The Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) Board of Directors has appointed Dante Galeazzi its new president and CEO, effective May 1.
TIPA Chairman Jimmy Bassetti of J&D Produce said, “We are excited to have Dante taking the reins at TIPA. He has the energy and passion, as well as the industry knowledge, to continue the tremendous momentum we have built over the last five years.”
Having built a career in the produce industry, Galeazzi brings vast experience to the position, according to TIPA. From growing up on a small farm in Manteca, California, to studying international business at Cal State University, Monterey Bay, and holding positions in produce transportation and logistics, produce sales, operations management and grower relations, Galeazzi understands the issues of the TIPA membership. In addition to his career experience, Galeazzi is no stranger to TIPA, having served on the organization’s board for nearly 10 years, including eight years on the executive committee and a full two-year term as board chairman.
Galeazzi said, “To say I am excited about this opportunity would be a huge understatement. I feel such an incredibly strong connection to this industry, especially to Texas and to the TIPA organization. I’m eager to get to work and continue delivering value to our membership through events like VIVA Fresh and providing issues management to our domestic grower/shippers and importer members.”
Galeazzi was hired after the board initiated a search and interview process when current President and CEO Bret Erickson announced that he intended to pursue a new leadership position with an international agricultural technology firm following the completion of the 2017 VIVA Fresh Produce Expo, which will be held April 20-22 in Austin.
“Choosing to leave TIPA has absolutely been the most difficult professional decision I have ever made,” said Erickson. “I’ve worked closely with Dante on the TIPA Board, and he has provided countless hours of volunteer service and guidance to this organization. I am confident his dedication and enthusiasm will serve the industry and our membership well.”
Bassetti added, “We’re sorry to see Bret leave. He brought a great attitude and confident leadership to TIPA, which has been reflected in our growth, influence and success. The positive impact he made at the association and our industry will be felt for years to come. We’ll miss Bret, but we wish him the best as he begins a new chapter in his career.”
TIPA was created in 1942 to represent the interest of shippers of Texas-grown fruits and vegetables. In 1996, the scope of the organization was expanded to address the problems and opportunities surrounding the importation and marketing of foreign-grown produce. TIPA’s member companies include growers, domestic shippers, import shippers, specialty shippers, distributors and material and service providers.