Washington Apple Education Foundation hires new Executive Director

Dr. Faviola Barbosa

The Washington Apple Education Foundation (WAEF) announces the hiring of Dr. Faviola Barbosa as its new executive director.  Feb. 1 was Barbosa’s first day in this role with the tree fruit industry’s charity.

“On behalf of the WAEF board of directors, I am thrilled to welcome Faviola Barbosa as the new executive director of WAEF.  Her excitement and passion to work with students is easily conveyed when she shares what it means to be able to impact lives through access to educational opportunities,” shared WAEF chairman Laurie Knebusch.  “When the selection committee met Faviola and learned about her deep ties in the tree fruit industry paired with her career background working in education, we knew we had found WAEF’s next executive director,” she added.  Knebusch led the search committee process that began in mid-October.

Dr. Barbosa worked within the Washington State Community & Technical Colleges system for over 18 years. Her passion has been to promote higher education to students from an early age. She believes this position is a perfect fit for her and stated the following, “I am so excited about the opportunity to promote access and support to students from the tree fruit industry pursuing higher education. Furthermore, I look forward to working with such an amazing team and industry, continuing to strengthen the WAEF mission.”

Dr. Barbosa migrated from Mexico to the United States with her family at the age of 2. She grew up within the farmworking industry in Orondo, Washington, and is a first-generation Latinx. She earned a BA in Business Administration from Washington State University, an MS in College Student Affairs from Nova Southeastern University, and a Doctorate in Leadership in Higher Education from Capella University.

Barbosa is the fourth executive director in the foundation’s 28-year history.  She follows outgoing executive director Jennifer Witherbee who served in the position for over 20 years.  Witherbee will remain on staff at WAEF in a support role for a few weeks to assist with the transition.

The Washington Apple Education Foundation is the charity of the tree fruit industry.  Its mission is to impact lives through access to educational opportunities.  WAEF relies on voluntary donations from over 400 contributors annually and the efforts of 200 committed volunteers.

More information about WAEF is found here or by calling the foundation office at 509-663-7713.


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