Midwest Apple Improvement Association Names Bill Pitts as Horticultural Consultant and Karen Burkhart as Senior Vice President of Atlantic Operation; Bill Dodd Comments
AMHERST, OH - As it continues to build out its team of over 1,000 apple experts, the Midwest Apple Improvement Association (MAIA) recently announced it has tapped two industry veterans to fill crucial roles. The association has appointed Bill Pitts as Horticultural Consultant and Karen Burkhart as Senior Vice President of Atlantic Operations.
In his new role, Pitts will utilize his deep background in horticulture as he works with growers to increase their MAIA-licensed apple production on their orchards. Prior to joining the MAIA team, he spent 42 years at Wafler Nursery in Wolcott, New York, according to a press release, where he worked in all aspects of the orchard nursery, including production, tree sales, shipping, evaluating new varieties, efficiency, and quality control.
Also joining the team is Karen Burkhart.
She will optimize her extensive experience in production and marketing to promote MAIA’s apples to distributors and retailers and support grower marketing programs. Burkhart started her career in fruit tree sales at Hilltop Nurseries before joining Knouse Foods Cooperative, where she served as the pesticide and raw fruit coordinator during her 24-year tenure. She also obtained a B.S. in agriculture from The Ohio State University, where she majored in pomology.
Both Burkhart and Pitts will be heavily involved in helping to identify and market MAIA’s future varieties, the release noted.
President Bill Dodd commented on these two exciting company appointments.
“We are incredibly excited to bring such strong talent onto the MAIA team, especially at such an important time for our association,” said Dodd. “We’re past 1,000 members and growing. Our flagship EverCrisp is gaining widespread appreciation and fandom at farm stands and retail, and we’re moving further down the process of bringing newer brands like LudaCrisp and Rosalee to a wider audience. Karen and Bill are great additions to help us reach our goals.”
Congratulations to both of these industry vets on their recent appointments!