United Fresh to Honor Emanuel Lazopoulos with Lifetime Achievement Award
- by Jordan Okumura
WASHINGTON, DC - Even though today is the dawn of Halloween, we are already looking ahead to 2020. United Fresh Produce Association announced that it will present its Lifetime Achievement Award to Emanuel Lazopoulos, former Senior Vice President of Del Monte Fresh Produce, at the 2020 FreshStart Conference’s Gala Dinner, Wednesday, January 15, at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Arizona. Lazopoulos joins a distinguished group of past recipients, including Ron Carkoski, Hugh Topper, Bruce McEvoy, Rick and Tonya Antle, Mike Cavallero, Joe Procacci, Reggie Griffin, Frieda Caplan, and Bob Grimm.
“Emanuel has been the consummate professional role model in the produce industry, not only in advancing Del Monte during his tenure there, but serving as a leader throughout his career to move the industry forward,” said Tom Stenzel, President and CEO. “We are delighted to celebrate Emanuel’s decades of impact, and I encourage the industry to help us honor him at the FreshStart Conference in January.”
Lazopoulos began his journey at Del Monte in 2003 as Vice President of Value-Added/Fresh Cut, and after 18 months, was promoted to Senior Vice President of North America. During his tenure, Lazopoulos was instrumental in growing all aspects of Del Monte’s North American business, including avocado growth, banana and pineapple sales, fresh-cut operation expansion across the region, and the recent acquisition of Mann Packing. Prior to Del Monte, he held numerous leadership positions, serving as Chairman of the United Fresh Board of Directors and a member of the United Fresh Start Foundation’s Board of Directors, the Produce Marketing Association’s Retail Board, and the Produce for Better Health Foundation Board of Directors.
His career began at Castle & Cooke/Dole Foods in Philadelphia in 1979 after graduating from the University of Delaware. He was promoted to Eastern Division Sales Manager for Dole Fresh Vegetables, then moved to Salinas, California, as National Sales Manager and subsequently Vice President of Sales. After a short stint with Salyer American, Lazopoulos moved back East to help establish Banacol bananas and DNA Plant Technology operations through Fresh World Farms. He was one of three founding partners in NewStar Fresh Foods, where he served as Managing Director. He has been married to his college sweetheart, Laura, for 41 years. They have three married daughters and three grandchildren.
In addition to the Gala Dinner, the United Fresh Start Foundation’s annual event will feature the Growing Up Fresh golf tournament, the Bids for Kids silent and live auction, and a half-day of education. United Fresh will also hold all of its committee, council, and board meetings at the conference, which are open to all members to observe. Registration, including the gala dinner, is $295 for members, or $495 for non-members. Registration for the Growing Up Fresh Golf Tournament is $300, with proceeds going to support the United Fresh Start Foundation. To register, click here.
Congratulations to Emanuel Lazopoulos on this exciting honor!