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SEPC Shares Next Generation Leadership Academy Participants


The Southeast Produce Council has announced the inaugural class of the Next Generation Leadership Academy, a leadership development program designed for up-and-coming leaders.

This year-long program will provide participants an approach to leadership ideals and methodologies. Participants will develop leadership skills and prepare to navigate industry challenges with a growth mindset.

The SEPC’s academy will feature virtually guided events, as well as in-person programming events. This program will equip and prepare participants for future leadership responsibilities with content relevant to their leadership challenges.

The following SEPC members have been selected to join the 2023 Next Generation Leadership Academy:

  • Adam Brady of Shuman Farms;
  • Drew Callaghan of RPE;
  • Mary-Scott DeMarchis of Gotham Greens;
  • Heather Hart of The Fresh Market;
  • Clay Jones of Schraad Sales and Marketing;
  • Chris Kaszanits of Southeastern Grocers;
  • Ingrid Lozano of Del Monte Fresh Produce;
  • Maclaren Oglesby of Sbrocco International;
  • Leah Patterson of U.S. Foods;
  • Charles Sinks of Sage Fruit Company;
  • Daniel Spivey of Sprouts Farmers Market; and
  • Matthew Zapczynski of Merchants Distributors. 

“We are very proud and excited to kick off our Next Generation Leadership Academy and honored to welcome such outstanding future leaders to our inaugural class,” said Tim Graas, SEPC chairman of the board.

“We have big plans that will help develop leadership skills and prepare candidates for future challenges. NGLA will provide clear goals and expectations, engaging and interactive learning experiences and opportunities to apply new skills and knowledge – to take our industry to new heights.”

The 2023 Next Generation Leadership Academy participants will be recognized at Southern Exposure on March 2 during the Future Generations Celebration Dinner.

The SEPC is a member-driven, nonprofit association of more than 4,000 leaders from all areas of the produce industry. It was formed more than 20 years ago to promote the value of fresh fruits and vegetables in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia through networking, innovation, community and education.

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