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New officers and new programs mark SEPC fall conference

YOUNG HARRIS, GA — The Southeast Produce Council’s 15th annual fall conference will be remembered for a simple and very moving tribute to its co-founder and longtime executive director. But it will also be remembered for the election of new officers as well as the introduction or rebranding of some new and exciting programs.

The council opened its fall conference Thursday evening, Sept. 25, at the Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa, here, with its traditional get-acquainted opening party.SEPC1686SEPC introduced its new officers at the President’s Dinner Dance. They are President Mark Daniels of Military Produce Group, First Vice President Teri Miller of Delhaize America, Second Vice President Sheila Carden of the National Mango Board, Secretary Faye Westfall of DiMare Fresh Tampa and Treasurer Steve Pinkston of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., along with Executive Director David Sherrod. This year’s opening party was dubbed the Get Acquainted Hoedown at Brasstown, in keeping with the theme of this year’s event: the Hoedown Touchdown Throwdown in Brasstown.

But before the festivities got under way, David Sherrod, who was officially named executive director during the fall conference, led a ceremony honoring Terry Vorhees, the council’s co-founder and its first executive director. After Sherrod read one of Vorhees’ favorite passages from the Bible, attendees released 64 purple balloons — Vorhees was 64 years old when he died July 30 — and the SEPC directors released 15 crystal balloons — to mark the council’s 15th anniversary. The ceremony brought tears to the eyes of Sherrod and many others that evening.

The conference held two workshops on Friday morning, Sept. 26, one on “Defining Locally Grown” and another on the “Future of Online Grocers.” Both workshops were very well attended.

After the workshops, attendees gathered for the general session and luncheon, which featured keynote speaker John Smoltz, a former Major League Baseball pitcher best known for his years with the Atlanta Braves, and one of only 16 pitchers in MLB history to record 3,000 strikeouts during his career.

Smoltz told the large crowd about his childhood and how he got into baseball, and he gave a good deal of credit to his parents, who “allowed me to pursue my passion,” and who instilled in him the discipline to help him succeed throughout his life.

Outgoing President Andrew Scott of Nickey Gregory Co. and incoming President Mark Daniels of Military Produce Group both addressed the luncheon attendees, as did Sherrod, who had been serving as assistant executive director of the council during Vorhees’ illness and who had just been officially named executive director.

“It’s a tough road to follow behind Terry,” said an emotional Sherrod, thanking the board of directors and everyone at the Southeast Produce Council for their strong support as he carries on Vorhees’ work in moving forward. He also announced that beginning Oct. 15, the council would have a new address in Millen, GA, Sherrod’s home where he will be working.

Attendees also heard reports from the chairpersons of all the committees during the luncheon.

In one of those reports, it was announced that beginning next year, the name of the fall conference would be changed to Southern Innovations Symposium. That event is scheduled to take place Sept. 17-19, 2015, at Wild Dunes in Charleston, SC, a new venue.

After the general session, the council’s new leadership program for women in produce, known as Southern Roots and chaired by Teri Miller of Delhaize America, held its first official reception. (See separate story on page 82.)

At the President’s Dinner Dance Friday night, the council recognized the 10 members in the graduating class of the Southeast Training Education Program for Upcoming Produce Professionals, known as STEP-UPP and spearheaded by Faye Westfall of DiMare Fresh Tampa, who serves as chairperson, and Tom Page, retired from Supervalu, who serves as vice chairperson.

Another highlight at the President’s Dinner Dance was the introduction of the four new members of the board of directors: Raina Nelson of Renaissance Foods, Barb Anderson of DNE World Fruit LLC, John Williams of L.G. Herndon Jr. Farms and Daniel Klausner of Apio Inc. The four members of the board who were re-elected were also introduced: Brian Rayfield of J&J Family of Farms, Tommy Wilkins of Grow Farms, Brandon Parker of Shuman Produce and Mike Ryan of Bayshore Produce. All serve for two-year terms.

The new officers were also introduced during the dinner dance. They are Mark Daniels of Military Produce Group as president, Teri Miller of Delhaize America as first vice president, Sheila Carden of the National Mango Board as second vice president, Faye Westfall of DiMare Fresh Tampa as secretary and Steve Pinkston of Walmart Stores Inc. as treasurer, along with David Sherrod as executive director.

On Saturday morning, Sept. 27, golfers enjoyed the 15th annual Ken Lanhardt Memorial Golf Tournament. The foursome of Steadman Taylor, Matt Howell, Allen Dalton and Kevin Taylor, all of Progressive Freight, took first place with a score of 14 under par.

As always, the fall conference ended with the Ultimate Tailgate Party.

Contacted Monday afternoon, Sept. 29, Sherrod offered his first impressions of the event.

“We were very happy the way things worked out,” he told The Produce News. “We had great attendance at all the functions. Our workshops were at max capacity. Our panelists and speakers were excellent. We had very informative seminars. The Ultimate Tailgate Party was probably the biggest we ever had.”

Sherrod said that 275 people had attended the just-completed fall conference, “almost exactly the same as last year,” which took place in Myrtle Beach, SC.

“The golf tournament was excellent,” he said, and referring to the perfect weather conditions, he quipped, “Terry was looking down and handled the weather.”

Sherrod concluded by saying that throughout the fall conference, “We felt the absence of Terry, but we felt that his spirit was still there. Everyone I spoke to said that.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

New officers and new programs mark SEPC fall conference

YOUNG HARRIS, GA — The Southeast Produce Council’s 15th annual fall conference will be remembered for a simple and very moving tribute to its co-founder and longtime executive director. But it will also be remembered for the election of new officers as well as the introduction or rebranding of some new and exciting programs.

