The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) honored two industry executive during its 2017 Fresh Summit Convention & Expo general session on Oct. 19. Tim York, president of Salinas, California-based Markon, received the 2017 Bryan E. Silbermann Collaboration Award, and Bill Schuler, executive adviser and retiring president and CEO of Newport, Kentucky-based Castellini Group, received the 2017 Robert L. Carey Leadership Award. The annual leadership awards honor individuals who have demonstrated outstanding collaborative leadership and an exceptional volunteer commitment to PMA and the produce industry.
Bryan E. Silbermann Collaboration Award
York is the first recipient of the Silbermann Award, which was presented by PMA Past Chair John Oxford, president and CEO of Raleigh, North Carolina-based L&M; and PMA CEO Cathy Burns.
“Our winner doesn’t just sit back and talk, but rather takes the lead on every initiative he asserts will benefit produce,” said Oxford. “He is a true leader in the sense that he fully commits himself to the needs of the produce industry.”
York formed a buyer-led initiative intent on enhanced food safety after the spinach food safety incident in 2006 and co-founded the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops in 2008. He served on the inaugural Produce Traceability Initiative steering committee and co-chaired its Leadership Council. York also has chaired the PMA board of directors and the PMA foodservice board, when it existed in the mid-90s, and served on the Center for Growing Talent by PMA (CGTbyPMA) board of directors. He is also the current chair of the Center for Produce Safety (CPS).
Burns noted that the creation of CPS is included within the legacy Silbermann has left at PMA, and York has accompanied Silbermann in this effort every step of the way.
“These two gentlemen were always willing to bring their talent, resources and most importantly their time to the CPS table,” she said during the presentation. “Now, after a 10-year journey, CPS is the source of sound science that supports food safety programs throughout the industry.”
The Bryan E. Silbermann Collaboration Award was established in 2016 in recognition of Silbermann’s 30-year career at PMA, including 20 years as its president. It honors an individual’s collaborative leadership style in uniting industry members or organizations, including those outside the honoree’s own organization, to realize mutually beneficial solutions to an industry issue.
Robert L. Carey Leadership Award
Schuler “embodies the tenacious, volunteer leadership essential to a member-driven organization like PMA,” said last year’s winner Jan DeLyser, VP of marketing for the California Avocado Commission in Irvine, California. “He has graciously shared with PMA the same vision, leadership and dedication he brings every day to his own company.”
Among Schuler’s leadership qualities, DeLyser also noted his integrity, honesty and strong vision in his company and for the industry his entire career. Schuler’s service to the produce industry through PMA, CGTbyPMA and other organizations spans the past 30 years. He has served as either member, co-chair or chair of numerous task forces and committees, including chair of the Fresh Summit committee and simultaneously chairing PMA’s and CGTbyPMA’s boards of directors. Schuler also was key to CGTbyPMA’s establishment.
“An early supporter and fundraiser for the charitable foundation’s capital campaign and ongoing budget, our honoree spent many days in the Central Valley, Oxnard and Los Angeles telling the Center for Growing Talent’s story and securing volunteer and financial commitments,” said DeLyser
The Robert L. Carey Leadership Award was established in 2012 in honor of former PMA President Robert L. Carey, who led PMA from 1958 to 1996, taking it from an organization with fewer than 100 members focused on produce packaging to a vertically integrated association of thousands. PMA says his vision of bringing buyers and sellers together positioned it to become the global association it is today.