La Verne Bergstrom is no stranger to Washington's Tree Fruit Industry. Over the past 26 years she has worked in the industry, sat on various boards and committees, and spent countless hours volunteering in a number of ways. Today we would like to honor her professional time in the industry as we congratulate her on her retirement from AgroFresh this Friday.
La Verne started her industry career at the Washington Apple Commission in 1990 as an executive assistant to the president. She worked at the commission for 18 years, leaving to join AgroFresh in 2008 in an executive assistant role once again. Her 8 years at AgroFresh have created many memories, at the top of the list for La Verne has been working with all the wonderful people at AgroFresh. She noted a particular weekend hiking trip with Scott Harker, Welcome Sauer and representatives from South America to the Scottish Lakes High Camp in the Wenatchee Lakes Forest area where she had spent a memorable weekend. La Verne also commented on her appreciation of the interactions she has had with so many members of the US tree fruit industry during her yearly visits to Washington DC and Chicago for the US Apple Spring meeting and Outlook Conference. Another remarkable feat during her career at the Washington Apple Commission was being the first woman to win the "Apple Citizen of the Year" Award, given to active members in the tree fruit industry.
La Verne is one of WAEF's longest running board members, having been on the first board of directors in 1996. Also with WAEF, she serves on the Scholarship Selection Committee as the Chairmen of the CCM scholarship selection, the Farmworker Education Committee, volunteers at WAEF golf tournaments, scholarship luncheons and helps every fall and spring on a student Care Package Team. Besides WAEF, La Verne has been a board member to the United Way for around 15 years, and served on the US Apple board for around 10 on the Education Committee. Outside of the industry, La Verne has been a board member on the Wenatchee Valley Misawa Sister City Association since 2009- that same year she traveled to Misawa, Japan as an ambassador for the association.
La Verne will continue as a member of the WAEF board of directors and also the Misawa Sister City Association into her retirement. Her other plans include many hobbies that she will finally have time for! Including, quilting, refinishing furniture, participating in the marlin hand bell ringers, studying watercolor and traveling! Her first trip will be to Misawa, Japan with one of her grand daughters next year. La Verne and her husband Tom will be planning some traveling within the US in their motor home as well- Yellowstone is one of their top destinations.
Congratulations La Verne to such a fruitful career spent in the industry. We wish you well in your traveling, hobbies, and relaxation time too!