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Largest guest worker organization in the country announces new CEO

Largest guest worker organization in the country announces new CEO

Press Release

Enrique Gastelum brings decades of leadership in the agricultural community to wafla; adds director of communications

Lacey, Wash., May 2, 2022 -- Wafla today announces the hiring of new Chief Executive Officer Enrique ‘Rick’ Gastelum. Since 2013, Gastelum served as the chief financial officer for the Washington Farm Bureau where he managed the business operations and finances of the agricultural membership organization. He also led Farm Bureau Solutions, a labor and employment educational outreach program.

“This opportunity could not have been realized without my family, my cultural roots, my professional experiences, and the countless people who supported me over the years,” said Gastelum. “I am humbled and blessed to take on this next chapter of my career working with a wonderful staff and member farms who feed our world.”

Prior to his employment at the Washington Farm Bureau, he served as a regional DOSH consultation manager with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. He has 20 years of experience consulting with businesses from various industries, leading teams, managing projects, and developing employees to perform at a high level.

Gastelum is only the second CEO to lead the organization. Founding CEO Dan Fazio will stay with wafla in a strategic projects role focusing on recruiting and housing.

“Rick is the perfect choice to lead wafla and support our member farms as they work to overcome the challenge of maintaining a consistent workforce that gives guest workers the dignity of legal presence,” said Fazio. “Rick’s been a strong advocate for agriculture and brings a diverse mix of work and personal experience that will serve wafla’s members well. I couldn’t be more excited for Rick to join us!”

Gastelum grew up in a farm-working family in Sunnyside, Washington, where he worked among the agricultural community picking cherries, cutting asparagus, working in packing warehouses, and working in irrigation supply and sales. He went on to attend Washington State University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology, followed by an MBA in Public Administration from the University of Phoenix.

New Director of Communications

Gastelum is joined by new hire Scott Dilley as wafla’s new director of communications. He brings almost 20 years of experience advocating for farmers throughout the Pacific Northwest. Previously, Dilley led communications at the Washington State Dairy Federation and worked in policy and government relations for the Washington Farm Bureau. Dilley will lead efforts to enhance the organization’s work on behalf of member farms online and through the media.

Housing Project in Oregon

Wafla’s first housing facility in Oregon will be hosting an open house on Cinco de Mayo. The facility, located on the Benedictine Sisters Campus in Mt. Angel, Oregon, is a partnership with the Catholic Community Services Foundation. Wafla has leased 45 beds for farmworkers this year, with the possibility for more in the future. Wafla also employs an on-site manager at the facility.

Where: 925 S Main St., Mt. Angel, Oregon

When: Thursday, May 5, 2022 (11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.)

Join us to meet our new wafla CEO Rick Gastelum and Communications Director Scott Dilley, see wafla's farmworker housing firsthand, and grab some tasty tacos for lunch! Wafla is leasing space to support our member farms and their workers this year. We look forward to future investments in the area as growers express interest. Here is a link to some of our other housing services for all members and facilities in Washington state.


Wafla is a non-profit association that serves more than 800 seasonal and agricultural employers in the Pacific Northwest by providing outstanding labor and employment services. We make labor stability a reality for all agricultural employers.

Media Contact

Scott Dilley
Public Affairs Director
975 Carpenter Rd NE, Ste 201, Lacey, WA 98516
Office: 360-455-8064 x116
Cell: 360-581-8153

Additional Info

Media Contact : Scott Dilley

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