June 15, 2020 – – It is with great sadness we write about the passing of Martin Pohl of Hughson Nut Company on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. Martin passed away at his home in Hughson after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in late April. The Celebration of Life arrangements will be shared with Almond Alliance members when finalized by the family.
For many of you reading this, Martin has been part of your almond industry journey. Martin was known for many roles within the almond industry. Martin will be remembered for his strong leadership and passion for the California almond industry.
Martin was honored by the Almond Alliance as its Member of the Year in 2017. The Alliance noted he had started his first almond hulling operation in the mid-70s after beginning his career as a custom almond harvester. He joined what was then the Almond Hullers and Processors Association in 1981 and has played an active role in the association ever since. He and his original founding partners, Ham Cunningham and Cleo Barth, developed Hughson Nut Inc. in 1985. His skills in engineering and design were considered critical to the company’s success. Martin was instrumental in helping map out the Alliance’s strategic plan as it transitioned from the AHPA to the Almond Alliance.
Martin was also very active with the Almond Board of California. He served for over 10 years on the Board’s Technical and Regulatory Affairs Committee, serving as chairman for a number of years. He participated in the annual Washington DC legislative trip, meeting with lawmakers and federal agency staff to educate them about the industry.
In 2013 Martin was recognized as the recipient of the prestigious Almond Board of California’s Almond Achievement Award. His contributions to the industry’s world-renowned food safety programs have been unparalleled. He has also acted as a mentor for the Almond Board’s Leadership program since its inception. Last year, Martin participated in a podcast, with mentee Haley Fields, expressing his love of the almond industry and Hughson Nut, listen HERE.
Martin was a tremendous individual and had a true love for the almond industry and community. Martin’s good nature and sincerity were infectious and instantly created warmth in any room he entered. Many in the industry will tell you that Martin was the person they felt comfortable going to for a question or help. His warmth and willingness to help everyone is an example of how Martin was a silent leader and strived to make the world a better place.
Martin’s loss leaves a very big hole in the California almond industry and at the Almond Alliance. Martin’s legacy will live on by his impact on our community, his influence and his contribution to advancing the industry in his various roles of leadership. Rest in peace our dear friend Martin.
Martin is survived by wife of almost 55 years, Ingrid Pohl; son David Pohl; daughter Janet Pohl-Schollenberg; son-in-law Edward Schollenberg; grandchildren Abigail Pohl, Emma Pohl and Jake Schollenberg. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Pohl Family.