At this year’s PMA Fresh Summit, David Marguleas will be welcomed as PMA’s Board Chair. Marguleas has been involved in the produce industry for more than 30 years and currently oversees Sun World Innovations. “I am thankful for this opportunity,” he said. In the next 12 months, I look forward to bringing PMA’s vision to life by bringing together the global produce and floral community to grow a healthier world.”
Addressing issues collectively
During his years of involvement in the produce industry, Marguleas worked together with many global companies. “It’s an honor to sit at the table with growers/shippers from North America and Latin America as well as retailers from Asia and address issues collectively,” he said. “As a result, I have developed an appreciation for, and deep understanding of, their needs, which has helped me define three priorities for the coming year.”
1. Continue to execute on PMA’s strategic plan, together with PMA’s Board members, staff and volunteers.
2. Continue to expand the association’s global footprint through delivering relevant, local value to PMA member communities around the world.
3. Continue to ensure diverse representation from across the global produce and floral supply chain in PMA volunteer groups, including the Board.
Opportunities in the US as well as outside
PMA has a strong footprint in the US through its Fresh Summit and Foodservice Conference, and the organization is increasing its value outside the US. “Through our international Fresh Connections programs in Brazil, Chile, China, Mexico, and South Africa – plus the Hort Connections event jointly managed by our Australia-New Zealand affiliate and AUSVEG – we deliver insights, ideas, and help our members connect with others to grow their businesses,” Marguleas mentioned. The organization’s biggest annual event is PMA Fresh Summit Convention and Expo, which is also increasingly becoming internationally focused. Next month, attendees from more than 60 countries around the world will be present in Orlando, Florida. “The event is a principal gathering place to connect and share ideas for people in the US as well as outside the country,” said Marguleas.
Volunteers are lifeblood of PMA
Cathy Burns, PMA’s CEO, is thankful for volunteers like Marguleas. “It is an incredibly humbling experience to have access to thought leaders like David and others on our Board and across our many volunteer groups,” she said. “Altogether, we have more than 560 volunteers around the world who invest their time in connecting the global produce and floral industries. Their perspectives and passion for PMA have helped us consistently grow and expand the programs and services we offer to members and industry. Together with PMA’s staff, they focus on creating greater opportunities and reducing the challenges for members.” PMA’s entire Board of Directors is made up of volunteer leaders from every discipline across the supply chain and around the world.
Changes to PMA Fresh Summit
Based on the feedback from members and event attendees, several changes have been made to this year’s Fresh Summit program. A VIP reception was created to build on attendees’ interest in connecting with buyers. “This is an intentional and concentrated effort to get growers, shippers and buyers together, with exceptional representation from global retailers,” said Marguleas. In addition, some of the networking events have been transformed. There will be more time outside the trade show to connect and network, such as the Global Street Festival welcoming reception. On the education side, Fresh Summit has undergone a transformation from traditional sessions and workshops to four future-focused forums. “Our Forums of the Future have been created to inspire people to think differently,” shared Burns. “In between these sessions, there will be interactive opportunities to talk about more informal topics. At the end of the day, we want Fresh Summit to truly be a memorable, can’t miss experience from the education to the expo to the in-person networking opportunities.”
PMA Fresh Summit will be held October 18-20 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.