UnitedAg Welcomes Three New Members to Board of Directors


UnitedAg is pleased to announce the successful election and addition of three distinguished professionals to its esteemed Board of Directors. The newly elected members are:

  • Matt Bastone: CFO, Plantel Nurseries, Inc.
  • Marylu Ramirez: HR Manager, GoodFarms
  • Gary Thiara: President & CEO, Empire Farming Company, LLC

These individuals were elected by regular members in recognition of their outstanding leadership and expertise within their respective fields. UnitedAg believes that their diverse skills will greatly contribute to the organization's strategic direction and governance.

The 2024/25 Board of Directors now comprises the following members:

  • Veronica Urzua-Alvero: Chair, Church Brothers Farms
  • Eric Bream: Vice Chair, Bream Family Farms, Inc.
  • Loretta Brown: Treasurer, Rijk Zwaan USA, Inc.
  • Matt Bastone: Plantel Nurseries, Inc.
  • Sarah Gargan: Kaweah Pump, Inc.
  • Santiago Martin, Jr.: Trilogy Personnel & Land Management, Inc.
  • Daniel Nelson: Latin Berry Plants
  • Richard Plato: Christopher Ranch, LLC
  • Marylu Ramirez: GoodFarms
  • Gary Thiara: Empire Farming Company, LLC

UnitedAg extends a warm welcome to Matt Bastone, Marylu Ramirez, and Gary Thiara, expressing anticipation for their valuable contributions. Their insights and collaboration with the Board of Directors will play a pivotal role in advancing UnitedAg's mission.

About Matt Bastone:

Matt is the CFO of Plantel Nurseries, a large vegetable transplant nursery in Santa Maria, CA. Matt is a CPA with over 18 years of diverse experience in finance, accounting, and operations. He began his career with Deloitte in Los Angeles, performing audit work for clients in a variety of industries. Prior to joining Plantel, Matt had most recently worked with DAOU Vineyards as the VP of Finance & Accounting, as well as Walker Zanger as the Managing Director of their ceramic tile factory in Mexico.

About Marylu Ramirez:

Marylu joined the GoodFarms team to oversee human resource compliance with a focus on improving data quality from the field to the office. With a career spanning 29 years in the agricultural sector, including a dedicated nine-year tenure at GoodFarms. Marylu holds an Associates of Science in Accounting from Heald Business College and Human Resources certifications from various industry institutions.

About Gary Thiara:

Gary Thiara is President & CEO, Empire Farming Company, responsible for the management of a diversified farming operation engaged in growing prunes, walnuts, almonds, peaches and raisins in the northern and central valleys of California. He has served as Chairman of the Board, Sunsweet Growers Inc. and is currently a member of the California Prune Board. Gary has a Master of Business Administration from Santa Clara University and a Bachelor of Science degree from California State University Fresno.  

About UnitedAg

Established in 1980, UnitedAg represents more than 1,000 agriculture-affiliated member companies and helps its members meet their employee benefits needs, promotes their interests with lawmakers, and complying with health legislation and regulation. Based in Irvine, Calif., UnitedAg has offices in Irvine, Salinas, and wellness centers throughout the Central Valley and Northern California and provides benefits to over 55,000 agricultural workers in California and Arizona.

Visit us at http://www.unitedag.org or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

For more information, contact Maribel Ochoa at 714.615.5583.



UnitedAg Welcomes Three New Members to Board of Directors

Contact Data