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Philly Port and Wholesale Market welcomes 2023 EPC Leadership Class

The fifth Eastern Produce Council (EPC) Leadership Class toured the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market (PWPM) and Holt Logistics on March 21, 2023. “They are perfect spots to kick off our program and we are really enthusiastic about mentoring our biggest class yet,” said Susan McAleavey Sarlund, EPC executive director.

The first stop was at PWPM with a presentation on the market’s history and function from John Vena, president of John Vena Inc. (JVI), after which the group walked the concourse to meet market merchants. Vena explained how the 700,000-square-foot facility was designed to be a live marketplace as well as a state-of-the-art distribution center. “The design of this facility offers so much opportunity to our merchants and our customers,” he said. “We offer a full range of fresh produce, protect the cold chain 100 percent and serve our customers around the clock six days a week.”

The Eastern Produce Council Leadership Class at the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market.

The group also visited Holt Logistics Corp at the Gloucester Marine Terminal in Gloucester City, New Jersey, where Sander Daniels, marketing, explained the various facilities encompassing the Philadelphia port. Daniels pointed out the prime location of the port including the fact that it is adjacent to the second largest distribution center hub in the U.S. Daniels then escorted the participants on a tour of the Del Monte Fresh Produce facility at the port. During the tour, Russell Benson, district sales manager-North region for Del Monte, discussed the process for several of the company’s imported products including pineapple and cantaloupe and treated the class to samples.

The EPC’s program delivers a dual-medium learning environment and includes tours and classroom learning activities throughout the year.

Participants for this year’s program include: Brian Arena, Four Seasons Produce Inc.; Julie Barber, The Oppenheimer Group; Lauren Barczak, Procacci Brothers Sales Corp.; Jack Christy, The Oppenheimer Group; Andrea Cutler, Michael Cutler Company; Tyler Davidov, Suja; Anna Fagan, AeroFarms; Michael Hill, Nature Sweet; Chris Jacobsen, Silo; Mike Kominsky, Ventura Foods; Savannah Lloyd, Farm-Wey Produce Inc.; Joshua Minton, Frank Donio Inc.; Isaac Olivas, Fowler Farms; Luke Palizay, Pacific Trellis Fruit; Max Pozzessere, Little Leaf Farms; Nicolina Rutherford, Wakefern Food Corp.; Jessica Sarter, Pulmuone Foods; Jerry Scherwin, PennRose Farms; Christopher Scotti, John Vena Inc.; Eric Smith, John Vena Inc.; Karolina Sokolska, Hampton Farms; Alexis Sommers, F&S Fresh Foods; Joseph Strumolo, Wakefern Food Corp.; Stephanie Tramutola, A & J Produce Corp.; Jenna Vaccaro, Sugar Foods; and Nicholas Vargas, Wakefern Food Corp. Also participating in the tour was Theresa Lowden, vice president of EPC and executive VP, produce and floral at JOH.

For more information:
Susan McAleavey Sarlund
Eastern Produce Council
Tel: +1 (908) 723-0645 

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