TURLOCK – The Almond Alliance is proud to announce the appointment of Blake Vann as its new Chairman, effective in 2024. Currently serving as the Chief Operating Officer of Vann Family Orchards, Blake Vann is a distinguished graduate of Sacramento State University.  Vann brings a wealth of experience as a vertically integrated grower, buyer, and processor. 

Blake Vann’s unwavering dedication to the almond industry has been evident throughout his career, showcasing an exceptional blend of experience as both a grower and a processor,” said Aubrey Bettencourt, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Almond Alliance. “We look forward to the profound impact Blake will make in his new role, steering us towards prosperity and resilience in an ever-evolving global market and political climate.” 

In addition to selecting a new chairman, the Alliance welcomes three new members, including Lisa Marroquin of McFarland, Bret Sill of Bakersfield, and Robert Holterman of Wasco. 

“Adding Lisa Marroquin, Bret Sill, and Robert Holterman expands our footprint throughout the state, ensuring Almond farmers, workers, and the industry are well represented across California and the United States,” concluded Bettencourt.

Marroquin boasts an impressive 30-year career at the Central Valley Almond Association, where she ascended from a weightmaster to the esteemed position of General Manager. Her proven track record of problem-solving and effective communication at all industry levels ensures she will continue significantly to the Alliance. Marroquin currently serves on the Almond Alliance Huller & Sheller Committee.

Sill graduated from Cal Poly, SLO, with an agribusiness degree. He started his career in the produce industry in Oxnard and was transferred in the late 90s to Atlanta to open a fresh-cut facility processing greens. Bret was responsible for sales and marketing to retail customers in the Midwest and Southeast regions, where he eventually settled back in Bakersfield, where he began working with Family Farm, where he oversees a fourth-generation family farm that grows almonds, alfalfa, corn, wheat, cover crops, and more. Sill served as an advisor on the Almond Alliance Endangered Species Tiger Team.

Holtermann is a fourth-generation farmer in Wasco. Wearing many hats, Holtermann is President and Owner of Double H Farms, a Kern County almond grower, and CFO for Holtermann Farms, his family’s farm management company, where he works with his father and brother. Holtermann also owns Top Nut, LLC, where he is an independent grower representative marketing almonds. Holtermann serves on the Almond Alliance Grower Committee.




About the Almond Alliance

Almond Alliance is the leading authority in state and national policy, championing American almond farmers, industry, and community for the continued global growth, innovation, and success of American almonds and agriculture.

Established in 1980, the Almond Alliance is a non-profit trade association with a local and international network of almond processors, hullers/shellers, growers, and allied businesses. The Alliance is dedicated to providing resources and solutions for our members, ensuring industry success and growth opportunities. Learn more at almondalliance.org