Bryan Silbermann, the longtime leader of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), plans to retire as CEO on Jan. 31, 2017. Current PMA President Cathy Burns will succeed Silbermann, a move that was approved in late 2013 by PMA’s executive committee.
In an emailed letter to PMA members Tuesday, Silbermann said that, starting Jan. 1, 2016, “Cathy will oversee day-to-day operations of the association. As I continue in my role as PMA CEO, Cathy and I will work in close partnership.”
Burns will take over the CEO role on Jan. 1, 2017.
Silbermann’s letter says:
“During the course of 2016, I will focus my attention on specific areas that Cathy and I have identified to best use my experience and interests in ways to help PMA and its members continue to grow. In addition to the ongoing advice and counsel I’ll provide Cathy and staff as needed, my focus will include:
• Representing PMA at the association’s worldwide events
• Meeting with members one-on-one to help them get the most value from their membership
• Working with Center for Produce Safety Executive Director Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli to firmly establish its new governance processes and complete fundraising for the Campaign for Produce Safety
• Working on collaborative initiatives with United Fresh Produce Association and others
• Updating a history of PMA to help capture the institutional knowledge of long-time staff and volunteer leaders
“In addition to overseeing PMA’s day-to-day operations throughout 2016, Cathy will be focused on:
• Leading the organization’s performance against benchmarks outlined in PMA’s strategic plan 2.0
• Serving as the primary contact between the board of directors and staff
• Leading PMA’s long-term growth and staff development to ensure the association continues to provide year-round, personalized value to members and industry
“I never imagined when I joined PMA in 1983 that I would be looking back 33 years later at a career that has given me so much satisfaction and room to grow,” Silbermann said. “What I thought would be a three-year gig ran more than 10 times as long! That’s a tribute both to the welcoming nature of the people who make up this great industry, and to the staff family which makes up this world-class association.
“I can’t wait to see how we grow in the next year and the decades ahead,” he added, “because helping to grow businesses is what PMA does best.”