The Center for Growing Talent by the Produce Marketing Association, in partnership with Frieda’s Specialty Produce owners Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins, have awarded the winner of the Frieda Rapoport Caplan Women’s Fresh Perspectives Scholarship to Melanny Gomez Cruz of Four Seasons Produce Inc.
Cruz was selected by an independent panel of industry members and was one of more than 20 applicants.
Because the produce industry has been predominately male, the Fresh Perspectives Conference empowers women by hosting events and sessions focused on development in order to maximize their impact, personally and professionally. The added benefit of networking helps to build a sense of community and comaraderie.
The Frieda Rapoport Caplan Women’s Fresh Perspectives scholarship was awarded to Cruz for her impact within many parts of Four Seasons Produce Inc., most recently as a recruiting specialist.
The scholarship is granted to those who embody Frieda’s spirit of action, excellence and dedication to personal and professional development. Each recipient receives an all-expenses-paid trip and admittance to this conference to provide them with the opportunity to further their development efforts.
“I don’t have words on how amazing this was for me,” Cruz said. “This conference has helped me see things from a different perspective. I met such amazing women at this conference. I loved seeing that the first-timers came in shy and had no glow to them. Then on the last day, I saw them interacting – so alive and glowing. I feel like this scholarship is an amazing opportunity for many women. It opens up delicate situations happening in the workplace and lets women know that they are not alone.”
The Frieda Rapaport Women’s Fresh Perspectives Scholarship will start accepting applications for 2022 next spring. Recipients should meet a few criteria to be considered, including being a first-time attendee to the conference (once awarded) and employed in any segment of the produce or floral supply chain – both at the time of the application and the time of the conference.
Be on the lookout for updates from PMA and the Fresh Perspectives Conference team to find out when the application period starts for the 2022 scholarship.
Frieda’s Specialty Produce is based in Los Alamitos, California.