NEWARK, DEL. – The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and Center for Growing Talent (CGT) have announced the 2020 winners of four major annual awards leading up to Fresh Summit. The awards are given each year during Fresh Summit and this year, the winners will accept their awards during the General Sessions, Women’s Fresh Perspectives General Session and the Talent Community Reception. 

The awards recognize PMA members and industry leaders who have contributed in a variety of ways to transform and advance the industry. 

The Robert L. Carey Leadership Award recognizes an extraordinary leader who has improved and developed the industry through their volunteer service. The Bryan E. Silbermann Collaboration Award celebrates excellence in collaboration and recognizes an outstanding member who has addressed an issue or challenge and inspired collaboration in others to move the industry forward.  

Both awards will be announced on Oct. 14 during the General Session: Inspirational Ways to Grow a Healthier World beginning at 10:35 a.m. EST. 

CGT will recognize two incredible leaders in the attraction and development of talent in the industry. 

The CGT Jay Pack Cultivating Our Future Award will be presented during the Talent Community Reception on Oct. 13. This award honors a volunteer who, through sharing their passions for careers in the produce or floral industry, has a tremendous impact on attracting talent to the industry.  

On Oct. 15, during the General Session: Women’s Fresh Perspectives – Taking a Seat at the Table, Karen Caplan of Frieda’s Specialty Produce will name the first winner of the newly named Frieda Rapoport Caplan Women’s Catalyst Award. The award was renamed in honor of the industry legend who was also last year’s winner. 

“It is a Fresh Summit tradition to celebrate the extraordinary work of industry leaders who transform and advance our industry,” said Cathy Burns, chief executive officer of PMA. “With the challenges we’ve witnessed and overcome this year, the selection committees reviewed many examples of great work happening throughout the produce and floral communities as they selected the final recipients. Congratulations to the four leaders we will recognize next week during Fresh Summit.” 

The award winners in 2020 are: 

  • The 2020 Robert L. Carey Leadership Award winner is recognized as an inspirational leader who contributes her time and passion to bettering the industry and growing consumption. Jin Ju Wilder, director of marketing and business development at Vesta Foodservice, is this year’s awardee. Nominators cited her collaborative orientation and long history of advocacy and volunteer service to the produce industry as a member of both the PMA and Produce for Better Health Foundation Boards of Directors, including a term as PMA Chair. Wilder will be recognized by Brighter Bites CEO Rich Dachman, last year’s award recipient. 

  • The 2020 winner of the Bryan E. Silbermann Collaboration Award is Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli. Fernandez-Fenaroli is the executive director of the Center for Produce Safety and is recognized for her ability to create and lead collaboration between the many entities necessary to address and continually enhance food safety in our industry. The work of the Center for Produce Safety requires collaboration at the highest levels, and nominators specifically pointed to Fernandez-Fenaroli’s ability to connect the dots and bridge groups together to change the face of food safety for our industry. Last year’s winner, Vic Smith, will present Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli with this year’s award. 

  • The winner of the CGT Jay Pack Cultivating Our Future Award is Dan’l Mackey Almy, the president and CEO of DMA Solutions. She is well known in the industry for her energizing passion for growing consumption. In addition to her leading work as an innovative marketer and inspiring team leader, Almy has been an active and generous volunteer over the course of her career. As one of the first mentors to join Jay Pack at the beginning of Career Pathways, Almy has inspired her team members to join as mentors in the program. She was also one of the founding sponsors and supporters of the Women’s Fresh Perspectives portfolio. 

  • The winner of the CGT Frieda Rapoport Caplan Women’s Catalyst Award is Kristen Reid, executive vice president of MIXTEC Group. Reid is the only woman in her company’s history to be recognized as a partner and senior executive and has also been able to actively advance women into senior leadership roles in her position at MIXTEC Group. Not only is Reid active in her day to day work, but she has also dedicated years of time as a volunteer, serving on a variety of PMA, CGT and FPFC boards and committees in the industry and has been a Career Ambassador for the Career Pathways program since 2011. In that time, she has mentored 15 female students. Reid will be presented the award by Karen Caplan, daughter of the late Frieda Rapoport Caplan, last year’s Women’s Catalyst Award winner. 

There will be additional awards announced during the Fresh Summit schedule including the first winners for the Retail Merchant Innovation Award and the highly anticipated Floral Marketer of the Year Award.  

The award presentations will be live for all those registered for Fresh Summit. Registration is still open and all those registered by Oct. 12 at 5 p.m. EST will also be able to RSVP for the hottest ticket of the year, the SUNSET Rocks virtual event.