The council opened its fall conference Thursday evening, Sept. 25, at the Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa, here, with its traditional get-acquainted opening party.SEPC1686SEPC introduced its new officers at the President’s Dinner Dance. They are President Mark Daniels of Military Produce Group, First Vice President Teri Miller of Delhaize America, Second Vice President Sheila Carden of the National Mango Board, Secretary Faye Westfall of DiMare Fresh Tampa and Treasurer Steve Pinkston of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., along with Executive Director David Sherrod. This year’s opening party was dubbed the Get Acquainted Hoedown at Brasstown, in keeping with the theme of this year’s event: the Hoedown Touchdown Throwdown in Brasstown.

But before the festivities got under way, David Sherrod, who was officially named executive director during the fall conference, led a ceremony honoring Terry Vorhees, the council’s co-founder and its first executive director. After Sherrod read one of Vorhees’ favorite passages from the Bible, attendees released 64 purple balloons — Vorhees was 64 years old when he died July 30 — and the SEPC directors released 15 crystal balloons — to mark the council’s 15th anniversary. The ceremony brought tears to the eyes of Sherrod and many others that evening.

The conference held two workshops on Friday morning, Sept. 26, one on “Defining Locally Grown” and another on the “Future of Online Grocers.” Both workshops were very well attended.

After the workshops, attendees gathered for the general session and luncheon, which featured keynote speaker John Smoltz, a former Major League Baseball pitcher best known for his years with the Atlanta Braves, and one of only 16 pitchers in MLB history to record 3,000 strikeouts during his career.

Smoltz told the large crowd about his childhood and how he got into baseball, and he gave a good deal of credit to his parents, who “allowed me to pursue my passion,” and who instilled in him the discipline to help him succeed throughout his life.

Outgoing President Andrew Scott of Nickey Gregory Co. and incoming President Mark Daniels of Military Produce Group both addressed the luncheon attendees, as did Sherrod, who had been serving as assistant executive director of the council during Vorhees’ illness and who had just been officially named executive director.

“It’s a tough road to follow behind Terry,” said an emotional Sherrod, thanking the board of directors and everyone at the Southeast Produce Council for their strong support as he carries on Vorhees’ work in moving forward. He also announced that beginning Oct. 15, the council would have a new address in Millen, GA, Sherrod’s home where he will be working.

Attendees also heard reports from the chairpersons of all the committees during the luncheon.

In one of those reports, it was announced that beginning next year, the name of the fall conference would be changed to Southern Innovations Symposium. That event is scheduled to take place Sept. 17-19, 2015, at Wild Dunes in Charleston, SC, a new venue.

After the general session, the council’s new leadership program for women in produce, known as Southern Roots and chaired by Teri Miller of Delhaize America, held its first official reception. (See separate story on page 82.)

At the President’s Dinner Dance Friday night, the council recognized the 10 members in the graduating class of the Southeast Training Education Program for Upcoming Produce Professionals, known as STEP-UPP and spearheaded by Faye Westfall of DiMare Fresh Tampa, who serves as chairperson, and Tom Page, retired from Supervalu, who serves as vice chairperson.

Another highlight at the President’s Dinner Dance was the introduction of the four new members of the board of directors: Raina Nelson of Renaissance Foods, Barb Anderson of DNE World Fruit LLC, John Williams of L.G. Herndon Jr. Farms and Daniel Klausner of Apio Inc. The four members of the board who were re-elected were also introduced: Brian Rayfield of J&J Family of Farms, Tommy Wilkins of Grow Farms, Brandon Parker of Shuman Produce and Mike Ryan of Bayshore Produce. All serve for two-year terms.

The new officers were also introduced during the dinner dance. They are Mark Daniels of Military Produce Group as president, Teri Miller of Delhaize America as first vice president, Sheila Carden of the National Mango Board as second vice president, Faye Westfall of DiMare Fresh Tampa as secretary and Steve Pinkston of Walmart Stores Inc. as treasurer, along with David Sherrod as executive director.

On Saturday morning, Sept. 27, golfers enjoyed the 15th annual Ken Lanhardt Memorial Golf Tournament. The foursome of Steadman Taylor, Matt Howell, Allen Dalton and Kevin Taylor, all of Progressive Freight, took first place with a score of 14 under par.

As always, the fall conference ended with the Ultimate Tailgate Party.

Contacted Monday afternoon, Sept. 29, Sherrod offered his first impressions of the event.

“We were very happy the way things worked out,” he told The Produce News. “We had great attendance at all the functions. Our workshops were at max capacity. Our panelists and speakers were excellent. We had very informative seminars. The Ultimate Tailgate Party was probably the biggest we ever had.”

Sherrod said that 275 people had attended the just-completed fall conference, “almost exactly the same as last year,” which took place in Myrtle Beach, SC.

“The golf tournament was excellent,” he said, and referring to the perfect weather conditions, he quipped, “Terry was looking down and handled the weather.”

Sherrod concluded by saying that throughout the fall conference, “We felt the absence of Terry, but we felt that his spirit was still there. Everyone I spoke to said that.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

New officers and new programs mark SEPC fall conference

YOUNG HARRIS, GA — The Southeast Produce Council’s 15th annual fall conference will be remembered for a simple and very moving tribute to its co-founder and longtime executive director. But it will also be remembered for the election of new officers as well as the introduction or rebranding of some new and exciting programs.

