WASHINGTON -- The United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association named Karen Caplan the organization's chairman of the board for 2003. Caplan, president and chief executive officer of Frieda's Inc., Los Alamitos, Calif., is the first female chairman named in United's 99-year history. She also currently serves as vice chairman of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. Lawrence Kern, president and chief operating officer, Dole Food Co., Westlake Village, Calif., was nominated as 2003 chairman-elect, to assume the chairmanship of United in 2004. Current chairman, Steve Grinstead, Del Monte Fresh Produce, Dallas, will hold the office of immediate past chairman.