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IFPA announces class three of Produce Safety Immersion Program

The International Fresh Produce Association announced the Class Three Fellows of the Produce Safety Immersion Program, sponsored by Calavo Growers/Renaissance Food Group at the gold level, and Ecolab as a silver sponsor. The 11 fellows will begin their journey virtually during a kickoff meeting later this month, and continue their year-long program with in-person and virtual meetings.   

“We’re thrilled to welcome class three of the Produce Safety Immersion Program as they begin their journey as produce safety professionals,” said Jennifer McEntire, chief food safety and regulatory officer at International Fresh Produce Association. “I’ve been so encouraged to see the personal and professional growth of members of the first two cohorts. We successfully combined elements of the previous classes and are excited to take what we learned to effectively build the technical capacity, critical thinking skills, and leadership attributes of this next class through a hybrid virtual and in-person format.”   

The program combines a variety of approaches, including formal webinars, in-person trainings and site visits, informal networking, technical seminars, group work, individual projects, and problem-solving exercises, combined with mentorship. Four highly-skilled produce safety professionals will serve as mentors to the program fellows.  

Class Three Fellows are:

  • Mandy Chan, Driscoll's Inc.
  • Annie Church, Farmer's Fridge
  • Sarah Cope, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  • Quinn Cotter, Calavo Growers Inc.
  • Margaret Dominguez, Soli Organic Inc.
  • Hector Garza, Texas International Produce Association
  • Neal Mays, Safe Foods Corporation
  • Roberto Othon, SunFed
  • Sarah Salley, GreenGate Fresh LLLP
  • Haley Stockton, Highland Ag Solutions

Early to mid-career professionals with less than five years of experience in produce safety were evaluated by members of the Produce Safety Immersion Program alumni and former or current program mentors based on their backgrounds, roles in the industry, career aspirations, and recommendations. These budding produce safety professionals will be coached by the following mentors:

  • Donna Lynn Browne, director of food safety and social responsibility, Naturipe Farms LLC
  • Chris Summers, vice president of food safety, Mission Produce Inc.  
  • Sergio Nieto-Montenegro, president, food safety consulting and training solutions LLC
  • Brianne Froelich, director of science and technology, Renaissance Food Group LLC  

Several industry experts shared their knowledge and experiences with classes one and two, and IFPA invites other interested members to reach out if they would like to support class three in this fashion. For more information about the program, contact Katie McGowan, IFPA’s manager of food-safety programs, at 202/303-3402 or kmcgowan@freshproduce.com.

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