by Syrah Linsley, Fruit Laureate

USApple welcomed me into the inaugural NextGen Fellowship (Class of 2022), a year-long program for emerging leaders in the apple industry.

To read more about the fellowship, please see the press release from USApple:

Falls Church, Va. (Feb. 15, 2022)—The U.S. Apple Association today announced the 2022 class of its new, premier emerging leader program, the NextGen Apple Fellowship. Six fellows from across the country were chosen to participate in the 2022 class. The program will focus on providing fellows annually with career development, one-on-one mentoring, hands-on advocacy experience, community service work and many other leadership opportunities. 

The 2022 NextGen Apple Fellows include:

Marcus Albinder, Operations Manager/Marketing Leader, Hudson River Fruit Distributors, Milton, N.Y.

John Cary, Director of Planning and Analytics, Stemilt Growers, LLC, Wenatchee, Wash.

Tim Cote, Projects Analyst and Director of Orchard Safety, AgriMACS, Inc., Yakima, Wash.

Ethan Holmes, Founder & CEO, Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce, Cleveland, Ohio

Syrah Linsley, Project Manager, Old Orchard Brands, Grand Rapids, Mich.

James Nysson, Pacific Northwest Regional Sales Manager, Sev-Rend Packaging, Moxee, Wash./Collinsville, Ill. 

“Following an extensive interview process with applicants from across the country, we are excited to name the inaugural class of the NextGen Apple Fellowship,” said USApple Board Member and Chair of the NextGen Selection Committee Elizabeth Pauls. “Each of the fellows were chosen because of their distinguished work in the apple sector, as well as their tremendous potential. USApple is excited for this class of individuals who come from diverse careers in the apple industry and balance one another with a vast collection of strengths and expertise.”

Like its predecessor, the Young Apple Leader program, NextGen will continue USApple’s legacy of providing up-and-coming apple leaders with critical government affairs and advocacy training, as well as the program’s annual trip to Washington, D.C., for USApple’s Capitol Hill Day. In addition, the NextGen Apple Fellowship will take a more concentrated approach to career development with a professional development/teamwork retreat, media training, industry learning webinars and forums, as well as the opportunity for fellows to attend USApple’s annual Outlook conference. In addition, fellows will be provided an ongoing and unique one-on-one mentorship with an established industry leader to provide guidance and networking opportunities.

“After many internal discussions with former Young Apple Leaders and strategic planning, we have created a refreshed and restructured program to ready the NextGen fellows for leadership roles in their businesses, in the apple industry and within their communities,” said Pauls, a Michigan apple grower at Wittenbach Orchards and a former Young Apple Leader. “We can’t wait to see how the fellows and the program evolve over the coming year.”

The 2022 NextGen Apple Fellowship will have its kickoff meeting in Washington, D.C., March 8-11, in conjunction with USApple’s Capitol Hill Day. To learn more about the NextGen Apple Fellowship, click here.

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