The United Fresh Produce Association began its Produce Industry Leadership Class 24 this week in Ohio with 12 new student members. The yearlong program is designed to prepare attendees for careers in the produce industry, with training on leadership development, business relationships, government and public affairs, and media and public communications.
“It’s always a special moment for all of us at United Fresh when our class of up-and-coming produce industry professionals takes the first step in their leadership journey,” United Fresh Produce Association President and CEO Tom Stenzel said in a statement. “Throughout their yearlong journey we will cheer them on as Class 24 prepares to become the future leaders of their companies and of our industry.”
Students will have opportunities to meet with industry members throughout facilities in Ohio, Michigan and Canada, including DNO Inc., Buurma Farms, Wiers Farm/Dutch Maid Logistics, Holthouse Farms, Detroit Produce Terminal, Fair Food Network, Mucci Farms, Red Sun Farms and Pure Flavor.
Founded in 1995, the program is sponsored by Corteva Agriscience, the agriculture division of DowDuPont, and has graduated more than 200 produce industry professionals. This year’s attendees will learn from professional trainers, faculty, United Fresh members and Corteva Agriscience executives.
The program will conclude in June 2019 with a graduation reception at the 2019 United Fresh convention, June 10-12 at McCormick Place in Chicago. The application period for next year’s program will open in January 2019.
Class 24 members include:
- Daniel Corsaro, Indianapolis Fruit Co., Indianapolis
- Shanan Cox, Sam’s Club, Bentonville, Ark.
- Heather Fuller, Braga Fresh Family Farms, Bakersfield, Calif.
- Jason Frost, Apio Inc., Hanover, Pa.
- Brett Grimm, Grimmway Farms, Bakersfield
- Lacy Litten, Innovative Produce, Santa Maria, Calif.
- Matt Roy, US Foods, Rosemont, Ill.
- Brianna Shales, Stemilt Growers, Wenatchee, Wash.
- Leslie Simmons, Dave’s Specialty Imports, Medley, Fla.
- Olivia Storvik, NatureSweet Tomatoes, San Antonio
- Lori Taylor, The Produce Moms, Indianapolis
- Ross Williams, Titan Farms, Ridge Spring, S.C.