Bob Mast Honored for his Board Leadership in 2018-2019

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Yesterday members of the WAEF board of directors met for their quarterly meeting. This is our annual meeting when directors, officers and committee chairmen are elected.

Chris Willett was elected chairman of WAEF. Chris has been a member of the board since 2016. Leading up to the chairmanship, Chris was secretary and then vice-chairman of the board. Chris is the General Manager North America of T&G Global. T&G Global manages the Jazz, Envy and Pacific Rose club varieties.

Serving as officers with Chris will be Jeff Fagg, Moses Lake, as vice-chairman; Dwaine Brown, Selah, as treasurer; Laurie Knebusch, Cowiche, as secretary; and Bob Mast, Wenatchee, as our immediate past chairman.

Dwaine Brown, Chris Willett and Larry Martin were each elected to renew their board service for an additional three-year term.

New board members elected were Keith Veselka and Kristin Kershaw-Snapp. Keith manages Occidental Orchards and is a grower of apples, cherries and pears. Kristin is the Director of Corporate Affairs for Domex Superfresh Growers.

Committee chairmen elected for the coming year are Larry Martin for strategic planning, Kailan Dunn for scholarship, Rolando Martin for farmworker education, Ben Jensen for student stewardship, Dwaine Brown for audit, Darrin Belton for investment and Jeff Fagg for resource development.

There are currently 20 members serving on the WAEF board of directors.

The first order of business before the board was the quarterly dashboard report. Members were alerted to the need to reinvigorate fundraising efforts for unrestricted support that provides administrative funds for operating scholarships and beyond the scholarship student support activities. This was discussed at various times during the meeting.

Dwaine Brown, Cory Groves and Laurie Knebusch were recognized for their activities between board meetings to support the foundation. Points are earned by board members for involvement in activities that have the greatest impact.

Two new scholarship policies were approved. The policies communicate to applicants who qualifies for WAEF scholarships prior to them beginning the application process. The new policies state that applicants must have graduated from a US high school, received a GED in the US or have completed one-year of college in a US accredited institution prior to applying. Additionally, WAEF scholarships must be used at US colleges and universities.

Cory Groves presented the 2019 scholarship report. To date, the committee has selected 317 new and renewing students to share in $1,102,900 in scholarship funds. With Wish List awards open until the end of the day today, additional funds may still be awarded. Students will learn of their selection the week of May 13th-17th when volunteers and staff visit high schools with award news.

Jeff Fagg presented the audit report. The annual audit of WAEF financial statements was completed in March by CliftonLarsonAllen. A clean/unmodified opinion was given stating that the financial statements are an accurate reflection of the foundation's financial standing. The financial reports will be added to the WAEF website.

Funds spent in 2018 by the foundation were allocated in the following manner with the largest portion paid in direct scholarships. This is very similar to prior years' expenditures,

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Immediately following the meeting was a luncheon recognizing outgoing chairman Bob Mast and retiring director Dave Robison. The board was joined by guests Sabina Mast, Steve Clive and Leo & Pat Sax. On behalf of the organization, Chris Willett thanked Bob Mast for his effective and inspirational leadership in the past year commenting that Bob's industry knowledge and experience were valued and appreciated.

Though unable to attend in person, retiring board member Dave Robison was recognized for his board service.

The luncheon also provided a time for the newly elected chairman to share his goals for the coming year. Chris shared that he had two primary goals: ensuring that the unrestricted budget was met and honoring the 25th anniversary of the foundation by recognizing those that had invested in the foundation and helped it reach this milestone.

The foundation board of directors meets again in August.