The second annual United Fresh BrandStorm took place Nov. 14-15 at the Hilton San Francisco Financial District. A project of the Produce Marketing & Merchandising Council, the event is created by produce marketers, for produce marketers. This year’s event attracted more than 180 attendees from all levels of career experience seeking to gain insights on brand marketing and advertising strategies. Beginning with a half day of general session engagement and case study kick-off, attendees gathered to conclude the day with a Welcome Reception on the bridge suspended over Kearny Street in the city’s Financial District.
Stephen Medina and Mary Wright-Rana of PRO*ACT with Linda Welter of The Caliber Group and BrandStorm speaker.
Gabriela D’Arrigo of D'Arrigo Bros. Co. of New York, Erin Lackey of Jugular, Kim St. George of Mann Packing Co. and Julie DeWolf of Sunkist.
Hartnell College students and faculty.
Chadwick Boyd of Lovely & Delicious Enterprises Inc. with Kara Spadone and Debbie Blevins of Moxxy Marketing.
LeighAnne Thomsen of Mission Produce and Liz Serafin of McDill Associates.
Tonya Antle of Tanimura & Antle with Tom Stenzel of United Fresh.
Nicholas Pasculli of The Marketing Department Inc. and Fiona McLean of Del Fresco Produce joined by a Hartnell Student.
Bob Meek of Utah Onions, Ted Wright of Fizz and BrandStorm General Session speaker, Jim Beagle of Grapery and Don Ladhoff of Black Gold Farms.
Shannon Mulvaney, Amanda Griffin and Mary Coppola of United Fresh.
Tuesday started with a breakfast panel of retailers sharing how their stores are responding to consumers’ growing needs for produce brands and stories. The energy of the event continued with breakout sessions on topics such as influencers, brand development, menu trends and social media. Attendees gathered once again in groups of 10 to work on case study challenges that introduced new communication channels and collaboration hypotheticals. This exercise helped thread the theme of “lightbulb moments” together as attendees gathered one last time for the closing general session where they learned how to create brand names that stick.
BrandStorm attracted 110 companies all seeking to enhance their brand footprint. Attendee’s careers ranged from less than a year of produce industry experience to industry legends with more than four decades in produce. The mix of traditional marketing and social media savvy leveled the playing field for attendees where everyone had something to contribute to the dialogue.
Friends and colleagues of Al Murray, New Jersey's assistant secretary of agriculture, threw a surprise party earlier this month to commemorate Murray's upcoming retirement from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.
Billed as the "Al Murray Farewell Tour," the event took place Friday afternoon, Nov. 4, at one of Murray favorite spots, The Irish Pub in Atlantic City, NJ.
About 70 people — including farmers, retailers, wholesalers and Murray's colleagues throughout the years — attended the party, according to Joe Atchison, the department's coordinator of agricultural development. Among those attending were Douglas H. Fisher, the state's secretary of agriculture, and Arthur R. Brown Jr., a former New Jersey secretary of agriculture and the man who hired Murray back in 1983.
Al Murray (center), flanked by Douglas H. Fisher, New Jersey's secretary of agriculture, and Arthur R. Brown Jr., a former New Jersey secretary of agriculture. Photos courtesy of Christine Fries, NJDA.
Al Murray's sister Dana Ball; Art Brown; Murray's mother, Virginia; and Al Murray.
Al Murray with two colleagues from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture: Nancy Wood and Joe Atchison.
John McAleavey Jr. of the Eastern Produce Council with Logan Brown of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.
Manoel Tamassia, director of the NJDA's Division of Animal Health and state veterinarian, with Joseph Zoltowski, director of the NJDA's Division of Plant Industry.
Debbie and Rich Norz of Norz Hill Farm & Market.
Al Murray with Laura DePrado of Final Touch Plantscaping; Douglas H. Fisher, New Jersey's secretary of agriculture; and Paul Hlubik of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency.
Gordon M. Hochberg of The Produce News with Al Murray.
Jerry Verrico of KMT Brrr with Al Murray.
Denny and Gini Doyle of Atlantic Blueberry Co. with Francisca and Tim Wetherbee of Diamond Blueberry Inc.
TUBAC, AZ — The 48th Nogales Produce Convention & Golf Tournament convened at the Tubac Golf Resort & Spa, here. The meeting, hosted by the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, opened with an educational session on Nov. 3. The Opening Fiesta & Networking Event was attended by nearly 500, who enjoyed music performed by the Nogales High School Mariachi band.
Georgina Felix of the FPAA sets up a table of gifts for 5K participants at the 5K Run/Walk for Salad Bars in Schools in Tubac, AZ, on Nov. 5.
