Jennifer Parkhill Joins Next Big Thing Growers’ Cooperative as Executive Director

Wenatchee, WA – Next Big Thing Growers’ Cooperative announces Jennifer Parkhill to lead the organization as Executive Director effective June 2019. Parkhill will be responsible for developing strategic plans to advance the cooperative’s mission and objectives, promoting the co-op brand and communicating progress to grower members. She will also oversee operations and finances to ensure continued viability. The NBT Cooperative and its 45-plus members grow and market managed apple varieties, including the popular SweeTango® brand apple.

“We are so excited to have Jennifer join the team to lead us as we grow the SweeTango® brand and begin to advance the Kissabel® brand of colored fleshed apples,” said West Mathison, president of Stemilt, an NBT Cooperative member, and NBT Board Member. “Jennifer’s energy and deep experience in launching new products is a perfect skill fit for us.  The NBT Cooperative is nearly 10 years old with an innovative spirit.”  

Parkhill joins NBT Cooperative from US Foods® located in Rosemont, IL. US Foods is one of America’s leading foodservice distributors, partnering with approximately 250,000 restaurants and foodservice operators to help their businesses succeed. With nearly 25,000 employees and more than 60 locations, they provide foodservice customers with a broad and innovative food offering and a comprehensive suite of e-commerce, technology and business solutions. It was there that Parkhill served in a variety of marketing and category management positions over the past 19 years. During her tenure, she helped to launch new and innovative products and services, lead successful deployments of structure change, as well as develop strategic promotional and marketing plans to communicate US Foods objectives to customers.

Parkhill has a background in association communication and marketing with over 18 years of experience in graphic design and computer database management. She holds a dual degree from the University of Nevada, Reno in Journalism and Anthropology.

“I am excited to get started and dive deep into the operations of the NBT Cooperative. I want to continue their great work as well as capitalize on the NBT structure while strengthening relationships and knowledge for all our grower partners. A foundation of continued sharing and partnership will set NBT Cooperative up for more success. This platform will help form the base to introduce additional innovative varieties in the coming years,” Parkhill said.

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Next Big Thing, A Growers’ Cooperative is a 47-member cooperative of family growers, spread from Nova Scotia to Washington State, that grows and markets managed varieties of apples, beginning with SweeTango. You can find more information on SweeTango at or on Facebook at


Introduced in 2009, SweeTango is a premium apple variety that was developed by the University of Minnesota using time-honored horticultural techniques to cross the Honeycrisp and Zestar! apple varieties. SweeTango is known for its outstanding flavor: sweet with a lively touch of citrus, honey and spice. Its texture is unmatched; biting into this remarkably crisp apple produces a loud crunch and satisfying burst of delicious juice. A seasonal apple harvested in early fall, SweeTango is available during the apple season across the United States and Canada.