"Providing Jobs That Feed The World"

Keynote Speakers

On each day of the conference, take a 15-minute break after a morning full of expert analyses and insights

then enjoy your lunch while listening to these premier speakers. 

Register Here

The Intersection of Politics & Agriculture

12:05-12:50pm • Tuesday, November 17

Dave Puglia was selected President and CEO of Western Growers in 2019. Since joining the organization in 2005, he has focused on leading public policy initiatives affecting the agriculture industry in California and other western states. Puglia has been at the forefront of major legislative and regulatory issues involving water supply, water quality, energy, air quality and labor. His work has included negotiating statewide water bond provisions to enhance storage capacity, advocating for a comprehensive safe drinking water solution in partnership with environmental justice leaders, and negotiating the nation’s first state regulatory standard for prevention of heat illness in agricultural settings.

Before joining Western Growers, Puglia served for seven years in the California Attorney General’s Office, first as Press Secretary and then as Director of Public Affairs and Communications. He has also worked as a public affairs consultant to numerous corporations and industry groups in addition to serving in senior roles on several statewide political campaigns.

Puglia is currently Vice Chair of the Public Policy Institute of California’s Water Policy Center Advisory Council and has served on several industry-related boards and advisory councils. A Sacramento native, Puglia earned a bachelor’s degree in Government-Journalism from Sacramento State University.

Border Policy: Impacts on Agricultural Labor

12:05-12:50pm • Wednesday, November 18

Ambassador Carlos González Gutiérrez is the Consul General of Mexico in San Diego and has held the position since April 2019. He began his diplomatic career in 1987 and specializes in Mexican communities in the US.

Early in his career, he was the Consul for Community Affairs at the Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles. In the late 1990's he worked in Mexico with the Program for Mexican Communities Abroad at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was appointed as Counselor for Latino Affairs at the Mexican Embassy in Washington D.C. in 1999, and held the post until 2003.

He founded the Institute for Mexicans Abroad, the agency in charge of promoting ties and collaboration between Mexico and its diaspora, and was the Executive Director from 2003 to 2009. Then in 2009, Amb. González Gutiérrez was appointed Consul General of Mexico in Sacramento. After six years in Sacramento, he was transferred to serve as Consul General of Mexico in Austin, Texas before being transferred back to California.

In September 2011, he was promoted by the President of Mexico to the rank of Ambassador. He has a B.A. in International Relations from El Colegio de México and a Masters Degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California (USC).

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