During the “Recognizing the Best Part of PMA” Virtual Town Hall held on October 27, 2021, Produce Marketing Association and Center for Growing Talent announced the winners of the suite of awards recognizing excellence across the industry. The awards recognize industry volunteers across the industry who transform, innovate, collaborate and lead all those they encounter towards growing a healthier world.
“Our association is not only for our members, but by our members, especially our industry volunteers,” said PMA CEO, Cathy Burns. “Collaboration between our boards, committees, task forces, councils and our team is fundamental to the work we do.”
Here is a recap of the 2021 winners:
- PMA Robert L. Carey Leadership Award: Michael Simonetta, Perfection Fresh Group: This award honors extraordinary efforts in volunteer service to PMA that has helped to advance and develop the produce industry.
- PMA Bryan E. Silbermann Collaboration Award: Doug Grant, The Oppenheimer Group: This award celebrates an outstanding PMA member who has addressed an industry issue or challenges through their work to advance the produce and floral industries.
- CGT Frieda Rapoport Caplan Women’s Catalyst Award: Marty Craner, B&C Fresh Sales: The award, named for industry legend, Frieda Rapoport Caplan, recognizes those who have played an important role in mentoring and advancing women in the produce and floral industries.
- CGT Jay Pack: Cultivating Our Future Award: Jill Overdorf, Naturipe Farms: This award is dedicated to volunteers who, through sharing of passion and insights for careers in the produce or floral industry, have had a tremendous impact on attracting talent to the industry.
- 2021 PMA Impact Award: DNO Inc.: Earlier in 2021, in recognition of the UN’s Year of Fruit and Vegetables, PMA issued a challenge to the industry to make an impact in their communities by helping to bring fresh produce to those in need.
- Science and Technology Circle of Excellence Award: Verdant Robotics: The award is to recognize the an individual, company or organization working to solve an industry challenge through innovations in science and technology.
- Retail Merchant of the Year Award Winners:
The award is designed to recognize the great work of retail merchants who are essential to educating consumers and team members on produce to impact store sales and drive consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. This award is sponsored by Sage Fruit, who support this award because of the importance of retail merchants to the success of sharing growers’ stories with consumers. The 2021 Winners:
- 1-10 Store Count: Dino Medica, Produce Coordinator, Metropolitan Market
- 11-49 Store Count: Jeff Fairchild, Director of Produce, New Seasons Market
- 50-199 Store Count: Mike Roberts, Produce Director, Harps Food Stores
- 200 – 399 Store Count: Brian McKinght, Merchandising Manage, Kroger Company - Houston
- 400+ Store Count: Steven Williams, VP Produce and Floral, Southeastern Grocers
Find out more about the award winners here.