WAFLA's New CEO Pt 1

WAFLA's New CEO Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. There’s a new face running the show at WAFLA, after founding CEO Dan Fazio decided to step down.

Former Washington Farm Bureau Chief Financial Officer, Enrique Gastelum took over on May 2nd and is settling in nicely and feeling quite comfortable …

GASTELUM … “I feel blessed and fortunate. You know, it’s kind of a, as I told the Farm Bureau folks sort of coming out, they did too good of a job training me up and building in me a passion for representing the agricultural industry.”

The job, Gastelum says allows him to get back to his roots …

GASTELUM … “I now get to go out and be out, back in the field again talking with farmers, talking with workers and just helping trying to understand what the issues are and coming up with solutions on those things.”

Of the biggest challenges he’s facing, Gastelum says there are a few …

GASTELUM … “I think a couple of the big things is the widening gap of the labor supply issues, right. People are concerned, where am I going to find my workers.”

And here in 2022, Gastelum says a new problem is on the table …

GASTELUM … “Here in Washington and Oregon, of course, people are concerned with the impact of overtime. You know, it’s a huge change for the industry. You know, years ago I could sort of see we were heading down that road, eventually it was going to come. Well, it’s here now.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on the challenges facing new WAFLA CEO Enrique Gastelum and why he’s the man for the job.

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