Chicago (August 18, 2023) — The U.S. Apple Association (USApple) has named a new chair to lead its Board of Directors. Washington grower and shipper Steve Clement, CEO of Sage Fruit Company, will serve the 2023-24 term. 

Sage Fruit Company, based in Yakima, WA, has five warehouse/packing partners and ships more than $280 million of fresh fruit globally.  Clement has been with Sage Fruit Company for 18 years. He also sits on the governing board of the Northwest Fruit Exporters. His immediate past role at USApple was vice chair of the Board of Directors.  

“When Steve speaks, people listen,” said USApple President and CEO, Jim Bair. “He leads from the front, has a growth mindset, and is an expert at building a unified culture. We’re thrilled to have him as our chair during a critical time in Washington D.C.”

Prior to Sage Fruit Company, Clement was a business consultant, working with privately held organizations on mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning, and ownership succession planning. Clement is fluent in Spanish, which he uses regularly in managing relationships with partners in Chile and Mexico. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Utah, and an MBA in finance from Brigham Young University.

Clement succeeds 2022-23 USApple Chair Brenda Briggs, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Rice Fruit Company in Pennsylvania.

USApple’s 2023-24 elected board officers include:

  • Chair: Steve Clement, CEO, Sage Fruit Company; WA
  • Vice Chair: Brett Baker, United Apple Sales LLC; NY
  • Secretary: Steve Smith, Vice President, Marketing, Washington Fruit; WA
  • Treasurer: Kaari Stannard, President & CEO, New York Apple Sales; NY
  • Immediate Past Chair: Brenda Briggs, VP of Sales and Marketing, Rice Fruit Company; PA 


USApple is a member-driven association that represents all segments of the apple industry, including growers, packers, shippers, marketers, processors, suppliers, state/regional associations, and other businesses engaged in the industry. We are the national voice and resource center serving the American apple industry which supports 150,000 jobs, generating more than $8 billion in total wages, and is responsible for almost $23 billion in economic output.

Lynsee Gibbons