December 3/Selah, Wash./Press Release -- Tom Stokes, Tree Top president and chief executive officer, was named the 2013 Apple Person of the Year by The Packer. The publication presented the award to Stokes at the Va.-based U.S. Apple Association’s Annual Crop Outlook & Marketing Conference. Honored for his industry leadership and eye toward innovation, the 38-year industry veteran has served as a fruit advocate through his directorships at the U.S. Apple Association, Grocery Manufacturers Association, Processed Apples Institute, NW Food Processors Association and the Washington Apple Education Foundation. Most notable was his committee work to restore stability to the concentrate juice market, which was heavily impacted by a huge influx of concentrate from China.

“It’s always gratifying to be honored by your peers,” said Stokes. “I’m proud to have been able to represent and further the interests of the American apple industry.” Through the years, Stokes helped to secure favorable rulings from the International Trade Conference. He also supported and directed industry and association funds for nutrition research, including the first antioxidant studies at Cornell University for apples and apple products, sponsored by U.S. Apple.

In his nearly four-decade career at Tree Top, Stokes helped the company grow from a $12 million apple processor into a nearly $400 million fruit processing company, taking part in 12 acquisitions along the way.