Albert ‘Al’ Spaulding Rose II, owner and operator of Red Apple Farm has been elected Chairman of the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association (JATA) Board of Directors. The election was made at the association’s board meeting on December 5, 2017.

Mr. Rose is the fourth generation owner of Red Apple Farm located in Phillipston, Massachusetts. The 70 acre farm, established in 1912, focused primarily on growing apples commercially for the wholesale market under the care of Mr. Rose’s grandfather, A. Spaulding Rose.  In 1981, Mr. Rose’s father, William (Bill) Rose transitioned the farm away from wholesale, diversifying the farm’s business to focus more on retail and the pick-your-own fruit experience.

Mr. Rose and his wife Nancy took over the family business in 2001. Under their leadership the farm has continued to grow and become a major agritourism destination and employer for North Central Massachusetts. Red Apple Farm now has three locations: the Phillipston farm, at Wachusett Mountain, and in the City of Boston when they opened one of the largest stalls at Boston Public Market two years ago.  In addition to his involvement with the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association, Mr. Rose is also a member of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, the North Quabbin Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce, the advisory board of Massachusetts Family Business Association, and is a past president of the Massachusetts Fruit Growers Association.  He earned a Masters of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University.

Mr. Rose has served on the JATA Board of Directors for several years and has held several leadership positions including Vice Chair and Marketing Committee Chair.  He has been a strong champion of the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association’s economic development efforts to market the region to visitors and groups.  As the Chair of the JATA Board of Directors, Mr. Rose will work with the Board, staff, membership and other stakeholders to champion JATA in its mission to market the region as a destination.

“I look forward to working with Al in his new position as Chairman of the Board,” said Roy Nascimento, president of JATA. “Al has proven himself to be a great leader and advocate for our cooperative marketing efforts to grow the tourism economy in North Central Massachusetts.”

He succeeds Suzanne Farias, former general manager of the Doubletree Hotel in Leominster.

“It is an honor and privilege to have been elected Chair of the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association, an organization that plays an important role in promoting North Central Massachusetts and has had an incredible impact in growing the economy locally,” expressed Mr. Rose, “I am excited to continue Suzanne Farias’s efforts and work to make sure that JATA remains a strong resource for local businesses and attractions.”

In the same election, Henry Tessman, general manager of Great Wolf Lodge New England was voted Vice-Chairman and Nikki Moorshead, owner of the Colonial Inn in Gardner and the Chocksett Inn in Sterling was elected to serve as a Director. Continuing current terms on the board are Rick Walton, president of the Gardner Ale House and Moon Hill Brewing and Tom Meyers, marketing director at Wachusett Ski Area.