Thank you to our speakers and participants in the 2020 Harvest Meeting presentation.
Please contact the Idaho Potato Commission for additional information or with any questions regarding the presentation.
Idaho Potato Commission
Frank Muir was appointed President and CEO for the Idaho Potato Commission in 2003. Muir is leading Idaho’s effort in expanding its “Famous Potatoes” throughout the world via aggressive marketing strategies including creative advertising, public relations and social media. He is regularly interviewed by the media and has been the potato’s most faithful defender. He received a Master’s Degree, with highest honors in Business Administration from Brigham Young University. His marketing career began at General Mills Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he successfully managed several consumer products under the Betty Crocker, Nature Valley and Big G cereal brand names. More recently, he was Vice President and General Manager at ConAgra Foods, Irvine, California. He successfully led major turnaround strategies for several national and regional brands and led acquisition teams for several companies and brands.
President & CEO
Blair Richardson was born in Texas where his family has been involved in farming and since the region was part of Mexico. He graduated from Texas A&M University in 1989 and moved to California where he spent 24 years involved in California agriculture. This included time at organizations with business activities in the cotton, almond and fresh fruit industries.
Blair has been involved in the produce industry for the past 17 years, beginning with the California Tree Fruit Agreement in 2002. After five years as president of this industry association, Richardson returned to the private sector to manage a 1,200 acre farming/packing/sales company with products ranging from peaches and apricots to plums, citrus and grapes. As the CEO for Potatoes USA, Blair has now been part of the potato industry for the past six years where he challenges everyone involved to continually think differently about how we promote potatoes. He also owns a small cherry farm in Sanger, California.
Blair has served on numerous industry boards including the United Fresh Foundation Board, the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), the Produce Marketing Association’s Foundation for Industry Talent, the California Minor Crops Council board, the Alliance for Food and Farming, the Alliance for Potato Research and Education and others.
Chief Executive Officer
National Potato Council
Kam Quarles is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Potato Council. He assumed this role in May of 2019 after having previously served as Vice President of Public Policy and Communications since December of 2016
Prior to joining the Council staff, Kam worked for seven years as the lead agriculture lobbyist for the international law firm of McDermott Will & Emery. In addition to the National Potato Council, Kam’s clients included the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, Sunkist Growers, Chiquita Brands International, the California Avocado Commission and other specialty crop interests.
He also previously served as vice president for the United Fresh Produce Association and vice president of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. Before joining these trade associations, Kam was the managing director of the Washington, D.C., office for Sunkist Growers farmer cooperative, the world’s largest citrus marketing organization. He has also served as a staff member in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
Mr. Quarles holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Southern California and a Master’s degree in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University in Virginia.
He and his wife Karen live on Capitol Hill with their fifteen year-old daughter Cate.