The success of the industry is determined by more than the successful work of its members. It can be measured by standards like longevity, sustainability, and by how well it is recognized among the community.
Under those measurements it is unarguable that the fresh produce industry in the Nogales areas is a successful endeavor with over a century since the first recorded trade of melons. It is the work of many players that are responsible for this status
Every year the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, (FPAA), takes a moment during the celebration of the Nogales produce convention to honor one of those players.
These individuals are recognized as the “Pillars of FPAA,” because of their work and dedication to the industry. Also, their character, ambition, and vision that have led to a successful path for the trade via the Nogales port of entry.
This year’s award was given to James Frank Manson, better known as “Jim,” who for over 50 years was directly involved in the business and served as the right-hand man for many importers and growers who relied on him to help get their fruits and vegetables across the border, explained Lance Jungmeyer, president of FPAA.
Photo: Jim Manson surrounded by his family during the 2016 gala night after receiving the award
“This year’s Pillar has been described as a business man of integrity, with a strong work ethic. Even his competitors describe him in very positive ways, as an honest, up-front and with outstanding customer relations. His knowledge of regulations and the ability to always be on top of things made him very effective in his work,” explained Jungmeyer.
He was elected to serve as president and vice-president for many years of the Nogales U.S. Customs Brokers Association. In his own business, he was the president of Pacific Brokerage from 1964- 1998, the brokerage firm that has served the area since 1929 when his father James William Manson founded it.
On the night of Nov. 4, during the gala dinner of the 48th Nogales Produce Convention, Manson accompanied by his wife Sharon Rose, two of his three adult children, their spouses and four of his six grandchildren, received the symbol of gratitude and the title of “Pillar of FPAA.”
The same recognition has been given to George Gotsis and Roy Lundstrom in 2010; Al Harrison and Walter Holm in 2011; Beto Maldonado and James K. Wilson in 2012; Robert R. Hathaway in 2013, Eddie Stoller, Jr. in 2014 and Carlos A. Bennen in 2015.
“At FPAA, we believe that it is crucial to reward the altruistic work of people whose ripple effect of their positive actions go far beyond a generation. We are hopeful that younger members of the industry can find inspiration in today’s pillar and take huge pride in working in a similar way as Manson,” said Jungmeyer.
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