The 2023 PEI Potato Industry Awards Banquet was held on November 24 in Charlottetown and four members of the industry were recognized at the event.

Ray Keenan being honored.

Ray Keenan was presented with an award for his commitment to the PEI potato industry. Ray, with his brother Alvin, operates Rollo Bay Holdings in Rollo Bay, PEI and grows, packs and ships potatoes all over North America. His work in establishing the United Potato Growers of Canada was highlighted as one of the standout reasons for this award as a respected, influential member of the potato industry nationwide.

Andy Walker being honored.

Andy Walker was also acknowledged for his contributions to both the PEI potato industry and the broader, local agriculture sector. Walker is well known for his role as the former editor of the Island Farmer, which he began in 2000 and continued until retirement earlier this year. He earned a reputation for his commitment to delivering accurate and informative content to the industry and the public.

Brenda Simmons being honored.

Brenda Simmons, the former assistant general manager of the PEI Potato Board was also recognized as a highly respected member of the industry in PEI, Canada and beyond. Her citation remarked on her thorough work throughout the years, successfully guiding the industry through many good times as well as more challenging ones. She has tremendous agriculture experience, having spent many years at AAFC and over 25 years at the Potato Board.

The industry honoring Mary Kay Sonier.

Another recently retired Potato Board staff member, Mary Kay Sonier, was also recognized for her contributions to the industry. A highly regarded advisor both in and out of the field for over 32 years, Sonier served as the Board’s seed coordinator, was responsible for the Elite Seed Farm in Fox Island, PEI and was the editor and publisher of the industry’s magazine, PEI Potato News. She was also heralded for playing a key role in the recent potato wart crisis and was mentioned as one of the most knowledgeable people in the country on the subject.

The PEI Potato Board congratulates all recipients of these prestigious honors and thanks everyone for their tremendous contributions to the Prince Edward Island potato industry.

For more information:
Kendra Mills
Prince Edward Island Potato Board
Tel: +1 (902) 892-6551