Wegmans Food Markets’ Dave Corsi Hands the Gavel to Grower-Shipper Vic Smith of JV Smith Companies
- by Jordan Okumura
WOODLAND, CA - Moments like these mark a milestone in our industry, as both a tribute to where we have been and a vision of what is to come. After two years of guiding the helm of the Center for Produce Safety (CPS) as Chair of the group’s Board of Directors, Wegmans Food Markets’ Dave Corsi is passing the torch to Vic Smith, Owner and CEO of JV Smith Companies.
“We should all pause and thank Dave for his outstanding service to CPS, and to advancing the cause of fresh produce safety. CPS demonstrates that the right cause can unite even diverse stakeholders. That said, it takes a strong leader to steer such a myriad group forward. Dave has done that very ably and with his customary high energy,” Smith stated. “While at this moment we face a unique time in our history, we must not lose sight of the vital mission of producing and delivering safe, wholesome produce day in and day out. I plan to work hard to keep CPS and our industry-focused on its mission.”
CPS holds a special seat in our industry, with leaders igniting the goal of uniting the fresh produce supply chain and other produce safety stakeholders.
Corsi completes the officer slate, serving as immediate past Chair.
“When you volunteer in a lead role for a very worthy organization, you always get more out of it than you’d ever imagine,” Corsi shared with an audience during the final webinar in CPS’s virtual annual Research Symposium. “Wegmans is noted for prioritizing and caring for our people above anything else, and in turn, our people take great care of our customers. Similarly, for Center for Produce Safety, it’s about the people who surround and support CPS to help fuel produce food safety change. I thank you all for making my experience quite rewarding.”
Dave could not have said finer words about Vic’s prowess and leadership in the industry as well.
“I couldn’t be more pleased that Vic Smith is your next chair. Vic is the type of guy that doesn’t take no for an answer. Instead, he asks, ‘Why can’t we?’ That attitude has earned him widespread respect in the industry. Thank you, Vic, for accepting the Chair role,” Corsi reflected.
The 30-member Board of Directors had elected officers at its June 25 meeting, according to a press release. Along with Smith assuming the new position as Chair, Tony DiMare of The DiMare Company was elected Secretary and Mark Powers of Northwest Horticultural Council as Treasurer.
“CPS is largely volunteer-run,” said Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli, CPS’s Executive Director. “Our success is directly attributed to the people who volunteer their time and resources to support us.”
CPS also welcomed three new board members at the June 25 meeting: Joe Pezzini of Ocean Mist Farms; Dave Puglia of Western Growers; and Max Teplitski of Produce Marketing Association.
Three Directors retired from the board: Hank Giclas of Western Growers, Chuck Ross with University of Vermont, and Bob Whitaker of PMA, who served on the board and served as the first Chair of the CPS Technical Committee.
Taylor Fresh Foods’ Drew McDonald will continue to serve as Chair of the Technical Committee. Oppenheimer Group’s Doug Grant will continue to serve as chair of CPS’s Knowledge Transfer Task Force.
Congratulations to Vic Smith and to all those who have been elected to guide CPS into a new phase of growth and advocacy. And a huge thank you to Dave Corsi, for his amazing service and the strides he has helped the industry achieve.