Dawn Gray Receives First-Ever Women's Catalyst Award from Center for Growing Talent
ORLANDO, FL - Center for Growing Talent (CGT) presented its first-ever Women’s Catalyst Award to Dawn Gray at CGT’s Women’s Fresh Perspectives Leadership Breakfast, Saturday, October 20, during PMA Fresh Summit. Recognized for her leadership in advancing women in our industry, Gray was the first to accept the award that honors one leader annually from the fresh produce and floral industry who is cultivating women’s potential by mentoring women and who is providing a path for women’s leadership, development, and participation.
“I love being connected with the word catalyst. To me, a catalyst creates change and spurs people to action,” Gray told the audience while accepting her award. According to a press release, she credited those who had been her influencers, noting, “I’ve had the good fortune of having a lot of great catalysts in my life. It says a lot about this industry that if you operate with honest, transparency, and humility, and back up what you say, this industry will give you opportunities like you’ve never seen before.”
The President of Dawn Gray Global Consulting was presented the award by CGT’s Women’s Fresh Perspectives Committee Co-Chairs, Sysco Produce Senior Sales Manager Nancy Johnston and Dave’s Specialty Imports Vice President Leslie Simmons.
“Our awardee has been an advocate for and promoter of women in every organization in which she has served,” said Johnston in teasing out Gray’s identity to the audience.
Simmons added, “One nominator told us Dawn is, ‘Honest and transparent, she coached her team to greatness.' She hired women from other industries and taught them produce, bringing their skills and experience into our industry. She’s truly been a catalyst for women!”
This inaugural award, first unveiled at the 2017 CGT Women’s Fresh Perspectives Leadership Breakfast, is one of two talent-centric leadership awards offered by CGT—the other being Jay Pack Cultivating Our Future Award, which was given to Sysco Corporation Vice President of Produce Rich Dachman this year.
“Dawn brings this award to life, and in the process, sets an example for others to join in to cultivate the potential of our industry women. That’s the definition of being a catalyst,” said CGT Vice President Talent Portfolio Alicia Calhoun.
CGT’s newest award recognizes inspiring and innovative leaders each year and, as a result, builds the industry’s awareness of the value of mentoring women and creating excitement around women’s leadership. Nominees for next year can be men or women and must be PMA members.
To learn more about Center for Growing Talent and the Women’s Catalyst Award, visit www.CenterforGrowingTalent.org.