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California Ag Leadership Foundation Names Karen Caplan to Board

Posted on May 23, 2017

SALINAS, May 23, 2017 – Chairman of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation’s (CALF) board of directors, Jeff Elder, announced that Karen Caplan, president and CEO of Frieda’s Inc., has joined the foundation’s board.

“The foundation is very fortunate to have someone with Karen’s character and experience commit to serving our leadership program as the newest member of our board," said Elder. "Having served in positions of distinction throughout her career, she will bring extremely valuable insight to an already strong board. I’m confident that she is going to make an important and positive impact on CALF.”

After graduating with a degree in agricultural economics and business management from the University of California, Davis, Caplan joined Frieda’s full time. Learning the business from the ground up, she worked in nearly every department at the company before being promoted to president and CEO. In 1990 Caplan and her sister purchased the specialty produce company from their mother.

A well-respected leader in the produce industry, Caplan has served as chairperson of the United Fresh Produce Association; president of the Fresh Produce & Floral Council; chairperson and vice chairperson of the USDA Fruit & Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee and a board member of the Federal Reserve Bank, Los Angeles chapter. Caplan currently serves on the board of Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County.

Caplan joins CALF board members, Jeff Elder (chairman), J.G. Boswell Company; James Maxwell (vice chairman), Agriland Farming Company; Eugene Peterson (secretary/treasurer), Wells Fargo; Loren Booth (past chair), Booth Ranches; Karm Bains, Karmdeep S. Bains Farms/Bains Ranches; Rick Burnes, Wonderful Nurseries; Edwin Camp, D.M. Camp & Sons; Dr. Robert Cherenson, Lander Veterinary Clinic; Dr. Helene Dillard, UC Davis; Michael Hollister, Driscoll’s; Ejnar Knudsen, AGR Partners and Mike Young, Wegis & Young. In addition, Barry Bedwell serves as president of the foundation.

Ag Leadership is considered to be one of the premier leadership development programs in the United States. Since it was first delivered in 1970, more than 1,300 men and women have participated in Ag Leadership and have become influential leaders and active volunteers in the agriculture industry and other areas.

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