Alicia Adler, an experienced grant writing and marketing executive who’s secured over $10 million in state and federal grant funds for U.S. specialty crops, has joined the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) and the North American Blueberry Council (NABC) as vice president.
Adler brings a wealth of experience to her new role, both in writing grant proposals and developing export markets. She nearly quadrupled the U.S. highbush blueberry industry’s USDA funding from $350,000 to $1.36 million in 2019. And after initiating a global assessment of opportunities and challenges for U.S. highbush blueberries in 28 countries and regions, she developed an online database for growers with user-friendly trade data, regulatory information and opportunity analysis.
“Both NABC and USHBC are committed to leading the way to grow and expand market opportunities globally,” said Kasey Cronquist, president of NABC and USHBC. “Alicia brings a track record of success and experience, and a vision for leadership that will serve our industry well into the future.”
“Alicia is a welcome addition to our team. Although she’s worked with us for some time, having Alicia as a full-time employee will help us move forward at a faster pace,” noted Chris Barnhill, chair of USHBC.
Tom Bodtke, chair of NABC, added, “Alicia has a wealth of experience that matches up with the needs of our organization and industry, and we look forward to her dedication and involvement in our blueberry family.”
Previously, Adler was founder and owner of AMA Grant Management Services, a firm she started in 2017 after several years of providing grant writing and management services for various U.S. agricultural industries. She began her career at Bryant Christie Inc., where she led the international marketing and promotion unit as a senior manager.
“Since joining the blueberry industry four years ago, I’ve seen major shifts and trends drive change,” Adler said. “New voices are emerging. It’s no secret that the global blueberry supply is growing and U.S. producers know they need more promotion, more policy initiatives, and more research and data to secure their market share. I’m excited to get to work on those priorities, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
A contractor for the organization since 2015, Adler has secured $3.67 million in USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) funding, with another $750,000 pending approval. Among her successful grant proposals are $1.8 million to address technical barriers to trade and $600,000 from the Trump administration’s tariff relief program.
In more than a decade representing U.S. specialty crops, Adler has also directed global market development programs in North and Southeast Asia (including China, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia); secured $580,000 in state and federal grant programs for the U.S. and California cut flower industries; and organized industry trade missions to explore opportunities in emerging markets.
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About USHBC and NABC: The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) is an agriculture promotion and research group made up of blueberry farmers, processors and importers who work together to research, innovate and promote the growth and well-being of the blueberry industry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides independent oversight of the organization. The North American Blueberry Council (NABC) is a national trade organization made up of members of the blueberry industry and serves as the lead advocate for the success and profitability of the highbush blueberry industry, while encouraging cooperation among the international blueberry community.