The Inaugural Organic Produce Summit Ambassador Committee Supports Organic Category Value; Chairman Natalie J. Machado and Matt Seeley Discuss
MONTEREY, CA - When I think of organic fruit and vegetable ambassadors, my mind immediately makes a connection to the Organic Produce Summit (OPS) and all that the leadership and organization do to promote the consumption, business relationships, sales, marketing, and trade relations within its sector. So, it stands to reason that such an organization should have a committee to help lead its charge and steer change and growth. Making its inaugural debut this year, the Organic Produce Summit Ambassador Committee has been formed to elevate the event and operation’s vision and bring a valuable experience to all those that turn to OPS for its knowledge, resources, and expertise.
Natalie J. Machado, the Chairman of the committee, joined me to highlight the new committee’s goals and initiatives and shine a light on what is to come. As the main member coordinator, direct liaison to OPS leadership, and the lead in driving and implementing the committees’ goals and objectives forward, Natalie brings a unique perspective and grasp of the opportunities on the table through her experience as the National Director of Marketing for FreshSource, LLC.
“The goal of the Organic Produce Summit Ambassador Committee is to further define and develop the OPS experience for grocery retailers and producers by planning and facilitating existing and new educational and networking events at OPS,” Natalie shares. “We will create an extension of the current OPS team and create an opportunity for industry professionals to take an active role in the behind-the-scenes efforts that make the OPS one of the most sought-after shows in the produce industry.”
As Natalie imparts to me, the landscape has truly transformed over the last two years, and OPS offers the opportunity to connect and discuss what organic options are available now and what the future of this industry looks like in the production and selling of organic produce. With 2020, 2021, and 2022 keeping most of us on the edge of our seats, this caliber of advocate is both welcomed and essential.
“After last year’s OPS, Natalie approached us with the concept of having representatives of exhibiting and sponsor companies to help promote the event and continue to upgrade the overall OPS experience for our attendees,” Matt Seeley, Chief Executive Officer, Organic Produce Summit, reflected when I asked him about this new evolution in the OPS story. “We recognize the need to keep our program as vibrant and engaging as possible as we connect retailers with their organic produce suppliers. The energy and passion for the event Natalie and the ambassador committee bring are fantastic, and we look forward to growing it in the years to come. Our goal this year was to start the process and prove the concept, and Natalie has done a fantastic job of organizing our first-ever ambassador committee. They will be actively involved in the retail field tours and educational program this year, and have some outstanding ideas for OPS 2023.”
In addition to its host of responsibilities and goals, the committee will also lead the charge in increasing industry awareness of the OPS show, increasing attendee experience and retailer involvement, and proposing key and pertinent educational organic topics and speakers for future planning of OPS events.
Please join me in celebrating the members of the inaugural 2022 Organic Produce Summit Ambassador Committee:
- Alexandra Rae Molumby: Marketing Director, Bako Sweet®
- Angela Hernandez: Director of Marketing, Trinity Fruit Company
- Kristyn Lawson: Vice President of Sales, Chosen Foods
- Dorrin Turner: Associate Sales Director, Vive Organics
- Lynnie Nojadera: Sales, Great West Produce, Inc.
When I asked Natalie what went into the selection of this group and the holistic view of its membership, Natalie pulled back a very valuable curtain.
“With my experience, and seeing how OPS is growing, I recognized the opportunity to support OPS while allowing the committee volunteers the ability to attend, network, and assist OPS and its needs,” Natalie expressed. “This committee will give the OPS leadership the opportunity to take a step back and be able to look at the ‘big picture’ ideas and focus on further developing this amazing Summit experience. This is a win-win opportunity utilizing produce professionals who are leading the organic produce industry to help and support the OPS team to implement their vision. That’s where it all started. We are excited to be a part of OPS and are looking forward to a bright future for the OPS Ambassador Team.”
With such an inspired strategy in place, I am excited to see how OPS continues to raise the bar, and how the OPS Ambassador committee enhances it.