NEWARK, DE (April 16, 2012)—Embracing a future characterized by strong leadership and business success, the PMA Foundation for Industry Talent held its second annual Emerging Leaders Program. Held March 25-28, 2012 at Thunderbird School of Global Management, the next generation of produce industry leaders was cultivated through this first three-day session with a diverse group of 36 participants, once again selling out the program which culminates in October, 2012.
The Emerging Leaders Program offers an intensive, knowledge and relationship-building program, designed to increase performance, focus abilities, and equip tomorrow's leaders with critical management and thinking skills. Participants from across the supply chain, including retail, foodservice, floral and others were selected on the following criteria:
- Five to 10 years of professional experience and are between 25-39 years old
- Viewed as a high-potential individual with strong leadership qualities
- Cross-functional industry background
- Consistently exceeds expectations in work environment
Participants found the networking and learning opportunities of great value for their careers, as well as hearing from others across the globe. According to Laura Kornegay of Nash Produce, "the Emerging Leaders Program was an invaluable experience – giving me the ability to interact in real life produce business situations, interact with key professionals and gain extreme passion and pride for the industry I work within." Richard Ramos of Markon, Inc. added that participating "extremely challenged me to think globally, financially, and inwardly to become a greater leader in the produce industry."
The 2012 program, sponsored by Monsanto, Sunkist and C.H. Robinson, concludes on the one of the most important platforms for understanding and connecting with the global fresh produce supply chain: PMA's Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition. While at Fresh Summit, the class reconvenes for a capstone course, attends important networking receptions, and participates in a graduation ceremony, with recognition during a Fresh Summit general session.
"This year’s class and the educational program recently concluded was an outstanding success," said Margi Prueitt, executive director, PMA Foundation for Industry Talent. "Not only were these participants exposed to an outstanding educational experience through Thunderbird, they were also able to hear from and interface with Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture."