Good Fruit Grower

December 2015

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Page 50 of 95 Good Fruit Grower DECEMBER 2015 51 Grower of the Year learns more through industry involvement. by Shannon Dininny F or Grower of the Year Brenton Roy of Oasis Farms, life isn't just about the crops. It's about the people, too. In addition to serving on boards to pro- mote and lead the hop industry, Roy also has given time to wine associations that lobby on behalf of and help to educate growers and promote growers' interests. He is the former chair of the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers and Wine Grape Growers of America, is vice-chair of the Washington Wine Commission and is a found- ing member of Wine Yakima Valley. With a wife, three children, and a growing farm operation to run, why devote so much time to industry organizations? "Early on in my career, I really was pretty unpre- pared to take on this kind of responsibility. Those board involvements helped me learn each industry much faster than I would have otherwise," he said. And over the years, he's found he gets a lot out of serving: intellectual stimulation, an intimate knowl- edge of the political side of the respective industry of that organization, and getting to know people he otherwise might not meet. "The standout thing is getting to know the people," he said. Todd Newhouse, current chair of the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers who has served with Roy, considers him a model for future board chairs. "He has a good head for farming and politics, and his opinions are usually really well researched and backed up," said Newhouse, a member of Good Fruit Grower's advisory board. WAWGG Executive Director Vicky Scharlau has seen board members come and go over the years. She noted that it's often difficult for people who are the boss of their own operations and who run suc- cessful companies to be in a room with eight other people to make a decision jointly. Roy's skills as chairman stood out, she said. "He knows when to lead, he knows when to be part of the pack, and he knows when sometimes he has to push from behind. He's an astute student of inter- actions of people and how they best listen, how they best provide input, and also how to progress an issue. That's a real skillset." She also noted the delicate balance he struck as chair of the national wine grape growers board, since Washington is No. 2 in production behind California. "We can be completely overshadowed, or we can stand up and not do things in a consensus-based process," she said. "He did it exceptionally well and laid a lot of groundwork for how that should be done within the organization for future generations of board members." • Learning from the board 2002 Tom Mathison Wenatchee, Wa 2001 Gip Redman Yakima, Wa 2000 Dave and George Allan Yakima, Wa 1999 Peters family Yakima, Wa 1998 Fleming family OrOndO/QuincY, Wa 1997 Bruce Allen Yakima, Wa 2014 Craig and Mike O'Brien PrOsser, Wa 2013 Jeff Colombini califOrnia, ca 2012 Scott Smith tOnasket, Wa 2011 John Rice and family PennsYlvania, Pa 2010 John Carter the dalles, Or 2009 Jim Doornink Yakima, Wa GOOD FRUIT GROWERS OF THE YEAR 2008 Ralph Broetje PascO, Wa 2007 Mike and Laura Mrachek Wenatchee, Wa 2006 Norm Gutzwiler Wenatchee, Wa 2005 Denny Hayden PascO, Wa 2004 Warren Morgan, QuincY, Wa 2003 Tom Bailey the dalles, Or 2015 Brenton Roy PrOsser, Wa

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