Puglia to head Western Growers as Nassif retires
The board of Western Growers, which represents fresh produce growers in Arizona, California, Colorado and New Mexico, announced Oct. 16 that it has selected Dave Puglia as the organization’s next president and CEO.
Puglia will succeed current President and CEO Tom Nassif, who is retiring on Feb. 1, 2020, after 18 years in the position.
Puglia joined Western Growers in 2005 and serves as executive vice president, overseeing four departments in the organization of 445 employees. He also oversees the organization’s nonprofit charitable foundation and its political action committees. Prior to joining Western Growers, he was vice president of APCO Worldwide, a global public affairs consulting firm, and previously served for seven years in the California Attorney General’s Office, first as press secretary and later as director of public affairs and communications.
“Since joining our organization, Dave has demonstrated an unyielding passion for our members, a deep understanding of the issues facing Western agriculture – water policy, in particular – and an unrivaled capacity for leading our association and industry into the next decade and beyond,” said Western Growers Board Chairman Ron Ratto.
Ratto added, “Puglia will inherit an association that experienced a renaissance under Nassif’s leadership. Over the course of nearly two decades, Nassif elevated the national prominence of Western Growers and established the organization as a recognized leader in food safety, labor and immigration, water, technology and innovation, international trade and many other areas impacting the viability of Western Growers members.”