United Fresh introduces class 25 of the produce industry leadership program

United Fresh introduces class 25 of the produce industry leadership program

The rising stars of the produce industry begin their leadership journeys.


CHICAGO, IL – The United Fresh Produce Association is pleased to announce the members of the 2019-2020 United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program Class 25. Sponsored by a generous grant from Corteva Agriscience, the agriculture division of DowDuPont, this program was launched in 1995 and has graduated more than 200 program participants.

The Produce Industry Leadership Program welcomes the following professionals to its 25th Class:

• Fernando Aguiar, Naturipe Farms, LLC

• Aly Ahnert, Fresh Start Foods Canada, Ltd.

• Peter Barone, Starbucks

• Frank Camera, SunFed

• Annie Faller, Gold Coast Packing Company, Inc.

• Craig Fields, RPE, Inc.

• Bobby Grinstead, The Grinstead Group, LLC

• Martha Hilton, Wegmans

• Marc Newman, Capital City Fruit Company, Inc.

• Stephanie Pharris, Duncan Family Farms, LLC

• Jennifer Pulcipher, North Bay Produce, Inc.

• Oliver Sill, Columbine Vineyards

Beginning this July, the members of Leadership Class 25 will participate in a number of educational events and outings centered on the four core focus areas of the program: leadership development, business relationships, government and public affairs, and media and public communications.

During the year-long fellowship, participants will take part in a series of customized trips which include face-to-face meetings with leading industry players, hands-on training with top industry experts and educators, interactive experiences with influential leaders in Washington, and more. This year's schedule will feature trips to California, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida and San Diego, where the class will graduate at United Fresh 2020 Convention & Expo.

"We are thrilled to welcome the newest class of the Produce Industry Leadership Program,” Amanda Griffin, Senior Director of Education and Member Programs for United Fresh says. “We congratulate Class 25 for their commitment to becoming future fresh produce leaders.”

“Corteva Agriscience has been the sole sponsor of the Produce Industry Leadership Program since its inception 25 years ago,” Tom Stenzel, United Fresh President & CEO says. “Their tremendous support creates a unique opportunity for future fresh produce leaders to grow professionally and personally, ensuring a bright future for our industry.”

Candidates selected for the program submitted an application including essays on what they consider the most important challenges affecting the produce industry, and had two personal interviews with members of the Leadership Advisory Committee comprised of United Fresh Board members and program alumni. The committee is responsible for assessing each candidate based on their experience and expertise, as well as developing a class that is balanced and representative of the industry.

For more information about the United Fresh Produce Association, click here