WAEF Leadership Change Pt 1

WAEF Leadership Change Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. The Washington Apple Education Foundation is passing the leadership torch. After nearly 21 years as the WAEF executive director, Jennifer Witherbee is in her final days assisting with the transition for new leader Faviola Barbosa.

Witherbee says WAEF has meant so much to the students … and to her …

WITHERBEE … “It’s been an amazing journey. And it has been fun to think back through that, you know, when I started at WAEF, really, the challenge was just to make sure that we were going to keep going. It was still in those earlier forming years that had some amazing people be part of it since 1994 and I started in 2001 and we were still really figuring out, you know, what did the industry want for its charity.”

Witherbee says working with industry members was key …

WITHERBEE … “I like to talk about it like as ‘industry donors voting with their dollars’ and they made it clear that they wanted to be able to make a difference to industry families, and the way that they wanted to do that was through access to education.”

And that effort, Witherbee says has paid off …

WITHERBEE … “We have got to grown considerably. The industry has been so generous to WAEF and to WAEF students. So, we now award over $1-million each year in scholarships and we get to assist about 350 students each year.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on the new leadership at WAEF and why leaving is so emotional for Jennifer Witherbee.

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