United Fresh Introduces Class 21 of the Produce Industry Leadership Program

Wed. June 17th, 2015
- by Christofer Oberst     

WASHINGTON, D.C. - After having just successfully presented its 20th graduating class from the United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program, the United Fresh Produce Association has released the 12 newest members of the program’s 21st class.

"We are proud to extend our congratulations to the newest class of the Produce Industry Leadership Program, and thank all of the candidates who applied for this year’s program,” Ron Midyett of Apio, Inc. and Leadership Advisory Committee Chairman said, according to a press release. “We applaud their commitment to developing themselves into future leaders of the fresh produce industry.”

According the association, the Produce Industry Leadership Program welcomes the following professionals to its Class of 2016:

  • Gary Beadles, RPE, Inc., Bancroft, WI
  • Julie DeWolf, Sunkist Growers, Valencia, CA
  • Justin Heffernan, Roundy’s Supermarkets, Milwaukee, WI
  • Tonya Hill, Frontera Produce, Ltd., Edinburg, TX
  • Robert Holthouse, Holthouse Farms/DRW Packing, Willard, OH
  • Jess Kerstein, Lipman, Immokalee, FL
  • James Martin, Wilson Produce, LLC, Nogales, AZ
  • Janine Meyer, NatureSweet Tomatoes, San Antonio, TX
  • Greg Ogiba, AMC Direct, Inc., Toronto, ON
  • Tim Rabon, Walter P. Rawl & Sons, Inc., Pelion, SC
  • Brian Vertrees, Naturipe Farms, Wenatchee, WA
  • Andrew White, Tosca, LTD, Atlanta, GA

From the conception of the program in 1995, it has been sponsored by a generous grant from DuPont Crop Protection.

"We are truly grateful for DuPont Crop Protection’s ongoing support of this program. Their generous investment in the future of our industry leaders has been instrumental to the success of this program,” Miriam Wolk, United Fresh Vice President of Member Services, said. “DuPont has been the sole sponsor since the program’s inception in 1995, providing a unique opportunity for our future leaders to grow professionally and personally.”

The members of the program’s newest class were selected by the Leadership Advisory Committee, comprised of program alumni and United Fresh Board members alike, who assess each candidate based on experience, expertise, and are responsible for developing a balanced class that represents the industry.

The 12 professionals selected for the 21st class will participate in a range of educational events and outings beginning next month, including:

  • face-to-face meetings with leading industry players
  • hands-on training with top industry experts and educators
  • interactive experiences with influential leaders in Washington

According to United Fresh, the program is centered on four core focus areas: leadership development, business relationships, government and public affairs, and media and public communications.

Congratulations to the 12 newest members of the United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program.

United Fresh