Meet the Staff

Mike Joyner, President

Mike Joyner is FFVA's president. Joyner’s experience in agricultural and environmental issues runs deep. He previously served as assistant commissioner of agriculture and chief of staff for Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, helping to lead the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for almost eight years. Before that, Joyner represented clients throughout Florida and the United States before the Florida Legislature and state regulatory agencies.

He also served in public affairs and environmental affairs positions for The St. Joe Company and Progress Energy (now Duke Energy) and worked as chief of staff for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. 

Martha Tucker, Assistant to the President; Meeting and Event Manager

TuckerAs executive assistant to the president, Martha Tucker serves as liaison to FFVA’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors. She also serves as the meeting and event manager, overseeing the association’s various functions and the co-coordination and planning of FFVA’s annual convention.  She is a member of the Professional Convention Management Association.

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Mike Aerts, Director, Science and Regulatory Affairs

Mike Aerts Director of Production and Supply Chain ManagementMike Aerts is director of science and regulatory affairs. He represents grower interests on critical areas of importance to FFVA members including pest management, crop production practices, food safety and international marketing access related to crop production needs.

Mike also serves as president of Third Party Registrations Inc., an FFVA subsidiary that manages the registration process under liability limitation for specific pest management tools that would not otherwise be available to FFVA producer members. 

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Mike Carlton, Director of Labor Relations 

Mike Carlton Director of Labor RelationsAs FFVA's labor relations director, Mike Carlton's primary responsibility is representing the association in labor related legislative efforts on the federal level.  He advises growers on employment records, worker training, housing, OSHA regulations and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Carlton also is responsible for coordinating members’ use of the H-2A guest worker program and assisting with compliance efforts with labor laws affecting agriculture.

Carlton also leads the Agricultural Labor Relations Forum held annually in Orlando. Agricultural employers from across the country attend to learn about wage and hour compliance, the Worker Protection Standard, and the H-2A program. 

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Lisa Lochridge, APR, Director of Public Affairs

Lisa Lochridge Director of Public Affairs

Lisa Lochridge serves as director of the public affairs division, managing FFVA's communication with its members and the media on topics ranging from food safety to immigration reform. She directs a variety of communication channels, including the association's annual report, blog content, member alerts and online community forum.

Lochridge also is responsible for planning and coordinating FFVA's annual convention.

Specializing in media relations and crisis communication, she is a former veteran journalist, holding numerous local news editor positions at the Orlando Sentinel for 21 years. She is nationally accredited in public relations. She also serves on the board of the Alliance for Food & Farming and Agriculture Communicators of Florida.

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Kerry Kates, Director of Water and Natural Resources

Kerry Kates Director of Water and Natural Resources

Kerry Kates serves as director of water and natural resources.  He is responsible for monitoring and working with five regional water management districts, state agencies, local municipalities and the Florida Legislature, and advising FFVA members of regulatory and legislative actions related to water resources, land use and property rights.

Kates spent five years as a civil analyst and project manager of a nationwide engineering and land-planning firm. He is a licensed professional engineer and LEED-accredited professional. 

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Peter Chaires, Director of Association Services

As FFVA's director of association services, Chaires serves as Executive Vice President of Florida Citrus Packers and Executive Director of New Varieties Development & Management Corp. NVDMC seeks to acquire, evaluate, license, sub-license, protect and manage proprietary citrus varieties on behalf of the Florida grower. 

NVDMC is funded through contract with the Florida Department of Citrus and has four varieties under commercial contract (IFAS Sugar Belle, UCR Tango, IFAS Valquarius, U.S. Early Pride) and 16 varieties under evaluation contract (from California, South Africa, Australia, Japan, and Italy). NVDMC supports targeted research – with about 75 percent of its budget going to variety development research at UF and USDA.

With the Florida Citrus Packers, Chaires manages business development, market access and food safety projects.  Chaires is also manager of the Citrus Administrative Committee.

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Sonia Tighe, Director of Membership; Executive Director, Florida Specialty Crop Foundation

Sonia Tighe is director of membership for FFVA. She also manages the Florida Specialty Crop Foundation, the 501(c)3 organization for FFVA. The Foundation focuses on research, education and philanthropy in the Florida specialty crop industry. Tighe works on marketing grants to help promote sales of Florida crops and administers a scholarship program for children of migrant workers.

Additionally, Tighe directs the Emerging Leader Development Program, targeted to members of FFVA ages 25 to 45. She is chair of the Florida Ag Expo Committee, and is a member of the Florida chapter of National Agri-Marketing Association and the RCMA Christmas Card Steering Committee.

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Tori Rumenik, Commodity Services & Supply Chain Manager

Tori Rumenik focuses on supply chain issues for the industry. Rumenik also manages FFVA's Agricultural Exchange Management Group (consisting of the Sunshine Sweet Corn Farmers of Florida and the Florida Vegetable Exchange). This group provides grower/shippers with critical market and harvest reports to help them maximize returns for their crops.

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Alyssa List, Communications Manager

Alyssa BadalamentiAlyssa List serves as the communications manager for the association, ensuring the latest news, information and resources are regularly communicated to FFVA members by developing and managing content on numerous channels. List manages the association's website, newsletters, mobile app and online community forum, FFVA Connect

To cultivate relations between the association, its members and the public at large, List manages FFVA's social media channels, informing and advocating on behalf of the specialty crop industry. She is nationally certified in crisis communications. She also serves as President of the Agriculture Communicators of Florida and on the board of the Public Relations Society of America - Orlando Chapter.

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Christine Synan, Labor Relations Manager

Christine Synan, Labor Relations Manager, was hired by FFVA in 2003 as a Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). case worker.  In 2005, Synan transferred to the marketing department where she assisted with the monitoring of the sweet corn harvest for southern Florida.  In 2010, she transferred to the labor department working to help agricultural employers secure foreign workers utilizing the H-2A guest worker visa program.  The program has since grown from 5 clients to over 50 clients with worksites in 16 states.

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If you are interested in joining FFVA as a producer member or as an industry trade associate member, please contact FFVA at (321) 214-5200 or visit our membership page