The council opened its fall conference Thursday evening, Sept. 25, at the Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa, here, with its traditional get-acquainted opening party.SEPC1686SEPC introduced its new officers at the President’s Dinner Dance. They are President Mark Daniels of Military Produce Group, First Vice President Teri Miller of Delhaize America, Second Vice President Sheila Carden of the National Mango Board, Secretary Faye Westfall of DiMare Fresh Tampa and Treasurer Steve Pinkston of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., along with Executive Director David Sherrod. This year’s opening party was dubbed the Get Acquainted Hoedown at Brasstown, in keeping with the theme of this year’s event: the Hoedown Touchdown Throwdown in Brasstown.

But before the festivities got under way, David Sherrod, who was officially named executive director during the fall conference, led a ceremony honoring Terry Vorhees, the council’s co-founder and its first executive director. After Sherrod read one of Vorhees’ favorite passages from the Bible, attendees released 64 purple balloons — Vorhees was 64 years old when he died July 30 — and the SEPC directors released 15 crystal balloons — to mark the council’s 15th anniversary. The ceremony brought tears to the eyes of Sherrod and many others that evening.

The conference held two workshops on Friday morning, Sept. 26, one on “Defining Locally Grown” and another on the “Future of Online Grocers.” Both workshops were very well attended.

After the workshops, attendees gathered for the general session and luncheon, which featured keynote speaker John Smoltz, a former Major League Baseball pitcher best known for his years with the Atlanta Braves, and one of only 16 pitchers in MLB history to record 3,000 strikeouts during his career.

Smoltz told the large crowd about his childhood and how he got into baseball, and he gave a good deal of credit to his parents, who “allowed me to pursue my passion,” and who instilled in him the discipline to help him succeed throughout his life.

Outgoing President Andrew Scott of Nickey Gregory Co. and incoming President Mark Daniels of Military Produce Group both addressed the luncheon attendees, as did Sherrod, who had been serving as assistant executive director of the council during Vorhees’ illness and who had just been officially named executive director.

“It’s a tough road to follow behind Terry,” said an emotional Sherrod, thanking the board of directors and everyone at the Southeast Produce Council for their strong support as he carries on Vorhees’ work in moving forward. He also announced that beginning Oct. 15, the council would have a new address in Millen, GA, Sherrod’s home where he will be working.

Attendees also heard reports from the chairpersons of all the committees during the luncheon.

In one of those reports, it was announced that beginning next year, the name of the fall conference would be changed to Southern Innovations Symposium. That event is scheduled to take place Sept. 17-19, 2015, at Wild Dunes in Charleston, SC, a new venue.

After the general session, the council’s new leadership program for women in produce, known as Southern Roots and chaired by Teri Miller of Delhaize America, held its first official reception. (See separate story on page 82.)

At the President’s Dinner Dance Friday night, the council recognized the 10 members in the graduating class of the Southeast Training Education Program for Upcoming Produce Professionals, known as STEP-UPP and spearheaded by Faye Westfall of DiMare Fresh Tampa, who serves as chairperson, and Tom Page, retired from Supervalu, who serves as vice chairperson.

Another highlight at the President’s Dinner Dance was the introduction of the four new members of the board of directors: Raina Nelson of Renaissance Foods, Barb Anderson of DNE World Fruit LLC, John Williams of L.G. Herndon Jr. Farms and Daniel Klausner of Apio Inc. The four members of the board who were re-elected were also introduced: Brian Rayfield of J&J Family of Farms, Tommy Wilkins of Grow Farms, Brandon Parker of Shuman Produce and Mike Ryan of Bayshore Produce. All serve for two-year terms.

The new officers were also introduced during the dinner dance. They are Mark Daniels of Military Produce Group as president, Teri Miller of Delhaize America as first vice president, Sheila Carden of the National Mango Board as second vice president, Faye Westfall of DiMare Fresh Tampa as secretary and Steve Pinkston of Walmart Stores Inc. as treasurer, along with David Sherrod as executive director.

On Saturday morning, Sept. 27, golfers enjoyed the 15th annual Ken Lanhardt Memorial Golf Tournament. The foursome of Steadman Taylor, Matt Howell, Allen Dalton and Kevin Taylor, all of Progressive Freight, took first place with a score of 14 under par.

As always, the fall conference ended with the Ultimate Tailgate Party.

Contacted Monday afternoon, Sept. 29, Sherrod offered his first impressions of the event.

“We were very happy the way things worked out,” he told The Produce News. “We had great attendance at all the functions. Our workshops were at max capacity. Our panelists and speakers were excellent. We had very informative seminars. The Ultimate Tailgate Party was probably the biggest we ever had.”

Sherrod said that 275 people had attended the just-completed fall conference, “almost exactly the same as last year,” which took place in Myrtle Beach, SC.

“The golf tournament was excellent,” he said, and referring to the perfect weather conditions, he quipped, “Terry was looking down and handled the weather.”

Sherrod concluded by saying that throughout the fall conference, “We felt the absence of Terry, but we felt that his spirit was still there. Everyone I spoke to said that.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

New officers and new programs mark SEPC fall conference

YOUNG HARRIS, GA — The Southeast Produce Council’s 15th annual fall conference will be remembered for a simple and very moving tribute to its co-founder and longtime executive director. But it will also be remembered for the election of new officers as well as the introduction or rebranding of some new and exciting programs.

