Mike Ecker Named Winner of 2020 CPMA Lifetime Achievement Award
OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA - For many in the industry, fresh produce is more than just a career—it’s a lifestyle. The Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) believes in honoring those whose life’s work has been dedicated to their craft, and this year that honor goes to Mike Ecker, President of the Vineland Growers Co-Operative. Ecker has been announced as the 2020 CPMA Lifetime Achievement Award winner.
Ecker received this award during a virtual gathering with members of the CPMA Board of Directors and past Chairs as part of CPMA’s 2020 Semi-Annual Board of Directors meetings taking place this week. He has dedicated his entire career, spanning 45 years to date, serving the produce industry at the Vineland Growers Co-Operative, one of the longest continually run co-operatives in Ontario, having been established 107 years ago in 1913, according to the press release.
In his role as President, Ecker manages relationships with over 300 grower members to facilitate a strong cooperative that works as a cohesive unit in the marketing of fresh fruit to retail chains.
Currently, Ecker is also an appointee to the Vineland Research and Innovation Stakeholders Committee, working with the Vineland Research Centre to facilitate consultation and information exchange among all stakeholder groups.
“Mike is incredibly deserving of the CPMA Lifetime Achievement Award, not only for his achievements at the Vineland Growers Co-Operative but in particular for the thousands of hours he has contributed in volunteer positions over his career,” said Ron Lemaire, CPMA President. “His commitment to the growth and development of the industry continues to leave a lasting impression with everyone he meets.”
In addition to the CPMA Lifetime Achievement Award, Ecker’s previous accolades include being named the Ontario Produce Person of the Year in 2007 and receiving a Senate of Canada Sesquicentennial Medal in 2017 as part of the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation. The medal is awarded to only 1,500 Canadians whose generosity, dedication, volunteerism, and hard work have made their communities a better place to live.
As stated in the release, Ecker’s commitment to a prospering produce industry has reached far beyond the Vineland Growers Co-Operative. He currently serves on the CPMA Board of Directors and was previously Chair of the CPMA Government Issue Management Committee (CGIM). Ecker has also served as the President of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Produce Marketing Association (OPMA), a Director on the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC), and as a member of the AAC’s Marketing and Communications Committee and of the AAC’s Food and Beverage Industry Innovation Fund Committee. He has also served as a member of the Advisory Committee to the Ontario Tender Fruit Marketing Board
CPMA members can learn more about the history of the CPMA Lifetime Achievement Award, including a complete list of previous winners, by clicking here.
Congratulations to Mike Ecker on this honorable achievement!