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New Directors of Almond Board of California Begin Their Terms


MODESTO, Calif. – The new Board of Directors of the Almond Board of California (ABC) took their seats on Thursday with four voting members beginning new terms to help guide ABC’s support of one of California’s most important crops.

The new Board of Directors, including voting members and alternate seats, began serving their respective terms at the August 4 meeting in Modesto at the Almond Board of California offices.

Board members, whose terms officially began Aug. 1, also elected Alexi Rodriguez as chair and re-elected George Goshgarian Jr. as vice chair.

“Our industry is facing many challenges right now,” said Rodriguez. “I’m looking forward to working with this talented and dedicated board and organization. I believe we have the resources and experience to navigate these complicated times.”

The 10-member ABC board has five grower members – three representing independent growers and two representing cooperative growers – and five handler members, also with three independent and two co-op representatives. Some members sit in three-year seats, others in one-year positions.

The grower representatives elected or re-elected in this year’s elections are:

  • Paul Ewing, an independent from RPAC, LLC in Los Banos. He was re-elected to a one-year term.              
  • Brandon Rebiero, an independent grower from Gold Leaf Farming in Modesto who previously served as an alternate and was elected to a three-year term.

The handler representatives were re-elected in both positions this year. They are:

  • Darren Rigg, an independent handler from Minturn Nut Co. in Le Grand. He was re-elected to a one-year term.
  • Mel Machado, a co-op handler with Blue Diamond Growers from Modesto re-elected to a three-year term.

In addition, the board has three alternates elected or re-elected this year:

  • Katie Staack-Dorsett, an independent grower with Grizzly Nut, LLC from Waterford This is her first term as an alternate.
  • Chad DeRose, an independent handler with Famoso Nut Co., LLC in McFarland, who was re-elected.
  • Mark Jansen, a co-op handler with Blue Diamond Growers from Sacramento who was also re-elected. 

This is the full board:

Seat Voting Member Term
Grower #1: Paul Ewing, RPAC, LLC 1 year
Grower #2: Brandon Rebiero, Gold Leaf Farming 3 years
Grower #3: Joe Gardiner, Treehouse California Almonds, LLC 3 years
Handler #1: Alexi Rodriguez, Campos Brothers 3 years
Handler #2: Bob Silveira, Vann Family Orchards 3 years
Handler #3: Darren Rigg, Minturn Nut Co. Inc. 1 year
Co-op Grower #1: George Goshgarian Jr., Goshgarian Farming Co. 3 years
Co-op Grower #2: Christine Gemperle, Gemperle Orchards 3 years
Co-op Handler #1: Mel Machado, Blue Diamond Growers 3 years
Co-op Handler #2: Alicia Rockwell, Blue Diamond Growers 3 years


Seat Alternate Member
Grower #1: Katie Staack-Dorsett, Grizzly Nut, LLC
Grower #2: Vacant
Grower #3: Chris Bettencourt, Suvik Farms
Handler #1: Ron Fisher, Fisher Nut Company
Handler #2: Dexter Long, Hilltop Ranch, Inc.
Handler #3: Chad DeRose, Famoso Nut Company, LLC
Co-op Grower #1: Kelli Evans, Evans Farming
Co-op Grower #2: Kent Stenderup, Stenderup Ag Partners
Co-op Handler #1: Mark Jansen, Blue Diamond Growers
Co-op Handler #2: Dean LaVallee, Blue Diamond Growers


The ABC board sets policy and approves budgets in major areas, including production research, public relations and advertising, nutrition research, statistical reporting, quality control and food safety.

ABC is a Federal Marketing Order dedicated to promoting California almonds to domestic and international audiences through marketing efforts and by funding and promoting studies about almonds' health benefits, as well as ensuring sustainable agricultural practices and food safety.

About California Almonds

California almonds make life better by what we grow and how we grow. The Almond Board of California promotes natural, wholesome and quality almonds through leadership in strategic market development, innovative research, and accelerated adoption of industry best practices on behalf of the more than 7,600 almond farmers and processors in California, most of whom are multi-generational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, ABC is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit or check out California Almonds on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and the California Almonds blog.