32 News & Views Magazine EDITION 1, 2017 Janet Edwards was elected CLFP's new chair at its Annual Board of Directors MeetingheldApril20-21inSonoma,Calif. Other 2017-18 CLFP officers elected were Tim Nelson of the Seneca Foods Corporation as first vice chair and Nick Kastle of VSP Products as second vice chair. Outgoing Chair Burt Fleischer of the Hilmar Cheese Company will continue as immediate past chair. What would you like people in the industry to know about Musco Family Olive Company? Musco Family Olive Co. is a 75-year old family business, currently being led by third generation chief executive officer Felix Musco. We take in half of the 70-80,000 ton domestic olive crop. Our Tracy plant has received numerous awards for sustain- ability in the areas of water and waste management, and was the first com- pany in the world to become SQF Level II Certified in Ethical Sourcing! To obtain this certification, a company must demonstrate a clear commitment to upholding ethical and transparent practices in food production by targeting three key areas within the organi- zation: environmental impact, social impact and business management practices. Musco is the #1 branded olive supplier and is the single largest contributor to growth in the olive category in the last 12 months. We are the leader in the new and emerging Snack/On-The-Go olive segment and have the most distributed branded olive item in the category with our Black Ripe Pitted Olives to Go! How long have you been with Musco, and what are your responsibilities? I am currently the Vice President of Operations & Human Resources. I started with Musco in 1987 as the Executive Secretary. During this time I interacted a lot with our growers, which was close to my heart being a farmer’s daughter. I was named the company’s first Human Resources Director in 1996, and then in 2005 I was asked to also direct the activities of our Tracy ripe olive plant. The Company grew considerably over this period of time from around 60 employees company- wide in 1987 to over 350 now. I had a lot of personal growth during this period of time as well, spending 12 of those years earning my associate’s, bachelor’s and MBA degrees during nights and weekends. How does your company benefit from CLFP membership, and how do you personally benefit? There is no question that Musco owes a great gratitude to the fine team at the California League of Food Processors. They were very instrumental in advocating for us in some water matters we were dealing with many years ago. And thinking back many years ago, we thought water issues were one of our industry’s greatest challenges. Fast forward to today, and there is any myriad of critical issues that pop up relentlessly. There is simply no way that any company, large or small, can keep up with these challenges with their own staff. The CLFP staff works tirelessly to stay abreast of both regulation and legislation and is flawless in their ability to keep us all updated timely and is always at the ready with an action plan. For me personally, the League is a wonderful way to connect with industry peers. The many relationships that I have built over the years are both helpful with advice and guidance when you’re trying to“figure stuff out”and gratifying in the form of networking and friendship. CLFP’s New 2017-18 Chair Janet Edwards CLFP’s current Chair Janet Edwards is only the second woman to serve as the organization’s chair in its 112-year history.