We have a vested interest in the hazelnut industry. We understand the concerns of both the grower and the packer. We work to achieve the highest returns for our growers and we strive to develop new markets for all the various hazelnut products. We look toward the future and plan for expansion. We encourage the development of new hazelnut varieties to ensure long-term sustainability of our industry.
CLARK FIRESTONE - PRESIDENT/PLANT OPERATIONS Clark Firestone is the fourth generation of the family to own and operate Firestone Farms. A 1974 graduate of the University of North Dakota, Clark earned a business degree in Aviation Administration with a commercial pilot's license. He returned to the farm in 1975 and has been managing all farming operations since then. In 1984, Clark took Firestone Farms into hazelnut packing and has worked to increase our grower acreage and to update and improve our packing equipment and procedures. Clark takes great pride in his efforts to maintain good grower relations and to provide our worldwide hazelnut customers with a top quality product.
JOAN FIRESTONE - VICE PRESIDENT/SALES Joan Firestone was born and raised in Minnesota and met Clark while studying Secondary Education at the University of North Dakota. After teaching high school English for four and a half years in the Ridgefield, WA, school district, Joan joined the Firestone Farms team as retail and office manager. By 1986, Joan had become our hazelnut sales manager, as well, and continues in that role today. Joan handles office and accounting duties, keeps all grower records, and is in charge of all domestic and international sales of hazelnuts, including necessary export documentation and bookings. Joan is a Past President of the Nut Growers Society of Oregon, Washington, & British Columbia, and serves on the promotion and export committees of the Hazelnut Marketing Board.
MICHAEL FIRESTONE - PACKING PLANT OPERATIONS/FARM MANAGER Michael Firestone is Firestone Farms' fifth generation and grew up working on the farm and helping in our retail outlets. After working in landscaping for four years, he assumed farming operations for our hazelnut orchards. Michael joined our team in the packing plant in 2006 and is currently managing all cleaning, drying, packing, and loading operations. Michael also assists Clark in grower relations in order to help Firestone Farms expand our grower base and fill our customers' needs for the years ahead. Michael will carry forward the ongoing philosophies of his ancestors and plans to pass the leadership of Firestone Farms to his own young son--the sixth generation--when the time comes.
HEIDI FIRESTONE CROUCH - CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Clark and Joan's daughter Heidi started working in our retail store in Vancouver, WA, when she was still in elementary school. By the time she was in high school, she was the assistant manager. Heidi lives in Washington with her husband and two children, but she has served as our CFO through the use of modern technology. On July 4, 2014, Heidi suffered two ruptured aneurysms in the left side of her brain and then had a massive stroke during surgery which left her paralyzed on the right side and unable to speak. In the past four years, Heidi has regained her ability to walk, is regaining some limited use of her right arm and hand, and is learning to speak again. We are praying for a complete recovery for Heidi that will allow her to resume at least some of her prior activities including traveling to Oregon each January to help man our company booth at the annual meeting of the Nut Growers Society.