Ralph Hackett is 67 years old and lives in Clovis, California with Lisa, his wife of 37 years. With an illustrious career spanning 44 years, Ralph has served on a number of industry boards and actively supported a variety of charitable organizations.
Background and Education
Ralph grew up in the Philadelphia area. In 1964, at the age of 8, Ralph was admitted into Girard College (est. 1848), a privately endowed boarding school for fatherless boys from grades 3-12. He graduated from Girard College in 1972. Ralph believes his strong work ethic came from the experiences he gained at Girard. He subsequently attended Temple University, Philadelphia and went on to graduate in 1976 with a Bachelor’s degree (BA) in Business Administration.
Following graduation, Ralph joined the Philadelphia office for KPMG, a global CPA and consulting firm. After earning his CPA license, Ralph worked his way up to a supervisory position within KPMG. In 1985, Ralph began his produce career when he joined a produce importer owned by the Abugazaleh family, who are now major owners of Fresh Del Monte. Ralph and his family relocated to California in 1989, to start Suma Fruit International, a year-round produce company headquartered in Sanger, California. As CEO, Ralph successfully built Suma Fruit International into a thriving company that was sold in 1997 to Fresh Del Monte Produce.
Forgoing an opportunity to relocate to Del Monte’s Florida headquarters, Ralph co-founded and became a minority partner in Pacific Trellis Fruit, LLC in 1999. Over the next twenty years, Ralph oversaw the successful launch and management of numerous produce start-up companies. When bringing partners together, Ralph prioritized partner interests over his own so each business succeeded. Ralph’s leadership in daily operations helped grow a four-person produce company into a 350-employee national fruit distributor that represents over 200 independent growers.
Ralph has led a distinguished career and has been active in many industry organizations. In 2015, Ralph received the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ from the Chilean and American Chambers of Commerce for his contributions to the produce industry over the previous 35 years. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the California Fresh Fruit Association in Fresno, CA and United Fresh Fruit Association in Washington, DC.
Ralph has always been active in a variety of community and charitable activities. Starting in 2014, Ralph and his wife Lisa took a leadership role in raising funds for the Boys & Girls Club in Reedley, Orange Cove, and Parlier, California. Ralph and his wife worked closely with the Boys & Girls Club Director and local businesses to establish an annual Harvest Festival Gala. This event has raised over $600,000 over the past six years. In 2020, Kyle and Brittany Hackett, assumed Ralph and Lisa’s role in the Harvest Festival Gala and the program’s success continues today.
When the leading cycling club in Fresno lost its two sponsors in 2009, Ralph, along with his company’s support, assumed the lead sponsorship role. The club promotes recreational road biking, including sponsoring special ride events. Volunteers work with disadvantaged youths and young riders seeking participation in the sport.
Ralph is the recipient of the Award of Merit from Girard College for his achievements in his field, and his loyalty and service to the school. As a Girard College alumnus, Ralph actively supports its students’ success, including co-sponsoring numerous Senior Class trips to New York City. Ralph also supports a number of other causes for the disadvantaged children that attend the school today.
Ralph and Lisa continue to make their home in California. Together they’ve raised 3 children who work professionally in the fields of agriculture, brand marketing, and mental health. Ralph and Lisa enjoy time spent with their three grandchildren and dog Ellie May.