The council opened its fall conference Thursday evening, Sept. 25, at the Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa, here, with its traditional get-acquainted opening party.SEPC1686SEPC introduced its new officers at the President’s Dinner Dance. They are President Mark Daniels of Military Produce Group, First Vice President Teri Miller of Delhaize America, Second Vice President Sheila Carden of the National Mango Board, Secretary Faye Westfall of DiMare Fresh Tampa and Treasurer Steve Pinkston of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., along with Executive Director David Sherrod. This year’s opening party was dubbed the Get Acquainted Hoedown at Brasstown, in keeping with the theme of this year’s event: the Hoedown Touchdown Throwdown in Brasstown.

But before the festivities got under way, David Sherrod, who was officially named executive director during the fall conference, led a ceremony honoring Terry Vorhees, the council’s co-founder and its first executive director. After Sherrod read one of Vorhees’ favorite passages from the Bible, attendees released 64 purple balloons — Vorhees was 64 years old when he died July 30 — and the SEPC directors released 15 crystal balloons — to mark the council’s 15th anniversary. The ceremony brought tears to the eyes of Sherrod and many others that evening.

The conference held two workshops on Friday morning, Sept. 26, one on “Defining Locally Grown” and another on the “Future of Online Grocers.” Both workshops were very well attended.

After the workshops, attendees gathered for the general session and luncheon, which featured keynote speaker John Smoltz, a former Major League Baseball pitcher best known for his years with the Atlanta Braves, and one of only 16 pitchers in MLB history to record 3,000 strikeouts during his career.

Smoltz told the large crowd about his childhood and how he got into baseball, and he gave a good deal of credit to his parents, who “allowed me to pursue my passion,” and who instilled in him the discipline to help him succeed throughout his life.

Outgoing President Andrew Scott of Nickey Gregory Co. and incoming President Mark Daniels of Military Produce Group both addressed the luncheon attendees, as did Sherrod, who had been serving as assistant executive director of the council during Vorhees’ illness and who had just been officially named executive director.

“It’s a tough road to follow behind Terry,” said an emotional Sherrod, thanking the board of directors and everyone at the Southeast Produce Council for their strong support as he carries on Vorhees’ work in moving forward. He also announced that beginning Oct. 15, the council would have a new address in Millen, GA, Sherrod’s home where he will be working.

Attendees also heard reports from the chairpersons of all the committees during the luncheon.

In one of those reports, it was announced that beginning next year, the name of the fall conference would be changed to Southern Innovations Symposium. That event is scheduled to take place Sept. 17-19, 2015, at Wild Dunes in Charleston, SC, a new venue.

After the general session, the council’s new leadership program for women in produce, known as Southern Roots and chaired by Teri Miller of Delhaize America, held its first official reception. (See separate story on page 82.)

At the President’s Dinner Dance Friday night, the council recognized the 10 members in the graduating class of the Southeast Training Education Program for Upcoming Produce Professionals, known as STEP-UPP and spearheaded by Faye Westfall of DiMare Fresh Tampa, who serves as chairperson, and Tom Page, retired from Supervalu, who serves as vice chairperson.

Another highlight at the President’s Dinner Dance was the introduction of the four new members of the board of directors: Raina Nelson of Renaissance Foods, Barb Anderson of DNE World Fruit LLC, John Williams of L.G. Herndon Jr. Farms and Daniel Klausner of Apio Inc. The four members of the board who were re-elected were also introduced: Brian Rayfield of J&J Family of Farms, Tommy Wilkins of Grow Farms, Brandon Parker of Shuman Produce and Mike Ryan of Bayshore Produce. All serve for two-year terms.

The new officers were also introduced during the dinner dance. They are Mark Daniels of Military Produce Group as president, Teri Miller of Delhaize America as first vice president, Sheila Carden of the National Mango Board as second vice president, Faye Westfall of DiMare Fresh Tampa as secretary and Steve Pinkston of Walmart Stores Inc. as treasurer, along with David Sherrod as executive director.

On Saturday morning, Sept. 27, golfers enjoyed the 15th annual Ken Lanhardt Memorial Golf Tournament. The foursome of Steadman Taylor, Matt Howell, Allen Dalton and Kevin Taylor, all of Progressive Freight, took first place with a score of 14 under par.

As always, the fall conference ended with the Ultimate Tailgate Party.

Contacted Monday afternoon, Sept. 29, Sherrod offered his first impressions of the event.

“We were very happy the way things worked out,” he told The Produce News. “We had great attendance at all the functions. Our workshops were at max capacity. Our panelists and speakers were excellent. We had very informative seminars. The Ultimate Tailgate Party was probably the biggest we ever had.”

Sherrod said that 275 people had attended the just-completed fall conference, “almost exactly the same as last year,” which took place in Myrtle Beach, SC.

“The golf tournament was excellent,” he said, and referring to the perfect weather conditions, he quipped, “Terry was looking down and handled the weather.”

Sherrod concluded by saying that throughout the fall conference, “We felt the absence of Terry, but we felt that his spirit was still there. Everyone I spoke to said that.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

New officers and new programs mark SEPC fall conference

YOUNG HARRIS, GA — The Southeast Produce Council’s 15th annual fall conference will be remembered for a simple and very moving tribute to its co-founder and longtime executive director. But it will also be remembered for the election of new officers as well as the introduction or rebranding of some new and exciting programs.

