundblad (NJ) – Importer 1
  • Jeff Malensky* (OR)
  • Ken Patterson* (FL)
  • Nathan Sakuma* (WA)
  • John Shelford* (FL)
  • Amanda Steele* (OR)
  • Chris Barnhill (NC) – USHBC Chairman

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) – Chairman
  • Dave Arena (NJ) – Region 3
  • Ryan Atwood (FL) – Region 4
  • Tom Bodtke (MI) – Importer 4
  • Jesse Brar (Canada) – Exporter 2
  • Guy Cotton (CA) – Handler
  • Jerome Crosby (GA)
  • Rob Dhaliwal (WA)
  • Steve Erickson (OR)
  • Young Kwun (CA)
  • Andrew Maiman (FL) – Importer 3
  • Stacy Spivey (FL) – Region 4
  • Janet Swilley (FL)
  • Jorge Varela (Chile) – Exporter 1
  • Chris Barnhill (NC) – USHBC Chairman

Export Subcommittee

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

  • Dave Arena (NJ) – Chairman
  • Bob Carini (MI)
  • Mark Hurst* (OR)
  • Jeff Malensky* (OR)
  • David Munger* (CA)
  • Ellie Norris (OR) 
  • Nathan Sakuma* (WA)
  • Don Van De Werken* (MS)
  • Chris Barnhill (NC) – USHBC Chairman

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) – Chairman
  • Andres Armstrong* (Chile)
  • Christy Butler* (OR)
  • Michael Christensen* (CA)
  • Mark Hurst* (OR)
  • Paul Macrie (NJ)
  • Mike Mainland, Ph.D.* (NC)
  • Mike Makara* (B.C., Canada)
  • Rex Schultz* (MI)
  • Chris Barnhill (NC) – USHBC Chairman