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Voices of the Industry Offer Holiday Greetings from Friends and Peers

Voices of the Industry Offer Holiday Greetings from Friends and Peers



THE PRODUCE UNIVERSE - To all of our dear friends and peers, Happy Holidays and thank you always for your viewership. It has been a year full of beautiful challenges, amazing opportunities, and new paths of growth for many—and we are grateful to walk alongside you through them all.

As we wrap up 2021 and look to the new year, some of our industry’s trailblazers wanted to share their greetings and appreciation as well! So, to them we turn…

Denis Jennisch, Senior Manager of Produce Operations, US Foods

Denis Jennisch, Senior Manager of Produce Operations, US Foods“2021 was a year that we hoped brought back normality in our lives and businesses, and also the promise of seeing our friends and associates. What we learned and validated was the resilience of our friends, associates, and business partners. In challenging times, we all come together to support each other and deliver the product that we have chosen as our career path. Looking to 2022, our continued passion, partnerships, and resilience in the business we love will deliver the results that meet our customer and business needs. Merry Christmas and a fulfilled 2022 to all.”

Michael Valpredo, President and Co-Founder, Country Sweet Produce

Michael Valpredo, President and Co-Founder, Country Sweet Produce“It’s been another memorable year, and a welcomed bit of relative calm, compared to 2020. It’s fascinating to watch our industry and consumers adjust to the ever-changing world we live in. As always, we try and embrace it, feeling very fortunate to be continually working toward progress, innovation, and new partnerships. We want to wish everyone the happiest of holidays and look forward to a fantastic start of 2022!”

Teri Miller, Senior Category Manager, The Fresh Market

Teri Miller, Senior Category Manager, The Fresh Market“Most of us would say that the past two years have been stressful. However, hopefully, we each have received many blessings under the COVID veil. One of those blessings for me is my first and only daughter-in-law. She is perfect for my son, and I’m so very grateful. My husband survived a bout with COVID—it was a scary 24 hours. A dear friend is recovering from a life-saving surgery—to my Canadian friend, you are dear to us in North Carolina. I miss my friends in the industry tremendously and was like a little girl when I recently saw most of you at Southeast Produce Council’s Southern Innovations. You all make me a better person.

Yes, it’s been tough and very easy to sit in our own frustration, but there are blessings for us. To all that know me well enough for a hug, I miss you and still hold you dear in my heart! Hugs to all of you, and see you in 2022!”

Dan Canales, Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Processing, Ippolito International

Dan Canales, Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Processing, Ippolito International“This last year and a half has not only been trying for our industry, but I would say the whole world. There has been some good and bad from the pandemic, but, overridingly, I think it has positively impacted how much we value our family and friends and has helped us reassess what is most important in our lives. While Zoom and video conferencing have filled a need, I cannot express just how much I value us being together in person. This holiday season, I hope we all realize why we work so hard for our families, but also remember to balance that hard work with taking the time to enjoy our families and friends. I know sometimes I even need to be reminded of that. I wish everyone a safe, happy, and fulfilling holiday season.”

Mike Roberts, Director of Produce Operations, Harps Food Stores

Mike Roberts, Director of Produce Operations, Harps Food Stores“Every holiday season, I always feel we have a responsibility to help make everyone’s Christmas and New Year be the best it can be by having fresh fruit and vegetables available for them and their loved ones! I feel very humbled that we accomplish this to the best of our ability every year. I also feel very blessed to be in the industry I am in and all the phone calls, texts, emails, and Christmas cards I receive from friends and colleagues around the country. 2021 was quite a challenge, but as we always do, we found a way to provide great products to our customers with the help of so many great people and companies! 2022 should be a piece of cake after the last two years. I am ready for another great year in the best industry in the world! Merry Christmas!”


Keep warm, well, and safe out there, my friends! We will see you all soon in 2022!