Potatoes USA Appoints 2023-24 Domestic Marketing Committee Co-Chairs

Published online: Jun 29, 2023 Articles
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Denver – Leah Halverson of Grand Forks, North Dakota, and Les Alderete of Monte Vista, Colorado, were elected to the Potatoes USA Executive Committee on March 15 at the organization’s annual meeting.

This marks Halverson’s fifth year as a board member and her third year on the Executive Committee. Before her current role, she served for two years as co-chair of the Industry Outreach Committee.

Alderete is in his fourth year on the board and is entering his first year on the Executive Committee. Previously, he served as a member of the Domestic Marketing Committee.

With over two decades of experience in the potato industry, Halverson currently serves as the Director of Marketing at Black Gold Farms, a family-owned, fourth-generation farm specializing in chipping potatoes. Headquartered in North Dakota, Black Gold Farms operates nine additional farming locations across the United States.

As co-chair of the Domestic Marketing Committee, she is “thrilled to be part of an initiative that highlights this mighty vegetable’s incredible potential, showcasing the potato’s versatility, nutritional value, and ability to fuel our bodies and minds while bringing innovation and inspiration to tables across the nation.”

Besides her involvement with the Potatoes USA Board, Halverson is an active member of the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA), the Potato Growers Association covering the Northern Plains, and the chair of the Talent Committee for the International Fresh Produce Association.

Alderete holds the position of General Manager at Skyline Potato, a prominent shipping operation in southwest Colorado. In this role, he is responsible for a wide range of tasks, including pricing management, collaborating with growers, and ensuring the supply of raw products for clients. With an impressive 26 years of experience in the potato industry, Alderete is a first-generation potato farmer who is deeply committed to the field. When asked what he looks forward to as a co-chair, Alderete says he is “eager to contribute to Potatoes USA’s mission by expanding its messaging and strengthening its domestic presence, building on the achievements of previous Chairs.” Additionally, he is an active member of the Colorado potato organization in the San Luis Valley.

The Domestic Marketing Committee oversees the Potatoes USA consumer, nutrition, retail, ingredient, and foodservice marketing programs. The committee is focused on encouraging more people to eat more potatoes in more ways and positioning potatoes as a performance food. The marketing programs are designed to inspire potato innovation across all channels, cultivate strategic partnerships, and advocate for scientific research to demonstrate potatoes’ role in enhancing overall physical and mental performance.

For more information, visit PotatoesUSA.com.