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PMA’s Former President Dies

Bob Carey

Mr. Bob Carey, former president of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), died Friday in Delaware. He was 82.

Mr. Carey led PMA from 1958 to 1996, taking it from a near-bankrupt organization with fewer than 100 members focused on produce packaging to a vertically integrated association of thousands focused on marketing. His vision of bringing buyers and sellers together positioned PMA to become the worldwide association it is today.

“I was privileged to work with Bob from the time he hired me in 1983 until his retirement in 1996. He was my mentor and my dear friend,” said Bryan Silbermann, PMA’s CEO. “His insights and advice when he was my boss and after he retired have been invaluable. Bob’s real genius was getting the best out of everyone around him—members and staff—and that’s become a core part of PMA’s culture.”

PMA gives the Robert L. Carey Leadership Award at Fresh Summit each year, honoring someone who has demonstrated outstanding volunteer leadership skills and an uncommon commitment to helping PMA achieve its goals. Mr. Carey’s belief in volunteer leadership was evident in his military career to leadership in association management. He had an ability to gather just the right leaders at just the right times to move things forward, according to PMA.

“Bob’s leadership was the lynchpin for PMA’s growth and success, but it was his engaging personality, compassion, humor and empathy that endeared him to all those around him,” Silbermann said. “Always ready to have fun or sit and talk, Bob was an easy and dear friend to many.”

Silbermann will offer a eulogy at Mr. Carey’s funeral service on Tuesday in Bridgeville, Del. Silbermann’s thoughts will be shared on a tribute page for Mr. Carey, along with information about Mr. Carey’s life and career. PMA encourages the produce community, partners and friends to share their thoughts about Mr. Carey there.

Per the Carey family’s wishes, memorial contributions can be made to Delmarva Teen Challenge.

Featured Photos

Featured Photo PLMA Annual Private Label Trade Show
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Chicago, Illinois
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