The United Fresh Produce Association is now accepting nominations for the 2015 United Fresh Retail Produce Manager Awards Program. The program will honor 25 outstanding retail produce managers at the United Fresh 2015 convention June 8-10 in Chicago, Illinois.
Nomination forms may be accessed online and must be received by March 16, 2015.
The Retail Produce Manager Awards Program pays special recognition to produce managers on the front line in supermarkets working every day to increase sales and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Established in 2005, this will mark the 11th year of the program.
Since the program’s inception, 230 produce managers from 80 different retail banners have been honored for their commitment to customer satisfaction, innovative merchandising, produce-related community outreach as well as recognition among company peers.
“This program is a powerful way for retailers to recognize their outstanding produce managers for their hard work and commitment to the industry,” said Randy Scott, chairman of United’s Retail-Foodservice Board and category manager of produce for Delhaize America. “The winning produce managers are recognized as leaders in their field and excellent representatives of the produce industry for our customers.”
The 25 award winners, along with their corporate produce directors, will receive complimentary airfare, hotel accommodations and registrations to the United Fresh 2015 convention. The winners will be honored at the Retail-Foodservice celebration dinner on Wednesday, June 10, where five grand-prize winners will be announced as recipients of an additional $1,000 cash prize.
The 2015 Retail Produce Manager Awards Program is sponsored for the first time by Dole Food Co.
“We are delighted that Dole has stepped up to sponsor this signature retail program for United Fresh,” said Tom Stenzel, president and CEO of United Fresh. “I also want to thank the previous sponsor, Ready Pac, with helping us launch this program 10 years ago.”
Added Howard Roeder, president of Dole Fresh Vegetables, “Dole Food Co. is truly excited about the opportunity to sponsor this program and to recognize the excellent leadership of these produce managers. Our company is delighted to take the reins of sponsorship for this very important program and looks forward to working with our retail partners throughout the industry to recognize their key leaders at the front line of sales to the consumer.”
United Fresh’s 21st Produce Industry Leadership Program open for applications
In related United Fresh news, the application period is now open for the 21st class of the organization’s Produce Industry Leadership Program. Thanks to the support of the program’s founding sponsor, DuPont Crop Protection, United Fresh members again have the opportunity to take part in this unique experience dedicated to developing future leaders of the industry. Since the its launch in 1995, more than 200 industry members have graduated from the exclusive program.
“We are incredibly indebted to DuPont for their steadfast support and the investment they have made in the produce industry,” said Stenzel. “We are so proud of the many graduates of this program and the work they’ve done to drive our industry forward.”
The United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program is the only ongoing, fully paid leadership program for the produce industry. Each year, 12 fellows are selected to participate in the program, which is developed around four fundamental goals: leadership development, business relationships, government and public affairs, and media and public relations.
During the year-long fellowship, participants take part in a series of customized trips, including face-to-face meetings, hands-on training with top industry experts and educators, interactive experiences with influential leaders in Washington and more. The fellows of class 21 will participate in four trips, with the class graduating at the 2016 United Fresh Convention in Chicago.
“As a graduate of the leadership program, I can personally attest to the value it brings not only to the participants, but also to the produce industry at large,” said United Fresh’s Immediate Past Chairman Ron Midyett, CEO of Apio Inc. “I highly encourage anyone looking to advance their leadership skills to apply for this unique opportunity.”
Participation in the program is limited to 12 fellows who are selected by an advisory committee. The fellows are chosen from a broad cross-section of the industry to represent the breadth of the United Fresh membership. Candidates interested in applying for the 21st class can download an application here. The deadline for applications is March 31.
Eligibility to participate in the program is limited to representatives of United Fresh member companies, and all candidates must have the support of their companies to participate. There is no cost to participate in the program. All regular expenses are covered by the program.