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World Potato Congress Inc. announces Board changes

World Potato Congress Inc. announces Board changes: New President, Peter VanderZaag, Vice-President, Nora Olsen, Board Director, Brian Douglas and the retirement of John Griffin.

Following 16 years of dedicated volunteer service to the World Potato Congress Inc., Mr. John Griffin will be stepping down from his role of President of WPC. He has been involved with the WPC Board of Directors since 2007 serving in various capacities on the Board. He has played an integral role in the growth and development of the non-profit organization over his many years of service and the WPC Board of Directors wishes him well as he continues to focus on his potato operations in Elmsdale, PEI.

In his place, Mr. Griffin is pleased to announce that Dr. Peter VanderZaag will step into the role of President and CEO of WPC.

John Griffin 2023

Dr. VanderZaag has served the World Potato Congress since 2013 initially as an International Advisor and then as a Director. Peter played a key supportive role in developing the programs for the past 3 congresses in China, Peru and Ireland.

Peter, along with his daughter Ruth and son-in-law Nick, own and operate Sunrise Potato, a large potato farming operation in Canada (www.sunrisepotato.com). Peter has served numerous roles in international potato research and development with the International Potato Center and as a visiting professor at Yunnan Normal University in Kunming, China. John states: “Peter has positively impacted national potato programs in Asia and Africa with focus on developing new improved varieties, novel seed potato production and crop management. His knowledge of the potato crop is recognized worldwide.”

WPC is pleased to announce Dr. Nora Olsen as the new Vice-President of the World Potato Congress. Dr. Olsen is Professor and Potato Specialist with the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Idaho, USA.

Dr. Nora Olsen 2023

Nora has co-authored and presented hundreds of extension and scientific presentations and publications. She was the first female President of the Potato Association of America. She has been with the WPC as a Director since 2014 and during these years has been instrumental in launching the WPC webinar series.

The World Potato Congress is also pleased to have Brian Douglas accept the nomination of Director to the Board. Brian’s knowledge and experience through years of service to WPC as the General Manager will be an excellent asset in ensuring continuity as we move forward.

The Board of Directors look forward to working with Dr. VanderZaag, Dr. Olsen and Brian Douglas in their new leadership positions.

Be sure to save the dates for the 12th World Potato Congress to be held from June 23-26, 2024 in Adelaide, Australia.

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