United Fresh Introduces Class 19 Of Produce Industry Leadership Program

Produce leadership class 18

The United Fresh Foundation has named the 12 members of the 2013-2014 United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program. Presented through the foundation’s Center for Leadership Excellence and sponsored by a grant from DuPont Crop Protection, this program was launched in 1995 and has graduated more than 200 program participants.

The following professionals make up the 19th class of the Produce Industry Leadership Program:

• Bob Biesterfeld, C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc.

• Brian Cook, San Miguel Produce Inc.

• Amanda Costa, Del Monte Fresh Produce

• Hillary Femal, IFCO

• Ryan Fukuda, Avocados from Mexico

• Peter Hill, Alpine Fresh Inc.

• Duke Lane III, Lane Southern Orchards

• Sparky Locke, Apio Inc.

• Taylor Martin, FreshPoint—Charlotte

• Rebecca Meyers, Stemilt Growers LLC

• Bill Pollard IV, Save-A-Lot Food Stores

• T.J. Rahll Jr., Edward G. Rahll & Sons Inc.

Beginning in July, the members of Leadership Class 19 will participate in a number of educational events and outings centered on the four core focus areas of the program: leadership development, business relationships, government and public affairs, and media and public communications.

During the year-long fellowship, participants will take part in a series of customized trips, which include face-to-face meetings with leading industry players, hands-on training with top industry experts and educators, interactive experiences with influential leaders in Washington and more. This year’s schedule will feature trips to Michigan and Ontario, Washington, D.C., Wilmington, Del., Yuma, Ariz., and Chicago, where the class will graduate at the 2014 United Fresh Convention.

“We are proud to extend our congratulations to the newest class of the Produce Industry Leadership Program, and thank all of the candidates who applied for this year’s program,” said Leadership Advisory Committee Chairman and Board Member Lisa Strube of Strube Celery & Vegetable Co. “We applaud their commitment to developing themselves into future leaders of the fresh produce industry.”

“A special thanks is owed to DuPont Crop Protection for making this program possible and for their generous investment in the future of our industry,” added Victoria Backer, United Fresh SVP of member services. “DuPont has been the sole sponsor of this program since its inception in 1995, providing a unique opportunity for our future leaders to grow professionally and personally.”

Candidates for the program must submit an application including two essays detailing their interest in the program and what they consider the most important challenges affecting the produce industry. All applications are reviewed by the Leadership Advisory Committee comprised of United Fresh board members and program alumni. The committee is responsible for assessing each candidate based on their experience and expertise, as well as developing a class that is balanced and representative of the industry.



About The Author

A former newspaper editor and publisher who has handled digital duties for The Shelby Report since 2011. She once enjoyed leisurely perusing the grocery store aisles but, since having a baby in 2016, is now an enthusiastic click-and-collect shopper.