In Memoriam: Terry Vorhees
Terry Vorhees, the Executive Director for the Southeast Produce Council and true industry visionary, has passed away at the age of 64 after a brief battle with lung cancer. He was born June 2, 1950 in Logan, Ohio.
Before Terry’s claim to fame, he worked for a number of years with the California Tree Fruit Agreement until he and five others met in Atlanta in 1999 to form the Southeast Produce Council. Knowing how unique the produce industry was in the Southeast, Terry was instrumental in building the SEPC into what it is today. His devotion to the industry and ambition is greatly admired among his peers.
“I can remember reaching out to Terry, and he was so inviting to AndNowUKnow before we even had traction in the industry,” said Robert Lambert, CEO for AndNowUKnow. “Terry was very inclusive and thought outside the box. He was always looking for a better way to market, and I always admired that about him.”
“Terry was one of the most dynamic people I’ve ever met,” said Tommy Wilkins, Director of Sales and Business Development for Grow Farms Texas. “His vision on relationships and his passion for the industry was larger than life. His efforts were instrumental in not only what he did for the industry, but also giving back to the community. I commend his passion for the industry.”
“I remember meeting Terry at my first Southern Exposure show in 2009; he was, from the very start, an incredibly helpful and charming guy,” said Whit Grebitus, VP of Sales for AndNowUKnow. “His support for AndNowUKnow, as well as our involvement with the Southeast Produce Council, was invaluable.”
“Terry was certainly an inspiration to all of us. He kept us moving forward,” said John Shuman, President & Director of Sales for Shuman Produce. “The council was very successful, and its tremendous growth should be attributed to him.”
"He was a passionate, detail-oriented person. He was never one to be in the limelight,” said Andrew Scott, Director of Marketing and Business Development for Nickey Gregory. “He was a loving, caring father and husband – a great people person. We want to continue his legacy with the SEPC, and we’re going to make sure he’s recognized.”
Terry’s efforts extended past the industry as well. His work with the Paul Anderson Youth Home in Vidalia, GA, and various food banks are commendable examples of his commitment to helping others and extending fresh produce to those in need.
Last June 18 – 19, the council held its inaugural Charity Golf Classic benefitting the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Braselton, GA at Château Élan, ultimately raising $50,000. It was later announced that the council would rename the tournament as the Terry Vorhees Charity Golf Classic to share his vision in creating the event and his commitment in giving back to the SEPC, Wilkins tells us.
Terry is survived by his wife Beverly, two brothers, a sister, his mother, and three grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements are currently in process.
We will all remember and respect Terry for his integrity, passion, and devotion to the industry. He was certainly an inspiration to all of us. We would like to offer our deepest condolences to Terry’s family and friends.