Beginning September 28, 2020, the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council and North American Blueberry Council appointed Jennifer Sparks, a long-time marketing professional for the floral industry, as vice president of marketing and communications.
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. She will lead the implementation of brand-driven internal and external communications across a range of categories: consumer, retailer, food service and industry relations. She will work with a diverse group of industry stakeholders – growers, handlers, importers and retailers – across two continents.
Right: Jennifer Sparks.
Sparks brings more than two decades of association management and industry promotion experience, most notably 17 years as vice president of marketing for the Society of American Florists. 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,” shared NABC/USHBC President Kasey Cronquist. “She brings a depth of experience and leadership that gives me great confidence in where our blueberry industry can go from here.”
A self-proclaimed blueberry enthusiast since childhood, Sparks says, “I am grateful for the opportunity to join such a dynamic team to help build brand recognition, enhance thought leadership, amplify the value proposition and promote the amazing benefits of blueberries.”
Adam Winland has also joined the team as the financial controller for NABC/USHBC, a newly created position that will oversee the councils’ day-to-day accounting and provide strategic financial direction.
Winland brings 15 years of financial management experience to the councils. He most recently spent four years as controller for Ideal Dental Management Partners based in West Sacramento, California. He managed the finances of multiple dental offices and was involved in the acquisitions and sales of dental practices.
Right: Adam Winland.
Winland will be part of the councils’ executive team and 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.
“We’re excited to have Adam bring his knowledge and expertise to the team,” said Kasey Cronquist, president of NABC and USHBC. “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.”
“I’m thrilled to be part of these organizations and I look forward to helping NABC and USHBC achieve their respective visions,” Winland said. “Coming back to my ag roots is an absolute pleasure, and I’m happy to contribute to the success and sustainability of the councils.”