A group of runners affiliated with the Nogales office of The Giumarra Cos. after finishing the 5K race. Standing to the right is FPAA staffer Marlene Lopez.
Dave Westendorf of Harvest Pride, Jim and Kathy Cathey of Marengo, Rick Feighery of Procacci Bros. and Veronica Rivas of Santa Sweets.
John Uribe of J-C Distributing.
Eric Meyer of Prime Time and Omar Losolla of GreenPoint Distributing.
Mike and Ryan Smith of Sigma Sales flank Rick Sbragia of The Produce Exchange.
Carlos Vasquez of the Mexican Embassy in Washington, DC, with Ernesto Maldonado of Star Produce.
Terry Shannon of Shannon Brokerage, Juan Laborin of AALPUM and Miky Suarez of MAS Melons & Grapes.
John Toner of United Fresh, Lance Jungmeyer of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas and Gonzalo Avila of Malena Produce.
Carlos Vazquez of SAGARPA, Georgina Felix of the FPAA, Ernesto Maldonado of Star Produce and Jaime Chamberlain of J-C Produce.
George Murillo and Bobby Astengo of Peppers-Plus LLC.
Jessie Gunn of Wholesum Family Farms, Lance Jungmeyer of the FPAA and Mikee Suarez of MAS Melons & Grapes.
Carlos Alcantara of Gonzalez Quality Fruit & Vegetable and Michael McDonald of M&M West Coast Produce Inc.
Rosie Cornelius and Grant Hunt of Grant J. Hunt Co.
Luis Hanna of Marengo Foods and Ricardo Silva of Cajas Agricola.
A talented Mariachi band representing Nogales High School performed at the opening night party of the 48th Nogales Produce Convention.
Ricardo Banuelos of Performance Produce and Bill Spence of Allied Trading LLC.
Hector Suarez, president of the Nogales U.S. Customs Brokers Association Inc., presented funds raised by the association’s membership to donate two salad bars to school in Nogales, AZ. Looking on are Lance Jungmeyer, president of the FPAA, and John Toner V of the United Fresh Produce Association. The Nogales Customs Brokers long ago established its own commercial cartage company, whose profits go to benefit children in the Nogales area. Suarez is president of Suarez Brokerage Co. Inc. in Nogales.
James Frank Manson and his wife, Sharon Rose Manson, with Lance Jungmeyer, president of the FPAA, during the ceremony at which Manson was honored with the 2016 Pillar of the FPAA Award.
At the Gala Event and Pillars of the FPAA Awards Ceremony of the 48th Nogales Produce Convention, James Frank Manson was honored with the 2016 Pillar of the FPAA Award. Presenting the award was FPAA president Lance Jungmeyer. Manson is the retired president of his family-owned Pacific Brokerage Co. Inc. in Nogales. Jungmeyer credited Manson as 'a businessman of integrity' and as an individual with 'the strongest work ethic.'
Chef Javier Castro of Casino del Sol in Tucson, AZ, was a participant in the Nov. 4 Culinary Showcase at the 48th Nogales Produce Convention.
FPPA President Lance Jungmeyer led a 2016-17 season kickoff industry panel discussion highlighting the rapid growth of the Nogales produce industry’s top 10 volume items, including feedback from four distributors about those commodities. The panelists were Chris Ciruli of Ciruli Bros. Inc., Rod Sbragia of Tricar Sales Inc., Fried DeSchouwer of Greenhouse Produce Co. and Mikee Suarez of MAS Melons & Grapes Inc.
Jungmeyer indicated that Mexico’s 2015 total fruit and vegetable export value for the U.S. market was $9.2 billion. This exceeds the combined total of all other countries, which in 2015 had a total value of $8.2 billion.
Walter Ram, vice president of food safety for The Giumarra Cos. in Los Angeles, and Bobby Astengo, managing partner of Peppers Plus Inc. in Rio Rico, AZ, outlined coming changes in the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act and the Food Safety Verification Program for produce imports. Astengo recently was an industry representative in a highly detailed FDA food-safety regulatory educational session in Maryland.
DeDe Murcer Moffett was the keynote speaker, who encouraged attendees to never say no to an opportunity that may lead to success beyond one's comfort zone.
The Nov. 4 program included a Mexican cuisine program presented by local and Mexican chefs, as well as a two-day golf tournament and a 5K run.
All 35 companies from the Hunts Point Produce Market in the Bronx, NY, donated produce that was distributed to needy families from noon until 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Julio Carballo Little League Basketball Court. Volunteers, primarily from the Hunts Point Market, handed out 2,000 bags of produce, weighing over 25,000 pounds. Each gift bag contained baking potatoes, acorn squash, carrots, celery root, ginger, chayote squash, cranberries, McIntosh apples, rutabagas, tangerines and yams.
