Courtesy of the American Pistachio Growers 

Veteran sports marketing leader Zachary Fraser to head the non-profit trade association

American Pistachio Growers (APG), the non-profit association responsible for driving global awareness of the quality, nutrition, and brand power of American-grown pistachios, has hired sports-marketing leader Zachary Fraser as the organization’s new President & CEO. Fraser joins APG after four years with LEARFIELD, the influential media and technology company behind many of collegiate sports most influential brands, where he led the company’s Fresno State athletics (lower case) property.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are very excited to welcome Zachary as the new president of American Pistachio Growers,” said APG Board Chair Richard Kreps. “We feel his successful track record as a leader in multiple industries coupled with his passion were just what APG needs at this time. After several years of working with Fraser in his capacity with his previous employer at our annual conference, we are very excited to have him lead our exceptional team in our time of significant growth in the pistachio industry.”

Fraser enjoyed success at the helm of Fresno State’s LEARFIELD team. As the company responsible for managing traditional and digital media rights, broadcast platforms, and media/sponsorship sales for the Fresno State Bulldogs, his team was recognized for multiple achievements across the entire landscape of collegiate sports-media. Fraser was instrumental in helping Bulldog sports properties win “Property of the Year” among peer athletic departments, following the 2022-23 varsity season. That same year, Fraser was recognized as the “Chairman’s Club” overall winner, among peer vice-presidents and general managers.

Prior to arriving in California’s Central Valley, Zachary was the founding general manager and managing partner at Pacific Baseball Ventures (PBV). PBV is an investment group which owns and operates summer collegiate baseball teams in Walla Walla, WA (Walla Walla Sweets), and Yakima Valley, WA (Yakima Valley Pippins). Under his stewardship, more than 30 players who were scouted and signed by PBV went on to play Major League Baseball–including Jarren Duran (Boston Red Sox), and Cody Poteet (New York Yankees).

While working amid the fertile valleys of Southeastern Washington, Fraser gained a significant appreciation for the region’s agricultural marketing initiatives. He also gained valuable non-profit operations and leadership experience, serving as board chair of Visit Walla Walla, as well as leadership positions on the boards of numerous other non-profits.

“I am humbled and excited to join such a talented and dedicated group of remarkable professionals, who are passionate about serving our 800-plus grower members in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas,” said Fraser. “I wake up every morning excited and grateful to meet with, and learn from, growers, processors, vendors, suppliers and consumers of the best nut in the world. How lucky am I that I get to work alongside some of the best people in the industry to educate and market a product that I am already a huge fan of? Let’s get every consumer eating the most nutrient-dense, protein-packed nut in the world – American-grown pistachios.”

Fraser looks forward to meeting APG members and the greater pistachio community on July 26th at APG’s annual member luncheon in Visalia.

Fraser is fluent in English and French. He and his wife JoLynn have three children, including a son who lives in Ghana, West Africa.