Inside AndNowUKnow's Besties Awards; Robert Lambert and Jordan Okumura Detail Event, Awards, and More
SACRAMENTO, CA - Being a part of a team that celebrates the hard work of this industry is something I take pride in every day. When AndNowUKnow decided to host the inaugural Besties Awards in the run-up to this year’s Organic Produce Summit, my excitement doubled. The Besties were created to celebrate produce branding, marketing, and overarching industry achievements, as well as to advocate for those members striving to keep our industry on the leading edge of competitive message, vision, and action. You can imagine how thrilled I was attending and meeting the folks who bring these campaigns and products to life.
On July 12, the day before Organic Produce Summit kicked off, we gathered at the Monterey Marriott. Overlooking the marina, the ballroom added to the celebratory atmosphere we were so eager to provide to attendees.
Before I jump into the awards presented at the event, our Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Robert Lambert, offered insights on what these awards mean to us.
“We are incredibly grateful for all of our industry friends who came out to our inaugural Besties Awards event in Monterey, California,” Rob told me. “We look for every opportunity to support the industry and shine a light on the marketers, innovators, and visionaries that keep the front lines of our industry strong and competitive. Thank you to everyone who came out, and we look forward to hosting the event again in 2023.”
Jordan Okumura, our Editor in Chief, also spoke on the importance of these awards.
“Our inaugural Besties Awards event was our way of saying thank you to the trailblazers in our industry who strengthen the values that we hold dear and define what it means to be a partner in excellence and an advocate for fresh produce consumption," she explained. "Their brand of outside-of-the-box thinking, creative experiences, and marketing awareness make each an amazing storyteller and voice for change.”
One award that deserves particular attention was our Lifetime Achievement Award, which was given to Nichole Towell of Duda Farm Fresh Foods.
Her effortless blend of industry knowledge and creative marketing, alongside her willingness to go above and beyond in brainstorming ideas to take her company to the next level made Nichole more than worthy of this honor. More to come here!
In future coverage, we’ll be diving into each of these awards to give them the full attention they deserve.
For now, please look below at the talented industry members taking produce marketing and representation to the next level.
- Snack Storyteller Award: Brianna Shales, Stemilt
- Best Merchandising Campaigns: Mission Produce
- Best Social Media Campaigns: Sunkist Growers
- Best Social Media Culinary Artistry: Mastronardi Produce® SUNSET®
- Best Rebrand: Red Sun Farms™
- Best Educational Videos: Chelan Fresh
- Best Podcast: Mucci Farms
- Best Marketer to Work With: Megan Gorgisheli, Giumarra Companies
- Best Email Ad Campaign: Divine Flavor
- Best Snack Ad: Pure Flavor®
- Best Alternative Marketing Campaign: Sunview Marketing International
- Best Philanthropic Initiatives: Allen Lund Company
- Best Behind the Scenes Campaign: Rainier Fruit Company
At the event, we also held a raffle to further the celebratory mood. It was fitting that our good friend and long-time industry all-star Stephanie Hilton of Tom Lange Companies took home the $1,000 cash prize.
Be sure to stay tuned for upcoming stories covering the Besties and keep on shining, produce industry!