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SEPC announces Next Generation Leadership Academy

The Southeast Produce Council is expanding its education portfolio with a unique leadership development program designed for up-and-coming leaders.

This year-long program will provide participants a unique approach to conscious leadership ideals and methodologies. Participants will develop and galvanize leadership skills and prepare to navigate industry challenges with a growth mindset. The Academy will feature quarterly modules that will include virtually guided events and up to two in-person programming events. This program will equip and prepare participants for future leadership responsibilities with content relevant to their leadership challenges.

“When we received an overwhelming number of nominations for our prestigious Next Generation Award last year, we realized the need to transform a single award into a robust leadership program," said SEPC Past Chairman Raina Nelson of Westfalia Fruit USA. "The Next Generation Leadership Academy is more than a moment, more than a single award and has been thoughtfully designed to recognize, honor and invest in future leaders seeking to be changemakers in the produce industry.”

Nominations are now open and will close Dec. 15 before 5 p.m. EST. Nominees should have organizational level support to participate. The inaugural class will be announced during the General Session & Keynote Luncheon at Southern Exposures 2023 and will graduate at Southern Exposure 2024.

Eligibility requirements for nominee:

  • Emerging leader in produce, mid-level manager or above
  • Employed in the produce industry for at least four years
  • Member in “Good Standing” of the SEPC
  • Must possess a vision for leadership, a strong drive to carry it out, and strong communications skills to convey why they believe they would be a good candidate for the program by submitting a short video for selection process

To be in “Good Standing,” a member must actively participate in the SEPC by their attendance, contributions or both and must be included in SEPC’s membership roll. SEPC member companies who are in "Good Standing" may nominate an employee who is not currently on the active SEPC membership role.

Note that employees of the Southeast Produce Council, the SEPC’s participating vendors, any contract employees of the SEPC, and members of the immediate family of any such persons are not eligible to be nominated or win the Award. The term “immediate family” includes spouses, siblings, parents, children, grandparents, and grandchildren, whether as “in-laws”, or by current or past marriage(s), adoption, co-habitation or other family extension, and other persons residing at the same household whether related.

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