The council opened its fall conference Thursday evening, Sept. 25, at the Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa, here, with its traditional get-acquainted opening party.SEPC1686SEPC introduced its new officers at the President’s Dinner Dance. They are President Mark Daniels of Military Produce Group, First Vice President Teri Miller of Delhaize America, Second Vice President Sheila Carden of the National Mango Board, Secretary Faye Westfall of DiMare Fresh Tampa and Treasurer Steve Pinkston of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., along with Executive Director David Sherrod. This year’s opening party was dubbed the Get Acquainted Hoedown at Brasstown, in keeping with the theme of this year’s event: the Hoedown Touchdown Throwdown in Brasstown.

But before the festivities got under way, David Sherrod, who was officially named executive director during the fall conference, led a ceremony honoring Terry Vorhees, the council’s co-founder and its first executive director. After Sherrod read one of Vorhees’ favorite passages from the Bible, attendees released 64 purple balloons — Vorhees was 64 years old when he died July 30 — and the SEPC directors released 15 crystal balloons — to mark the council’s 15th anniversary. The ceremony brought tears to the eyes of Sherrod and many others that evening.

The conference held two workshops on Friday morning, Sept. 26, one on “Defining Locally Grown” and another on the “Future of Online Grocers.” Both workshops were very well attended.

After the workshops, attendees gathered for the general session and luncheon, which featured keynote speaker John Smoltz, a former Major League Baseball pitcher best known for his years with the Atlanta Braves, and one of only 16 pitchers in MLB history to record 3,000 strikeouts during his career.

Smoltz told the large crowd about his childhood and how he got into baseball, and he gave a good deal of credit to his parents, who “allowed me to pursue my passion,” and who instilled in him the discipline to help him succeed throughout his life.

Outgoing President Andrew Scott of Nickey Gregory Co. and incoming President Mark Daniels of Military Produce Group both addressed the luncheon attendees, as did Sherrod, who had been serving as assistant executive director of the council during Vorhees’ illness and who had just been officially named executive director.

“It’s a tough road to follow behind Terry,” said an emotional Sherrod, thanking the board of directors and everyone at the Southeast Produce Council for their strong support as he carries on Vorhees’ work in moving forward. He also announced that beginning Oct. 15, the council would have a new address in Millen, GA, Sherrod’s home where he will be working.

Attendees also heard reports from the chairpersons of all the committees during the luncheon.

In one of those reports, it was announced that beginning next year, the name of the fall conference would be changed to Southern Innovations Symposium. That event is scheduled to take place Sept. 17-19, 2015, at Wild Dunes in Charleston, SC, a new venue.

After the general session, the council’s new leadership program for women in produce, known as Southern Roots and chaired by Teri Miller of Delhaize America, held its first official reception. (See separate story on page 82.)

At the President’s Dinner Dance Friday night, the council recognized the 10 members in the graduating class of the Southeast Training Education Program for Upcoming Produce Professionals, known as STEP-UPP and spearheaded by Faye Westfall of DiMare Fresh Tampa, who serves as chairperson, and Tom Page, retired from Supervalu, who serves as vice chairperson.

Another highlight at the President’s Dinner Dance was the introduction of the four new members of the board of directors: Raina Nelson of Renaissance Foods, Barb Anderson of DNE World Fruit LLC, John Williams of L.G. Herndon Jr. Farms and Daniel Klausner of Apio Inc. The four members of the board who were re-elected were also introduced: Brian Rayfield of J&J Family of Farms, Tommy Wilkins of Grow Farms, Brandon Parker of Shuman Produce and Mike Ryan of Bayshore Produce. All serve for two-year terms.

The new officers were also introduced during the dinner dance. They are Mark Daniels of Military Produce Group as president, Teri Miller of Delhaize America as first vice president, Sheila Carden of the National Mango Board as second vice president, Faye Westfall of DiMare Fresh Tampa as secretary and Steve Pinkston of Walmart Stores Inc. as treasurer, along with David Sherrod as executive director.

On Saturday morning, Sept. 27, golfers enjoyed the 15th annual Ken Lanhardt Memorial Golf Tournament. The foursome of Steadman Taylor, Matt Howell, Allen Dalton and Kevin Taylor, all of Progressive Freight, took first place with a score of 14 under par.

As always, the fall conference ended with the Ultimate Tailgate Party.

Contacted Monday afternoon, Sept. 29, Sherrod offered his first impressions of the event.

“We were very happy the way things worked out,” he told The Produce News. “We had great attendance at all the functions. Our workshops were at max capacity. Our panelists and speakers were excellent. We had very informative seminars. The Ultimate Tailgate Party was probably the biggest we ever had.”

Sherrod said that 275 people had attended the just-completed fall conference, “almost exactly the same as last year,” which took place in Myrtle Beach, SC.

“The golf tournament was excellent,” he said, and referring to the perfect weather conditions, he quipped, “Terry was looking down and handled the weather.”

Sherrod concluded by saying that throughout the fall conference, “We felt the absence of Terry, but we felt that his spirit was still there. Everyone I spoke to said that.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Southern Roots holds reception at SEPC fall conference

YOUNG HARRIS, GA — The Southeast Produce Council launched its new leadership program for women in produce with a reception Friday afternoon, Sept. 26, during the council’s annual fall conference, Sept. 25-27 at Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa, here in the scenic mountains of north Georgia.

The program, called Southern Roots, was announced June 30 by the council and is designed to make meaningful connections among women working in the produce industry through events, education and mentoring.SEPC1669Teri Miller of Delhaize America is chairing the new Southern Roots program. Teri Miller of Delhaize America, who was named first vice president of the council during the fall conference, is chairing the new program.

