Connect 2 Potential's Wendy McManus Supports Southeast Produce Council's STARS Scholarship Recipients
ORLANDO, FL - With so many tenured leaders across fresh produce, what better way to help grow the future of the industry than by passing down valuable skills and mentoring the next generation? Wendy McManus, Leadership Coach at Connect 2 Potential, is of the same mindset as she has signed on to support the Southeast Produce Council’s (SEPC) Southeast Top Agricultural Recruits Scholarship (STARS) for the second year in a row.
“It’s an honor to help these highly engaged students prepare for Southern Exposure, and then share a valuable self-awareness tool with them afterwards,” said McManus. “I truly appreciate the opportunity provided by SEPC to do this fulfilling work and make an impact for both the students and the industry.”
SEPC’s STARS program features activities revolving around the association’s Southern Exposure conference that will be taking place April 6–8 in Orlando, Florida. According to a press release, Students are invited to attend the event as special guests where they will have the opportunity to network with industry members and potentially secure internships or positions within fresh produce.
McManus has worked closely with the STARS committee Co-Chair Raina Nelson to develop a two-part initiative to help students maximize their opportunities in the industry. Using feedback from students from the 2020 program, the duo decided to team up to evolve the initiative in 2021.
“Our STARS mission is to recruit top level students and effectively provide internship and job opportunities to infuse talent into the produce industry,” said Nelson. “The Connect 2 Potential initiative enriches the STARS program and adds another layer of value for our STARS scholarship recipients. Wendy supports the students so they can excel at Southern Exposure and beyond. We are excited about bringing the program back in 2021.”
Before attending Southern Exposure, STARS participants have been given access to the online Authentic Networking for STARS mini course from Connect 2 Potential.
The course features several short video segments that teach the fundamentals of networking and conversation, including listening skills, how to ask great questions, and preparing an elevator pitch, all to help the students when it comes time to hit the floor at the conference.
After attending Southern Exposure, McManus will invite each student to complete a DISC Profile and participate in a one-on-one debrief with her. Both of these tools will provide better understanding of the students' communication styles and the chance to strengthen their skills. At the end, McManus will establish goals with each student and make a lasting plan to remain committed to achieving each goal.
With people in our industry like Wendy McManus and the team at SEPC, the future is bright for the next generation.