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Kristen Reid looks forward to chairing FPFC

By
Gordon M. Hochberg

Kristen Reid of MIXTEC Group has been involved with the Fresh Produce & Floral Council since 2010, initially serving on a number of committees. As the years went on, she got more and more involved in the council, including its educational work. She has always appreciated how the organization has brought regional suppliers and buyers together for the betterment of the fresh produce and floral industry.

Now Reid is continuing her work in a new leadership role, as she was elected Jan. 1 to chair the council for a one-year term.

"As I got closer to beginning my term over the holidays, I got more and more excited for what we can accomplish during my term," Reid told The Produce News. "The last several years have been focused on rebuilding after the pandemic for all trade associations. Like a lot of other organizations in the industry, we hit our stride in 2023 and are back to our pre-pandemic levels. I am looking forward to building off that foundation and making the adjustments and improvements to our events that will take us to the next level of engagement and value."

She added, "It is fun to get to be in the position to build off of a strong base and see just how high up we can go. I am incredibly grateful for my predecessors in the chair role, most recently Michael Schutt of Bay Area Herbs and Kori Martin of Oppy, who shepherded the organization during the rebuilding period and have set me up for success."

Reid recalled her earliest days with the council. "I started by serving on a few committees as a way to get more involved with the industry and give back. It was such an incredible experience that I just kept going."

She continued, "There are so many things I enjoy about the organization. First, I have been impressed by the strong volunteer base of members that are involved. They are truly passionate about the industry and giving back and do an incredible job of leaving their company hats at the door and focusing on what is best for the industry at large. Our incoming 2024 board of directors is truly an inspiring group of people, and we are backed by a fantastic team of committee volunteers that are all giving selflessly. Second, I believe in the work that the FPFC is doing. I still see the value of relationships in this industry, and the FPFC does a good job of bringing suppliers and buyers together in a fun way that builds relationships."

She added, "I also think the educational work the organization has done with their Apprentice Program is incredible. I was fortunate enough to get to participate in the program from its inception, and it has been so rewarding to see the impact it has had on the lives of people early in their careers in produce."

Noting that education in the produce industry is one of her key passions, Reid stated, "I cannot wait to see how we can continue to build out the educational programming offered by the FPFC. The Apprentice Program has been so successful and is a great way for the organization to drive value to our members and the industry at large. We are exploring other educational needs that companies in the industry may have that we can serve. I hope we are in the position to be able to launch a new educational program that will be equally as impactful as the Apprentice Program before the end of my term."

Reid currently serves as executive vice president of MIXTEC Group, which is headquartered in La Crescenta, CA, and specializes in executive search services.

"This year marks my 16th year at MIXTEC Group. It has been the most rewarding career I could have fallen into. I absolutely love the work that I do and the industry that we get to serve," she stated. "I also work with incredible people who support me in the office and allow me the time to volunteer with organizations like the FPFC. There isn't a day that goes by that I am not grateful for my job."

She concluded by saying, "My volunteer journey at the FPFC and with other industry organizations I have served has truly been one of the most rewarding personal and professional experiences of my life. I know everyone says you get more than you give when you volunteer, but it is absolutely true. I would love to see more people get involved with the FPFC or with any industry trade organization that they are passionate about. Not only does it help to better our industry as a whole, but also it will definitely make a difference for each individual who gets involved."

Gordon Hochberg

Gordon Hochberg

About Gordon M. Hochberg  |  email

Gordon M. Hochberg was born in New York City, and grew up in Westchester County, NY. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in history from Lafayette College in 1973.

He started his career at The Produce News in the late 1970s, and has been with the publication ever since.

He served on the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Agricultural Society from 2012 to 2018. He currently serves on the Southeast Produce Council’s Board of Governors.

He enjoys music, theater and reading (American and ancient history are his favorites). And he’s been a lifelong fan of the New York Yankees since attending his first game in the late 1950s. He and his wife, Kathi, have been married since 1974.

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