PMA WORKS TO DEVELOP YOUNG TALENT
NEWARK, Del. — The Produce Marketing Association's Foundation for Industry Talent [FIT] will present numerous opportunities for aspiring college students and young executives to network and connect with potential employers at this year's Fresh Summit International Convention and Exposition, Oct. 15-18 in Orlando, Fla. In an effort to attract new talent, the [Jay] Pack Family / PMA FIT Career Pathways Program will once again host more than 50 university students and faculty from eight domestic and four international universities, by providing scholarships to attend this year's show. Each student will be given an industry orientation and assigned a mentor to help them network and navigate the show. And, Earthbound Farms will sponsor an invitation-only reception for these students, along with FIT directors and contributors. “There's a growing interest from the retail sector in our FIT foundation,” Bryan Silbermann, PMA president and chief executive officer, told SN. To date, about 50% of students who have participated in the Career Pathways program have taken produce-related jobs. In addition, this year the FIT Career Headquarters, sponsored by C. H. Robinson, will expand its role, continuing to connect employers and prospective employees, and also provide assistance to current industry professionals, offering resume reviews, headshot photos and access to career-bank computers.
PMA RECOGNIZES WOMEN LEADERS
NEWARK, Del. — As part of the Produce Marketing Association Foundation for Industry Talent's mission to attract and develop talented women executives for the produce industry, FIT will host its fourth annual invitation-only Fresh Perspective: Women's Leadership Event on Friday, Oct. 15 at the beginning of the 2010 Fresh Summit show. Attendees will have opportunities to network at the event, and Dara Torres, the first U.S. swimmer to compete in five separate Olympic Games, will speak about her recent comeback at the age of 41. To receive an invitation, contact PMA's Shara Stewart by phone at (302) 607-2181 or via e-mail at sstewart[at]pma.com. The event is co-sponsored by Bonipak Produce Co., C. H. Robinson Company Worldwide, DMA Solutions, Inc., Fisher Capespan, Frontera Produce, Ltd. and Mann Packing Co.
GOVERNMENT LEADERS MEET WITH PMA
NEWARK, Del. — Following dozens of major foodborne illness outbreaks in recent years, Obama administration has been undertaking a significant overhaul of the nation's food safety system, and the Produce Marketing Association has made it a point to highlight for government officials the produce industry's ongoing efforts to improve safety and traceability. This month, PMA's Chief Science and Technology Officer Dr. Bob Whitaker joined U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg and her staff on a tour of farms in California's Salinas Valley. And, in August, PMA's Director of Food Safety and Technology Johnna Hepner joined U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on a separate tour of farms in the region. “To get to showcase our industry's work to not one but two agency heads in two weeks is highly unusual, and we are honored to join in both tours,” Whitaker said. “Our thanks go to [Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., who organized the tours] for creating these opportunities and inviting us to share our hands-on knowledge, and to the commissioner and her staff for their openness.” PMA has conducted or participated in other, similar tours as well. In April, Whitaker accompanied FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods Michael Taylor on a tour of farms in Nogales, Ariz., and last fall, he met with Hamburg and Taylor on a tour of small farms in Delaware.