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IFPA Announces 2023 Leadership Program Class

IFPA 2023 Leadership Program

The International Fresh Produce Association announced the incoming class for its 2023 Leadership Program during the graduation of the previous year’s fellows. 

The program, now in its 28th year, is a year-long journey where participants develop essential leadership and business skills through a series of customized trips. These trips are packed with face-to-face meetings, hands-on training with top industry experts and educators all while attending several of IFPA’s signature and industry events. The program is made possible through the sponsorship of Corteva Agriscience. 

“I’m proud of our graduates and the hard work they put into their experience this year,” said Program Lead Nikki Wootten of IFPA.

“The IFPA’s 2023 Leadership Program is such a unique experience for professionals in the industry to not only have an immersive program that builds on skills over the course of a year, but also welcomes the participants into an incredible alumni group that they can connect with and lean into for the rest of their careers.”

The program is competitive, with only 12 spots available to high potential, mid-level produce and floral industry professionals. Leaders will develop around four fundamental goals including leadership development, business relationships, government and public affairs and media and public communications.

IFPA congratulates all of the incoming participants of the 2023 Leadership Program:

  • Maria Fernanda Abilgaard, regulatory affairs manager, AgroFresh;
  • Himanshu Arora, head of APAC South, Zespri International Ltd.;
  • Erendira Lara Borja, co-manufacture director, NatureSweet;
  • Eric Frasse, VP of sales, I Love Produce LLC;
  • Violeta Mendoza Gomez, director of food safety and quality, Caruso Inc.;
  • Brendan Haslam, senior category manager, Bolthouse Farms;
  • Lucas Rosello Hinrichs, grower relations and business development manager, Alpine Fresh Inc.;
  • Hollie Johnson, commercial director, Offshoot Brands;
  • Beth Keeton, CEO, Elephant House PR;
  • Matt Klare, sales, The Horton Fruit Co.;
  • Greg Palmer, procurement director of produce, Loblaw Companies; and
  • Liam Slavin, regional business manager – Northeast, Bard Valley Medjool Date Growers.

About the International Fresh Produce Association

The International Fresh Produce Association is the largest international association serving the entire fresh produce and floral supply chain and the only to integrate world-facing advocacy and industry-facing support. The association promotes its members’ prosperity by conducting advocacy, connecting people and ideas and offering guidance that allows them all to take action with purpose and confidence.

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Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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