Leading the Team

Mark D. Jansen, President and CEO of Blue Diamond Growers

Mark Jansen

Mr. Jansen was selected by the Blue Diamond Growers Board of Directors to become President and Chief Executive Officer on October 4, 2010. With a unique understanding of the branded retail and food service business, Mark’s career achievements include leading the brand growth for Haagen-Dazs, Betty Crocker, Totino’s, Pillsbury, Red Baron, Freschetta, Wolfgang Puck, Tony’s and Minh.

Prior to joining Blue Diamond®, Mark was president of Schwan’s Food Service in Marshall, Minnesota, where he led the profitable turnaround of the division. He also worked for the Pillsbury Company, Edison Brothers Stores, Inc. and General Mills, Inc.

Mark received his MBA in Marketing and Finance from the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University in 1994.

Mark currently serves on the Executive Council for the California Chamber of Commerce, is on the Executive Council for the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, is a Director for the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council, and is on the Board of Trustees for the Graduate Institute of Cooperative Learning.

Clinton Shick, Chairman of the Board (McFarland)

Clinton Shick

Clinton is a life-long farmer, growing up in the Kern County community of McFarland, the son and grandson of farmers. After graduating from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo with a degree in Farm Management, he began work on a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics at UC Davis. The lure of production agriculture however, drew him back to McFarland, where he went to work for a farm management company. Working with farm management clients helped in developing his own farming enterprise. He leased ground, planting cotton and other row crops, until he was able to plant his first almonds in 1973 on land he had leased with an option to purchase. His family entered the almond business in 1970 when his father planted his first orchard.

Clinton, along with his wife Debbie, continues to manage some of his family’s land and several hundred acres of his own planted in almonds and kiwis. He is also still involved in farm management of some almonds and walnuts.

Clinton was elected to the Blue Diamond Board in 1983 as the first director for the realigned District 9. The cooperative had redrawn its nine directorial districts in recognition of rapidly expanding almond acreage in Kern County and a southern shift in almond acreage in the Central Valley. He also serves on the Board of Central Valley Almond Association, a cooperative Huller/Sheller located in McFarland, and has served the Kern County Farm Bureau as their president. He and his wife are active in their church where they are both involved in leadership.

Board of Directors

Board of Directors group shot

Elected by the membership to three-year terms from each of the nine districts in the almond growing regions of California. The Board sets the strategic direction for the cooperative. Blue Diamond is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of not less than nine nor more than eleven Directors. Nine of the Directors, called District Directors, are elected by vote of the membership to represent each of the nine Directorial Districts in the state of California. The District Directors are authorized by Blue Diamond’s Bylaws to appoint no more than two additional Directors called Directors-at-Large. No members of management serve on the Board of Directors.

District Directors serve three-year terms and each year the terms of three Directors expire. Directors may be reelected indefinitely. Directors-at-Large serve one-year terms and can be appointed to successive terms indefinitely by majority vote of the District Directors.

The Board of Directors holds an Organization Meeting immediately following the Annual Meeting each year to elect the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, appoint Directors-at-Large and transact other business. Other regular meetings and special meetings are held throughout the year.

Liaison Committee

Liaison Committees serve as a communication link between the membership in each grower district and the cooperative’s management and board of directors. Committee members are elected to three-year terms and meet at least twice each year to discuss issues of concern to Blue Diamond’s membership.

Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee is comprised of two members from each of the nine liaison committees. Advisory Committee members serve three terms. The Advisory Committee meets quarterly with the cooperative’s management and board of directors to discuss and provide advise on issues that impact the membership.