After Miller welcomed the women who attended the reception, everyone broke into small groups to exchange information and come up with ideas on how to proceed with the new program. Miller and others will take the ideas that spring from this first reception “and determine the agenda for the next meeting,” which will take place at the council’s Southern Exposure conference and expo at the end of February in Orlando, FL.

The schedule of events for Southern Exposure 2015 is pretty extensive and full, but Miller said that the new Southern Roots event will probably take place on Thursday, around the same time as the annual golf tournament. A final decision on exactly when the Southern Roots event will take place will be announced in the next few weeks or so.

Regardless of the details of the event planned for February and going forward, Miller declared, “We want it to be beneficial, and we want it to be cost effective.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

SEPC plans variety of events for 2014 Fall Conference

STEP-UPP-2014At the Southeast Produce Council fall conference, the council will recognize the members of the 2014 graduating class of its STEP-UPP program, which is co-chaired by SEPC board member Faye Westfall (front row, third from right) of DiMare Fresh Tampa and by Tom Page (left), who is retired from Supervalu and who is a former president of the council.The Southeast Produce Council has an exciting and varied lineup of events planned for its annual fall conference, set this year to take place Sept. 25-27 at Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa in Young Harris, GA. This year’s theme is The Hoedown Touchdown Throwdown in Brasstown.

Last year’s fall conference in Myrtle Beach, SC, drew 287 registrants, and David Sherrod, the council’s assistant executive director, told The Produce News at the end of August that around 255 people had registered for this year’s conference so far. “When it’s all said and done, I think we’ll be right about the same number,” he estimated.

The council, which was founded in 1999 and thus is celebrating its 15th anniversary, held its fall conference at Brasstown Valley back in 2008. “It’s a beautiful place to take in nature,” said Sherrod.  “And we’ve got the whole resort to ourselves this time. We’re excited about that.”

Following meetings for committees and directors Thursday morning and afternoon, Sept. 25, the conference officially kicks off that evening with the Get Acquainted Hoedown at Brasstown with the Shoal Creek Bluegrass Band, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

On Friday, Sept. 26, two workshops will be held. Workshop I: Defining Locally Grown, which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., will feature speakers Teri Miller of Delhaize America, Joe Watson of Rouse’s Supermarkets, Mike Tipton of K-VA-T, Darvel Kirby of United Supermarkets and Matthew Roy of US Foods. Workshop II: The Future of Online Grocers, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., will be moderated by Jonna Parker of Nielsen Perishables Group and will feature speakers Kenneth Todd of Delhaize America, Lucinda Clark of Space Girl Organics and Tony Stallone of Peapod.

The general session and luncheon will follow, beginning at 11:30 a.m. John Smoltz, a former Major League Baseball pitcher and current MLB network analyst, will deliver the keynote address. In his playing career, Smoltz was a World Series champion in 1995 for the Atlanta Braves, was an eight-time MLB All-Star, was Most Valuable Player of the 1992 National League Championship Series, and is one of 16 pitchers in MLB history to record 3,000 strikeouts during his career.

Also at the general session, Lucy Klausner, senior development officer of corporate partnerships at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, will speak about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables in the fight against childhood obesity. In her work at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta,

Outgoing SEPC President Andrew Scott of The Nickey Gregory Co. LLC then will deliver the State-of-the-Council address, and the committee chairs will give brief reports on their respective committees’ programs.

The council will officially launch its new leadership program for women called Southern Roots with a reception from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Teri Miller, a member of the SEPC board of directors and chairperson of this year’s fall conference, is also chairing the new Southern Roots program. It is “designed to make meaningful connections among women working in the produce industry through events, education and mentoring,” according to the council’s website.

Friday’s event will conclude with the always popular President’s Dinner Dance, which will begin at 7 p.m. Andrew Scott will be honored for his two years’ service as SEPC president, and the new slate of officers and directors will be introduced to attendees.

Also at the President’s Dinner Dance, the council will recognize the members of the 2014 graduating class of its Southeast Training Education Program for Upcoming Produce Professionals, which is co-chaired by SEPC board member Faye Westfall of DiMare Fresh Tampa and by Tom Page, who is retired from Supervalu and who is a former president of the council.

On Saturday, Sept. 27, the council will hold its 15th annual Ken Lanhardt Memorial Golf Tournament at the Brasstown Valley’s golf course. Registration will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m, and the tournament will start at 8:30 a.m. The golf awards reception will follow, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For non-golfers, the council will hold a Sporting Clays Tournament. Check-in will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., and the tournament, at Noontootla Creek Farms in Blue Ridge, GA, about 30 minutes from the resort, will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Spouses may sign up for a tour of the Eagle Fork Vineyards. Check-in will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., and the tour will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Transportation will be provided.

As always, the fall conference will conclude Saturday with the Ultimate Tailgate Party, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

SEPC plans variety of events for 2014 Fall Conference

STEP-UPP-2014At the Southeast Produce Council fall conference, the council will recognize the members of the 2014 graduating class of its STEP-UPP program, which is co-chaired by SEPC board member Faye Westfall (front row, third from right) of DiMare Fresh Tampa and by Tom Page (left), who is retired from Supervalu and who is a former president of the council.The Southeast Produce Council has an exciting and varied lineup of events planned for its annual fall conference, set this year to take place Sept. 25-27 at Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa in Young Harris, GA. This year’s theme is The Hoedown Touchdown Throwdown in Brasstown.

