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Source: Syngenta news release

Dean Liere
Woodland, CA - After more than 30 years in the vegetable seeds industry and more than a decade as Syngenta's Watermelon Regional Portfolio Manager for The Americas, Dean Liere is enjoying retirement and looking forward to an exciting career culmination: induction into the National Watermelon Hall of Fame. Later this month, hundreds of NWA leaders and members will celebrate Liere's long and distinguished career at the 2022 National Watermelon Association (NWA) Convention, to take place Feb. 23-27 in Nashville.

Liere has been in the vegetable seed business since 1984 and a valued member of Syngenta Seed Company for the past 25 years. His career has spanned both marketing and product management for a range of vegetable species, although in the past decade he was focused exclusively on Syngenta's watermelon portfolio, with geographic responsibilities including the United States, Mexico, South and Central America and Australia.

"Dean's unlimited passion and expertise for watermelon has been a fantastic source of innovations for the whole industry, from growers to value chain players, across many markets," says Jerome Verdier, Global Business Unit Head Cucurbits, Syngenta Vegetable Seeds. "His footprint will last for a long time."

Though Liere appreciates this acknowledgement, he is quick to share the credit for his many achievements. "I'm most grateful to receive this honor from the NWA, but the accomplishments of the Syngenta watermelon program are the result of a dedicated team of players spanning research, seed production, sales, marketing and customer service," he says. "The true success lies in the collaboration we've developed in partnership with watermelon growers, industry leaders and university researchers."

Javier Martinez-Cabrera, Syngenta Americas Head of Vegetables, is looking forward to recognizing Liere's career - and his impact on the watermelon industry - this month. "From disease resistance to quality and consumer appeal, Syngenta has made great strides over the last decade, maximizing both grower profitability and end-user satisfaction," he says. "Numerous Syngenta watermelon varieties have come to fruition under Liere's portfolio leadership, and we look forward to collectively saying 'thank you' to him as he closes the last chapter of an illustrious career."

The National Watermelon Association has honored leaders of its association since it formed its Hall of Fame in 2014. Today, it has more than 50 members in recognition of their significant achievements in watermelon research, production and innovation.

Continued Innovation for 2022
Syngenta's watermelon portfolio is well-positioned for continued growth. In October 2021, Erin Doughtie succeeded Liere as Syngenta's Americas Regional Portfolio Lead - Watermelon and worked with him until his retirement in early 2022. Erin draws on her dynamic experience in commercial roles and R&D within the vegetable seeds industry, in addition to time spent gaining agricultural experience on three continents.

As she transitions into her new role, Doughtie is optimistic about the long-term development of Syngenta's watermelon portfolio and looks forward to supporting growers, distributors and industry partners for years to come.

"We are fortunate to possess an agile, dedicated team of individuals across all aspects of our watermelon program within Syngenta," she says. "I'm both honored and energized to work with such a talented, innovative and pragmatic team of people and look forward to continue serving the needs of growers and consumers in continuation of Dean's legacy of excellence."

These innovations include Syngenta's latest variety, Valor, which offers intermediate resistance to Fusarium Race 1, early maturity with a typically strong yield and good internal quality with improved ability to ship as compared to another Syngenta favorite, Melody. As a variety, Valor exemplifies Syngenta's focus on growers by delivering improved quality to help maximize profitability. For more information about Valor variety, please contact your local Syngenta Vegetable Seeds technical sales representative.

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