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Mentor Program launches at IFPA Women’s Fresh Perspectives Conference

The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) initiated its women’s mentoring program on Monday, April 17 at the Women’s Fresh Perspectives Conference in Orlando, Florida. The purpose of this program is to create mentorship relationships among women in the fresh produce and floral industry.  

The conference was a sold-out event that brought in 216 women across the produce and floral industry.

The program kicked off with a general session hosted by Christy Pettit, CEO of Pollinate Networks, Inc. Called Mentoring: What’s it All About? Giving Back & Sharing Wisdom, Pettit spoke about how to source a mentor, maximizing the mentor/mentee relationship and the benefits of mentorship including: increased job satisfaction, productivity, diversity and retention rates in the workplace.  

The conference was a sold-out event that brought in 216 women across the produce and floral industry. These women had the opportunity to sign up for this new mentorship program which now has 82 pairs and counting. Of the women participating, 39 opted to be both a mentor and a mentee.

Some facts about the mentorship program enrolees: 

  • Age range of 25 to 61 
  • 1 to 31 years of individual work experience 
  • Spanning more than 50 locations around the world 
  • 1,999 combined years of work experience 
  • Topic interests of management styles, business acumen, marketing, finance and professional development 

The panel from the Women in Leadership: Unplugged session.

“Mentorship was a theme that echoed across all of our sessions,” said IFPA Director of Education & Talent Megan Nash. “While attendees have always left our conference with new connections and relationships, we were excited to create those connections in a more formal way by offering our mentoring program with Pollinate Networks, Inc. We hope this will allow the women to continue their connections long after the conference.” 

Following the conference, these mentorship pairs will continue to work together for a year and will have access to an online mentoring library for resources that benefit both the mentor and mentee throughout their journey, but it is hoped that the connection and relationship continue beyond the end of the program.  

Chemmy Alcott (right), four-time Winter Olympian spoke at the closing general session.

The next opportunity to participate in a Women’s Fresh Perspectives event will be at the upcoming Foodservice Conference in Monterey, California. The Women’s Fresh Perspectives Reception can be added to any registration for the conference. Interested attendees can also register for the Women’s Fresh Perspectives Breakfast at the Global Produce and Floral Show and attendees of the Southern Africa Conference can participate in a Women’s Breakfast to bring together women from across the region.  

Next year’s Women’s Fresh Perspectives Conference will take place April 7-9.  

For more information:
Siobhan May
Tel.: +1 (302) 781-5855  

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