The holiday gift bags that were handed out to each family.
Myra Gordon (fourth from right), executive director of the Hunts Point Produce Cooperative, flanked by many volunteers, primarily from the Hunt Point Produce Market.
Bobby Stead with D'Arrigo New York is placing a gift bag into the shopping cart of a family in Hunts Point.
Sasha LoPresti of A.J. Trucco handing out a gift bag of produce.
Ashley Celestin of A.J. Trucco and Myra Gordon of the Hunts Point Produce Cooperative assist in donating a bag of produce.
A list of holiday items that were donated by the merchants of the Hunts Point Produce Market.
Sergeant Roberts and Officer Diaz assisting at the Hunts Point Gives Back event.
Chief Poole and Sergeant Roberts assisting at the event.
Gabriela D'Arrigo of D'Arrigo New York handing out a holiday gift bag.
Kevin D'Arrigo of D'Arrigo New York handing out a holiday gift bag.
Dillon D'Arrigo of D'Arrigo New York passing out a holiday bag of produce.
Many families came to Hunts Point Gives Back with shopping carts. Seen here is D'Arrigo New York's Kevin D'Arrigo helping at the event.
Myra Gordon, executive director of the Hunts Point Produce Cooperative, with her daughter, Leslie Gordon of City Harvest.
Peter D'Arrigo of D'Arrigo New York waiting to hand out a holiday gift bag.
Ashley Celestin of A.J. Trucco and Myra Gordon of the Hunts Point Produce Cooperative waiting to hand out the next gift bag.
Myra Gordon of the Hunts Point Produce Cooperative, Mike Loughran of DKC Public Relations and Sasha LoPresti of A.J. Trucco.
Families waiting in line for their holiday gift bags.
Holiday gift bags lined up and ready for donation.
Lori Hirsch DeMarco of LBD Produce assists in handing out the holiday gift bags.
The Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit & Expo Oct. 14-16 in Orlando, FL, drew 20,889 attendees from 65 countries, setting a new East Coast attendance record, according to a news release. The three-day event showcased new products, trends and technologies with more than 80 exhibiting floral companies —13 percent more than last year — in a sold-out Floral Pavilion.
“The show was bigger than last year, with some new flower farms and new brokers exhibiting,” Bill Prescott, marketing communications specialist at the Sun Valley Group in Arcata, CA, said. “As for the exhibition hall, we had great traffic and saw a lot of buyers in our booth. It was simply a very well-organized show.”
Michael Schrader, floral director for Schnuck Markets Inc. in St. Louis, received the 2016 PMA Floral Marketer of the Year award from Bonnie Armellini, owner of Gems Group Miami, the 2015 award winner.
The ‘Hello Gorgeous’ flower wall was part of the Elite Flower booth — and popular as a photo background for Larry Willett, Mauricio Ruiz, Denise McPartland, Cathy Maneri, Karli Nelson, Mark Hoeser and Jacob McCall.
The Floral Pavilion at the 2016 PMA Fresh Summit in Orlando, FL. included more than 80 exhibiting floral companies. Photo courtesy of Bill Prescott
The Floral Sense team: Izzy Fernandez, Michelle Lopez, Maria Alberto, Carolina Riera and Jose Alberto, president of the company.
The Gems Group Inc. booth won Best of Show, Island Booth at the 2016 PMA Fresh Summit.
At the Gems Group booth were (back row): Alex Ledesma, David Rich, Robert Hidalgo, Yazmin Sotero, Carlos Oramas, Bonnie Armellini, Dyanna Paz, Rene Provost and Bill Schaffer; and (front row): Hansel Garcia, Juan Contesse and James Lowder.
Lenka Hustakova, Bisser Georgiev, Jessica Pearce and Chris Vaughan from the LiveTrends Design Group in Apopka, FL.
Frank Feysa, design director at Smithers-Oasis Co. in Kent, OH.
Miss America 2017 visited the Passion Growers PMA booth. PassionRoses by Passion Growers is the official rose of Miss America. Pictured are Kevin Fiori, Kirk Joiner, Kathy Smith, Ben Pauley, Miss America Savvy Shields, Sam Ferrara, Cheryl Peisach and Jaime Peisach.
Jay Marrero, Megan Ivill, Marcella Lucio-Chinchilla, Carmen Perez and Emil Bravo from Silver Vase in Homestead, FL.
The Sunshine Bouquet Co. team in its booth at the PMA Fresh Summit in Orlando, FL.
The Sun Valley Floral PMA Dream Team at the 2016 Fresh Summit.
Andy Collins, Michele Sutton and Abraham Gavida from Sutton Ferneries in Miami.