Last year’s fall conference in Myrtle Beach, SC, drew 287 registrants, and David Sherrod, the council’s assistant executive director, told The Produce News at the end of August that around 255 people had registered for this year’s conference so far. “When it’s all said and done, I think we’ll be right about the same number,” he estimated.

The council, which was founded in 1999 and thus is celebrating its 15th anniversary, held its fall conference at Brasstown Valley back in 2008. “It’s a beautiful place to take in nature,” said Sherrod.  “And we’ve got the whole resort to ourselves this time. We’re excited about that.”

Following meetings for committees and directors Thursday morning and afternoon, Sept. 25, the conference officially kicks off that evening with the Get Acquainted Hoedown at Brasstown with the Shoal Creek Bluegrass Band, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

On Friday, Sept. 26, two workshops will be held. Workshop I: Defining Locally Grown, which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., will feature speakers Teri Miller of Delhaize America, Joe Watson of Rouse’s Supermarkets, Mike Tipton of K-VA-T, Darvel Kirby of United Supermarkets and Matthew Roy of US Foods. Workshop II: The Future of Online Grocers, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., will be moderated by Jonna Parker of Nielsen Perishables Group and will feature speakers Kenneth Todd of Delhaize America, Lucinda Clark of Space Girl Organics and Tony Stallone of Peapod.

The general session and luncheon will follow, beginning at 11:30 a.m. John Smoltz, a former Major League Baseball pitcher and current MLB network analyst, will deliver the keynote address. In his playing career, Smoltz was a World Series champion in 1995 for the Atlanta Braves, was an eight-time MLB All-Star, was Most Valuable Player of the 1992 National League Championship Series, and is one of 16 pitchers in MLB history to record 3,000 strikeouts during his career.

Also at the general session, Lucy Klausner, senior development officer of corporate partnerships at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, will speak about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables in the fight against childhood obesity. In her work at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta,

Outgoing SEPC President Andrew Scott of The Nickey Gregory Co. LLC then will deliver the State-of-the-Council address, and the committee chairs will give brief reports on their respective committees’ programs.

The council will officially launch its new leadership program for women called Southern Roots with a reception from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Teri Miller, a member of the SEPC board of directors and chairperson of this year’s fall conference, is also chairing the new Southern Roots program. It is “designed to make meaningful connections among women working in the produce industry through events, education and mentoring,” according to the council’s website.

Friday’s event will conclude with the always popular President’s Dinner Dance, which will begin at 7 p.m. Andrew Scott will be honored for his two years’ service as SEPC president, and the new slate of officers and directors will be introduced to attendees.

Also at the President’s Dinner Dance, the council will recognize the members of the 2014 graduating class of its Southeast Training Education Program for Upcoming Produce Professionals, which is co-chaired by SEPC board member Faye Westfall of DiMare Fresh Tampa and by Tom Page, who is retired from Supervalu and who is a former president of the council.

On Saturday, Sept. 27, the council will hold its 15th annual Ken Lanhardt Memorial Golf Tournament at the Brasstown Valley’s golf course. Registration will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m, and the tournament will start at 8:30 a.m. The golf awards reception will follow, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For non-golfers, the council will hold a Sporting Clays Tournament. Check-in will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., and the tournament, at Noontootla Creek Farms in Blue Ridge, GA, about 30 minutes from the resort, will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Spouses may sign up for a tour of the Eagle Fork Vineyards. Check-in will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., and the tour will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Transportation will be provided.

As always, the fall conference will conclude Saturday with the Ultimate Tailgate Party, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

SEPC plans variety of events for 2014 Fall Conference

STEP-UPP-2014At the Southeast Produce Council fall conference, the council will recognize the members of the 2014 graduating class of its STEP-UPP program, which is co-chaired by SEPC board member Faye Westfall (front row, third from right) of DiMare Fresh Tampa and by Tom Page (left), who is retired from Supervalu and who is a former president of the council.The Southeast Produce Council has an exciting and varied lineup of events planned for its annual fall conference, set this year to take place Sept. 25-27 at Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa in Young Harris, GA. This year’s theme is The Hoedown Touchdown Throwdown in Brasstown.

Last year’s fall conference in Myrtle Beach, SC, drew 287 registrants, and David Sherrod, the council’s assistant executive director, told The Produce News at the end of August that around 255 people had registered for this year’s conference so far. “When it’s all said and done, I think we’ll be right about the same number,” he estimated.

The council, which was founded in 1999 and thus is celebrating its 15th anniversary, held its fall conference at Brasstown Valley back in 2008. “It’s a beautiful place to take in nature,” said Sherrod.  “And we’ve got the whole resort to ourselves this time. We’re excited about that.”

Following meetings for committees and directors Thursday morning and afternoon, Sept. 25, the conference officially kicks off that evening with the Get Acquainted Hoedown at Brasstown with the Shoal Creek Bluegrass Band, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

On Friday, Sept. 26, two workshops will be held. Workshop I: Defining Locally Grown, which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., will feature speakers Teri Miller of Delhaize America, Joe Watson of Rouse’s Supermarkets, Mike Tipton of K-VA-T, Darvel Kirby of United Supermarkets and Matthew Roy of US Foods. Workshop II: The Future of Online Grocers, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., will be moderated by Jonna Parker of Nielsen Perishables Group and will feature speakers Kenneth Todd of Delhaize America, Lucinda Clark of Space Girl Organics and Tony Stallone of Peapod.

