Cit­rus Re­search Board an­nounces in­terim pres­i­dent

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The Cit­rus Re­search Board (CRB) is pleased to an­nounce Franco Bernardi will serve as the or­ga­ni­za­tions in­terim pres­i­dent. As of Oc­to­ber 15, Bernardi will lead daily staff op­er­a­tions and man­age­ment.

Bernardi's lead­er­ship will guide the CRB dur­ing

the next sev­eral months as it cel­e­brates its 50th an­niver­sary and con­tin­ues to in­vest in so­lu­tions to huan­g­long­bing (HLB), the deadly cit­rus dis­ease that has dev­as­tated other cit­rus-grow­ing re­gions world­wide.

“We are ex­tremely for­tu­nate to be able to call on one of the lead­ers of our in­dus­try to steer the helm as our search com­mit­tee looks for a full-time pres- ident,” said CRB Chair­man Dan Dreyer, who will an­nounce Bernardi's ap­point­ment for­mally on Oc­to­ber 10 at the an­nual Cal­i­for­nia Cit­rus Con­fer­ence, which is at­tended by hun­dreds of cit­rus grow­ers, re­searchers and other in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Bernardi held a seat on the CRB Board for 27-years, serv­ing as CRB

chair­man from 1997-99,

Bernardi had chaired a num­ber of CRB com­mit­tees dur­ing his nearly three decades on the Board. He also served on the boards of other or­ga­ni­za­tions, such as the Cen­tral Cal­i­for­nia Orange Grow­ers Co­op­er­a­tive, Cal­i­for­nia Cit­rus Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee, Cal­i­for­nia Cit­rus Mu­tual and the

Cal­i­for­nia Cit­rus Qual­ity Coun­cil, to name only a few.

Early in Bernardi’s ca­reer, he worked at Del Monte Foods in their ag re­search di­vi­sion and then as a se­nior re­search as­so­ciate for the Univer­sity of Ari­zona. For 38 years prior to his re­tire­ment, he served in man­age­ment at a num­ber of cit­rus op­er­a­tions, in­clud­ing Su­pe­rior Farm­ing, Paramount Cit­rus, Sun World, Duda Farm Fresh Foods and Agri­cul­tural Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment.

The Lucca, Italy na­tive is a 28-year res­i­dent of Visalia, who stud­ied

agri­cul­tural sci­ence at Cal­i­for­nia Polytech­nic State Univer­sity, San Luis Obispo. He and his wife Kathy have been mar­ried for 52 years and have five chil­dren and 11 grand­chil­dren.

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