Leadership starts here.
Meet the members of the inaugural Blueberry Industry Leadership Program Class!
Gonzalo de Elizalde
Forest Hills Farms Inc.
California Giant Berry Farms
North Bay Produce Inc.
Berry Fresh LLC
Fall Creek Farm & Nursery Inc.
The Blueberry Industry Leadership Program, launched in March 2021, is designed to elevate up-and-coming leaders in the blueberry industry by providing in-depth training, industry education and connection to other ag leaders for passionate blueberry professionals across the supply chain.
What fellows will experience and learn:
• Immersive personalized leadership training
• Knowledge sharing from industry veterans and thought-leaders
• Innovation and technology deep-dive
• Impacts of advancements in health and nutrition
• Presentation and media training
• How to build business relationships and activate your network within the industry
• Camaraderie among fellows to create a lifelong support network
• Demonstration of leadership potential
• Passion and commitment to the success of the blueberry industry
• Career relevance to the blueberry industry
• Professional credentials
• Letters of recommendation
• Application Process for Class 2 will be open during Spring of 2023, check back here soon for more details!
The selection of applicants is the sole responsibility of the USHBC Industry Leadership Program Selection Committee, which is comprised of USHBC Board and committee members, or other volunteering blueberry industry stakeholders. While USHBC staff will have a role in facilitating the review of applicants, the selection committee will ultimately decide which fellows are chosen for the program.
Participation in the USHBC Blueberry Industry Leadership Program requires significant commitment by selected candidates and their employers.
- Employer/employee commitment: Applicants must be currently employed by a company or organization with involvement in the highbush blueberry industry. Up to one applicant per company will be selected to participate in the program. In addition, participants must commit to complete the program under the employment of their current company. If a participant changes companies during the program year, they must withdraw from the program.
- Program fee: Candidates or their sponsoring organization must also agree to pay the program fee of $2,500, if selected, to be used toward program expenses and materials. If a candidate is unable to pay the program fee, the opportunity to participate in the program will be forfeited. Payment instructions will be provided following the selection process.
- Attendance and participation: Participants must agree to fulfill the entire program, including travel for in-person sessions. You’ll be asked to confirm your availability and commitment to attending the sessions as outlined in the anticipated schedule below in the application form. If a participant fails to attend at least 90% of sessions, they will not be able to graduate from the program. Exceptions will be made for major life events or extenuating circumstances.
The program schedule is tentative and subject to slight adjustments. Please note both virtual and in-person dates and timing.
In-Person Class Trip Dates
- June 19-24, 2022
- October 3-7, 2022
- May 7-12, 2023
- October 2-6, 2023
Virtual Engagement Sessions
- 2022: May 25, July 27, August 24, November 16
- 2023: January 18, March (Spring Conference), June 21, August 23
In addition to participating in the schedule, program fellows will complete a capstone project that addresses an important blueberry industry issue of their choosing. Following the program kick-off, topics must be submitted for approval by the selection committee.
The application period for Class 1 of the Blueberry Industry Leadership Program is now closed. The application period for Class 2 will be open in Spring of 2023.