The general session and luncheon will follow, beginning at 11:30 a.m. John Smoltz, a former Major League Baseball pitcher and current MLB network analyst, will deliver the keynote address. In his playing career, Smoltz was a World Series champion in 1995 for the Atlanta Braves, was an eight-time MLB All-Star, was Most Valuable Player of the 1992 National League Championship Series, and is one of 16 pitchers in MLB history to record 3,000 strikeouts during his career.

Also at the general session, Lucy Klausner, senior development officer of corporate partnerships at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, will speak about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables in the fight against childhood obesity. In her work at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta,

Outgoing SEPC President Andrew Scott of The Nickey Gregory Co. LLC then will deliver the State-of-the-Council address, and the committee chairs will give brief reports on their respective committees’ programs.

The council will officially launch its new leadership program for women called Southern Roots with a reception from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Teri Miller, a member of the SEPC board of directors and chairperson of this year’s fall conference, is also chairing the new Southern Roots program. It is “designed to make meaningful connections among women working in the produce industry through events, education and mentoring,” according to the council’s website.

Friday’s event will conclude with the always popular President’s Dinner Dance, which will begin at 7 p.m. Andrew Scott will be honored for his two years’ service as SEPC president, and the new slate of officers and directors will be introduced to attendees.

Also at the President’s Dinner Dance, the council will recognize the members of the 2014 graduating class of its Southeast Training Education Program for Upcoming Produce Professionals, which is co-chaired by SEPC board member Faye Westfall of DiMare Fresh Tampa and by Tom Page, who is retired from Supervalu and who is a former president of the council.

On Saturday, Sept. 27, the council will hold its 15th annual Ken Lanhardt Memorial Golf Tournament at the Brasstown Valley’s golf course. Registration will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m, and the tournament will start at 8:30 a.m. The golf awards reception will follow, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For non-golfers, the council will hold a Sporting Clays Tournament. Check-in will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., and the tournament, at Noontootla Creek Farms in Blue Ridge, GA, about 30 minutes from the resort, will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Spouses may sign up for a tour of the Eagle Fork Vineyards. Check-in will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., and the tour will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Transportation will be provided.

As always, the fall conference will conclude Saturday with the Ultimate Tailgate Party, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Fall mangos will be sourced largely from Brazil and Ecuador

With Mexico ending a bit early, Brazil and then Ecuador will be the main sources for mango supplies for the last third of the 2014 calendar year.

Typically, Mexico lasts well into September overlapping the Brazilian deal, which usually gets underway in August and has an eight- to 10-week shipping window before greater volume from Ecuador hits the market in late October and early November.

But this year cold August weather from Mexico to South America resulted in an early end to the Mexican deal and a late start for Brazil.

Albert Perez, managing member of Continental Fresh in Coconut Grove, FL, whose company specializes in Brazilian mangos, told The Produce News in early September that the Brazilian deal was running about three weeks behind schedule.

He said the firm usually gets some Brazilian mangos by the middle of August, but this year the first ship didn’t arrive into Miami until Sept. 5. He expects volume to be light through September and peak in October with good supplies in November as well.

Perez was cautiously optimistic that the Brazilian deal could capture some sales at the back end, but that will only occur if Ecuador is late, extending Brazil’s marketing window.

Sabine Henry, who is involved in tropical fruit sales for Central American Produce Inc. in Pompano Beach, FL, explained that because of the freight cost differential, Ecuadorian fruit lands in the United States at a lower cost point. And the greater volume usually leads to a market price drop. Brazil then finds it difficult to get the prices it needs to ship to North America.

At that point, which is typically late October or early November, Brazilian shippers look elsewhere for buyers for their production.

Agreeing that timing is everything, Isabel Freeland, vice president of Coast Tropical in San Diego, said this year might offer a very good timeline for fruit from Brazil, Ecuador and Peru. She spoke to The Produce News Sept. 10, one day after returning from a two-week trip that included stops in Ecuador and Peru.

“Brazil is very late,” she said. “They are two to three weeks behind last year, and it looks like they are going to have 30 percent less volume than in prior years.”

This has led to a strong market, which Henry of Central American said was at a solid $ 9 during the week of Sept. 8.

Freeland said Brazil’s late start would normally result in a shorter deal, but that might not be the case this year.  

“Ecuador is also late,” she said. “They don’t look like they are going to get started until week 39, which is the week of September 21. They won’t ship until week 40 [the last week of September], and that will only be the Ataulfos (yellow-skinned mangos). The red fruit, which is what competes with Brazil, won’t start until around October 15.”

With that start date, Freeland does not expect red mangos from Ecuador to hit the U.S. market until very late October, giving Brazil great access to the U.S. retail trade through that month and into November. If that occurs, Brazil can still achieve about an eight- to nine-week market widow unfettered by cheaper fruit.

After surveying some orchards and talking to people in the Ecuadorian mango industry, Freeland believes that country will also be down as much as 30 percent for this year. On the plus side, she expects the volume to be more evenly spread out over a two-month period, creating better marketing conditions.  

Following Ecuador, Peru should enter the U.S. market with fruit by early January. This will also be a bit late, as Freeland said the same weather issues affecting Mexico, Brazil and Ecuador are affecting Peru.

“I was just there last week and it was very cool in the nights,” she said. “You never have to wear a sweater in the evening, but I had to on this trip.”

Peru should have a good supply of mangos throughout January and well into February. Freeland said that despite the reduced volume from the Central America and South American countries this fall, there should be promotable volume from these countries throughout November and well into December and then again in January and February.  At that point, Mexico will have fruit again and the cycle will begin anew.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.