FOLSOM, CALIF. - The US Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) and the North American Blueberry Council (NABC) have appointed Jennifer Sparks as vice president of communications and Adam Winland as financial controller.
In her new role as part of the USHBC/NABC executive team, Sparks will manage various advertising agencies and marketing partners and oversee all aspects of the marketing strategic plan, including branding, merchandising, promotions, advertising, public/media relations, market research and consumer affairs to spotlight the health benefits of blueberries and increase consumption.
Sparks has over two decades of association management and industry promotion experience, with 17 of those years as vice president of marketing for the Society of American Florists (SAF). There, she spearheaded the floral industry’s public education and media relations campaigns, experiential marketing initiatives, influencer programs, digital content and collateral materials.
“We’re thrilled to have Jennifer on board to help direct our marketing and demand-driving efforts,” said Kasey Cronquist, president of NABC/USHBC. “She brings a depth of experience and leadership that gives me great confidence in where our blueberry industry can go from here.”
Winard, who is coming into a newly created position, will manage an annual budget exceeding $13 million. He will oversee accounting, investments, cash flow management and short- and long-range financial projections. He will also ensure the accuracy of NABC/USHBC accounting data and financial records, produce annual budgets and financial reports, and oversee financial and regulatory audits.
Winard has 15 years of experience in financial management, most recently as controller for Ideal Dental Management Partners, where he managed the finances of multiple dental offices and was involved in the acquisitions and sales of dental practices. He also spent six years as vice president of accounting at TKG, managing the expenses of the company's 100-acre vineyard, helping it transition to organic growing practices and become certified by California Certified Organic Farmers.
“We’re excited to have Adam bring his knowledge and expertise to the team,” said Cronquist. “His prior experience in ag and finance make him a perfect fit as we look to grow our program alongside the growing demand for blueberries.”