Texas International Produce Association Inducts Texas Produce Leaders into Hall of Fame; Dante Galeazzi and Frank Schuster Share
MISSION, TX - As we reported on AndNowUKnow just a few weeks ago, the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) was gearing up for its 2022 Texas Produce Hall of Fame banquet on Monday, January 24. And let me tell you, folks, it had quite the turnout. Nearly 120 people attended the event, witnessing industry leaders honored for their contributions to the long-term success of fresh produce.
“Although COVID continues, the energy at the event was undeniable,” Dante Galeazzi, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Texas International Produce Association commented. “The stories were very sentimental this year. The trials and tribulations our industry forebears faced to reach successes, and then sharing and building those successes for the benefit of all our region, was a beautiful reminder of why we do what we do every single day.”
This was the 34th year the banquet has taken place, having become a tradition of the association starting in 1988, noted a release. Honored for their longstanding dedication to the produce industry in Texas, this year’s inductees were: the Wiesehan family, including John F, Raymond, Richard, Kenneth, George, John, and Roger; as well as a posthumous award to Abel Salazar of Salazar Farms.
In addition to those added to the Hall of Fame, Scott Fletcher of Allen Lund Company and Harold Wilkins, who retired from United Supermarkets and was honored posthumously, were awarded with the Scott Toothaker Award for their commitment and service to the industry. Established in 1989, the award recognizes those who may not be directly involved in production agriculture, but who have made important contributions to the industry.
Nominations for the Texas Produce Hall of Fame are accepted and reviewed by its committee throughout the year. Frank Schuster, President of Val Verde Vegetables, has served as Chairman of the Committee since 2018.
“Our biggest challenge as a committee is finalizing a list of honorees when there are so many deserving people,” he said. “Hearing the stories from last night, in both the list of challenges alongside successes, reinforces my commitment to not only agriculture but to the Hall and ensuring these memories are cherished for generations to come. I feel proud and blessed to be but a part of this history.”
The Hall of Fame induction banquet is considered one of the most beloved TIPA events, with the goal of paying tribute to those who have laid the foundation for Texas produce and encouraging and infusing new talent into the industry. To honor these goals, a portion of the event’s proceeds go toward the William E. Weeks Agriculture Scholarship Fund, helping students who wish to pursue a fresh produce-related degree.
Cheers to this year’s inductees and awardees!