California Raisin Marketing Board Announces New Hires in the New Year

Press Contact:

Media Contact:
Jenna Kirkwood/916.492.5305

CRMB Contact:
Larry Blagg/559.248.0287


Three New Personnel Add to Growing Team in the Central Valley

FRESNO, Calif., January 5, 2009 – The California Raisin Marketing Board (CRMB), the state marketing order that represents the nearly 3,000 growers of California Raisins, today announced the addition of three new members to the CRMB team: Mr. Gary Schulz as President, Mr. Rick O’Fallon as Marketing Director, and Mrs. Cookie Fritz as Administrative Assistant.

“We are delighted to welcome Gary, Rick and Cookie to the CRMB team,” said Larry Blagg, Senior Vice President of Marketing for the CRMB. “Under Gary’s leadership and with each of their experience and support, we look forward to the continued success and innovation of CRMB marketing programs.”

Mr. Schulz brings more than 25 years of agriculture business experience to his new position as CRMB President. Serving as General Manager for the non-profit, International Agri-Center for more than 15 years, he managed the world’s largest ag trade show, World Ag Expo. With more than 1,500 exhibitors, Mr. Schulz was directly responsible for marketing World Ag Expo to exhibitors and attendees across the country and in more than 60 foreign nations. Most recently, Mr. Schulz has consulted on organization management through his own consulting firm and served as Program Director for the Central Valley Business Incubator, where he both recruited and coached entrepreneurial companies.

Along with his position as CRMB President, Mr. Schulz has been appointed to the position of President and General Manager of the Raisin Administrative Committee (RAC). Co-located with the CRMB in Fresno, the RAC serves the raisin industry as the federal marketing order, created in 1949 and overseen by the United States Department of Agriculture. The 47-member Committee monitors acreage, production, quality control, an export program, and promotion and marketing research. Their efforts are funded by raisin handlers and the grower reserve pool. The RAC promotes raisin exports through the work of representatives in seven international regions.

As Marketing Director, Mr. O’Fallon brings many years of experience in the food industry with him to the CRMB. Most recently, Mr. O’Fallon served for 11 years with the National Pork Board as National Marketing Manager for the Western Region. During that time, he helped promote a wide variety of pork products to the processor, food service and retail industries. Mr. O’Fallon also worked in a variety of sales and management positions for Foster Farms for 14 years and has very close contacts at all levels of the food and marketing industries.

Mrs. Cookie Fritz joins the CRMB as Administrative Assistant. Mrs. Fritz has lived in Clovis for 23 years and has more than 10 years experience as an Administrative Assistant for the Affordable Housing Development Corporation. She has also worked in the property management and accounting fields and as a substitute clerical assistant for the Clovis Unified School District. Mrs. Fritz brings a well-regarded professionalism and positive attitude to the CRMB team.

About the California Raisin Marketing Board
A State Marketing Order in 1998 created the California Raisin Marketing Board and it is 100 percent grower funded. Its mission is to support and promote the increased use of California-grown raisins and sponsor crop production, nutrition and market research. For more information about the California Raisin Marketing Board and to browse delicious recipes, visit