At the awards ceremony during the recent PMA convention here, Robb Bertels, vice president of Vance publishing, highlighted company President Manny Costa's many achievements, innovations and awards in advancing the safety and popularity of produce in the foodservice and hospitality marketplaces.
In addition to growing company sales from $3 million to more than $100 million, Bertels also noted Costa's innovative marketing approach of market specialization that is achieved through a unique team sales concept that heightens specialization not by territory but market segment.
Bertels added that while building his business, Costa, a member of the ID Access Editorial Advisory Board, has also been an active contributor to the advancement of produce across the country. In 1990 he was one of the founders and past chairman of the board of Pro*Act, a national purchasing and marketing collective for independent product distributors. Under his guidance, Pro*Act has grown in membership from a few distributors to a national network of 50 companies, whose annual sales exceed $2 billion.
Costa has also served in various industry association positions, such as chairman of the International Fresh-cut Produce Association, and the Foodservice and Main Boards of the PMA. He was also inducted into the National Restaurant Association's Hall of Fame.