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EPCnj3548HILLSDALE, NJ — The Eastern Produce Council's May 24 meeting, sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, is always one of the more popular EPC meetings of the year, and this time close to 200 people came out to enjoy the evening.

This was the 29th consecutive year that Jersey Fresh has sponsored an EPC meeting, and as in the last few years, it was held outdoors under a tent here at Demarest Farms — and thus is known as the Jersey Fresh Cookout. (This year was the seventh cookout.) By tradition, this was also the last EPC meeting before its summer break; the council's meetings will resume this fall.

Ron Budd of Gloucester County Packing and Chuck Zambito of Zambito Produce Sales.

SEPCgolf3466GREENSBORO, NC — The Southeast Produce Council raised $85,000 to help two organizations at its third annual Terry Vorhees Charity Golf Classic, held May 17-19 at the Grandover Resort & Conference Center, here. The two beneficiaries, which each received $42,500, were the Produce for Better Health Foundation and Victory Junction.

About 175 registered for the event, according to SEPC Executive Director David Sherrod. The event honored the memory of Mr. Vorhees, the Southeast Produce Council's first executive director and one of its founders, who died July 30, 2014.

Nicole Conner is director of corporate engagement at Victory Junction, a camp for kids with serious medical conditions based in Randleman, NC. The Southeast Produce Council donated $42,500 to that organization during the SEPC's Terry Vorhees Charity Golf Classic.

DSC04230David Warren, founder of Central American Produce in Pompano Beach, FL, was celebrated by family, friends and industry colleagues May 4 at the Waterstone Resort & Marina in Boca Raton, FL, in honor of his 100th birthday, which was May 8. At the party, Monsanto launched a new cantaloupe variety — the Don David — in his honor to recognize the contributions Warren made in helping Caribbean and Central American growers produce non-traditional crops.

David Warren holding the new variety of cantaloupe named after him, the Don David.

oie1Center for Growing Talent by PMA’s Executive Leadership Symposium is designed to energize, motivate and equip top-tier leaders. This year’s event was held in Dallas May 11-13. Strategy and performance come to mind first for most leaders. This year’s symposium focused on culture.

The focus of culture poses problems, because it is so hard to define. Center for Growing Talent brought in four speakers to help executives in attendance define and improve their culture in order to drive strategy: Doug Rauch, former Trader Joe’s CEO; Vicky Myoda, with Predictive Index Midlantic; Vikram Mansharamani, global equity investor; and Tim Kuppler, with Human Synergistics.


Center for Growing Talent by PMA's Lynda Fisher, Alicia Calhoun and Margi Prueitt. 

step3248The Southeast Produce Council's 2016 STEP-UPP class traveled April 26-29 to the state of Georgia for an educational tour that included some of the well-known produce facilities and farms that produce the state's famous Vidalia onions. The trip was part of the program's ongoing learning experience for class members to develop a greater understanding of the fresh produce industry.

The Southeast Training Education Program for Upcoming Produce Professionals is spearheaded by Faye Westfall, director of sales at DiMare Fresh Tampa, who serves as chairperson, and Tom Page, retired from Supervalu, who serves as vice chairperson.

The 12 members of the 2016 class on the Georgia tour were Josh Rector of Harps Hometown Fresh, Clark Roper of Piggly Wiggly, Eddie Rivera of FreshPoint, Robert Sabo of Florida Food Service, Lorena Lemus of MDI, Patrick Eisinger of Lowes Foods, James Coleman of Rouses, Ryan Ellison of Food City, Sean Hart of Kroger, Paul Williams of Associated Wholesale Grocers, Jill Marshall of Walmart and Matthew Forbes of Southeastern Grocers.

Bobby Lane of Lane Southern Orchards in a peach field.