United Fresh Welcomes Class 20 of the Produce Industry Leadership Program

United Fresh Welcomes Class 20 of the Produce Industry Leadership Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. - United Fresh has announced the Produce Industry Leadership Program Class of 2014. 


Let's meet these future industry leaders together:


Mike AndersonMike Anderson: Mr. Anderson has been working for Kingston Fresh since 2000. He is currently the Director of International Procurement, leading the Kingston's imports division, and focusing on product expansion and new market analysis.


Stephanie Barlow

Stephanie Barlow: Ms. Barlow is the Director of Public Relations and Social Media for the National Watermelon Promotion Board, where she used digital media to give the organization's public outreach program creative new tools.



Leah BrakkeLeah Brakke: Ms. Brakke works for Black Gold Farms as its Marketing Director and is the 4th generation of her family to lead the company. In addition to her duties as Marketing Director, she serves on the Marketing Committee for the Red River Valley Potato Growers. Before working for Black Gold Farms in 2011 she was an Account Manager with the AdFarm advertising agency.



Jeff Cady

Jeff Cady: Mr. Cady started his career working for Giant Eagle before moving on to Finast/Pick-n-Pay, and finally Tops Markets. He has held a wealth of positions throughout his career from Produce Supervisor, to Produce Buyer and Merchandiser, to Category Manager. 



Jacquie EdigerJacquie Ediger: Ms. Ediger was one of the principle founders of the Pro Citrus Network and today leads the Network's hiring, management, mentoring and continued development of staff in sales, marketing, new business, operations and accounting efforts.



Kim FloresKim Flores: Ms. Flores serves as the Director of Marketing for Seald Sweet and travels frequently on behalf of the company. Ms. Flores also serves on the United’s Produce Marketing & Merchandising Council and PMA’s Women’s Fresh Perspective Committee.



Aaron HunterAaron Hunter: Mr. Hunter works at Caito Foods Service as a National Sales and Berry Commodity Buyer. He has worked his way up through the ranks of Caito, starting in the produce terminal in Indianapolis and afterward working in receiving, QA, warehouse management, and procurement of specialty and tropicals before being promoted to his current position.



Alex JacksonAlex Jackson: Ms. Jackson is the 3rd generation of her family to be working at Los Angeles' Frieda's Specialty Produce. She started in the marketing department at Frieda's before taking a position in the sales team as an Account Manager.



Brian KnottBrian Knott: Mr. Knott serves as the President of Grow Farms. He manages the production of fresh fruits and vegetables, coordinates sales, consolidations, and repackaging, oversees product quality inspections, and manages the company's accounting department. He also ensures the proper implementation of food safety and traceability laws at Grow Farms.



Hilary MartinHilary Martin: Ms. Martin serves as the Business Development Director at her family business, Frey Farms. She has 15 years of experience at Frey in public relations, brand creation, and marketing. She also is a member of United’s Let’s Move Salad Bars to the Midwest Committee and works closely with the Hands On Nashville Read and Eat Produce Bagging Program.



Ryan Van Groningen

Ryan Van Groningen: Mr. Van Groningen grew up surrounded by the business of Van Groningen & Sons and now serves as its Sales Manager. He has worked a variety of positions during his time at Van Groningen & Sons, ranging from packinghouse work to sales. He also serves as a board member of the Western Watermelon Association and the National Watermelon Promotion Board District 5.



Kami Weddle

Kami Weddle: Ms. Weddle works for the Rousseau Farming Company as Director of Food Safety. She is also a member of the Arizona Leafy Green Marketing Agreement Technical Sub-committee. 




Since 1995, the Produce Industry Leadership Program has been equipping rising members of the industry with the necessary knowledge base and tools to make them industry leaders. The four “core areas” of the program are: Leadership Development, Business Relationships, Governmental and Public Affairs, and finally Media and Public Communication. Limited to 12 members a year, the program offers customized educational opportunities that, taken together, provide an excellent understanding of the current state of the industry as a whole.


Congrats to United Fresh's Leadership Class 20! 


United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program

Companies in this Story

Frieda’s Branded Produce

Frieda’s Branded Produce has been inspiring new food experiences for friends, families, and food lovers everywhere since…

National Watermelon Promotion Board

We here at the National Watermelon Promotion Board have one goal: to increase consumer demand for fresh watermelon…

Seald Sweet

The Seald Sweet story began in 1909 when the grower-owned cooperative Florida Citrus Exchange was founded. Through nearly…

Black Gold Farms

A multi-generation, family owned organization firmly planted in North Dakota’s Red River Valley more than 80 years ago,…

Kingston Fresh

Your Source for Premium Produce
At Kingston, our core brand promise continues to be a relentless commitment to…

United Fresh Produce Association

United Fresh Produce Association is the industry's leading trade association committed to driving the growth and…

Pro Citrus Network

Pro Citrus Network, headquartered in Visalia, California, specializes in providing high quality fresh citrus year-round…

Caito Foods Service

Caito Foods is the nation's premier distributor of fresh fruits and vegetables! Most importantly, we are a gathering of…

Grow Farms

Grow Farms is a grower and distributor of high-quality, regionally grown fruits and vegetables. We have acreage in…

Frey Farms

Founding Farmer Sarah Frey began her business 27 years ago with little more than a pickup truck and a dream to provide…

Van Groningen & Sons

Van Groningen & Sons, Inc. is a farming business that began in California in 1922 by Henry Van Groningen Sr. and was…

Rousseau Farming Company

Rousseau Farming Company has been a part of the Arizona community for generations. Our roots in the Salt River Valley…