Industry Leaders Honored at Texas International Produce Association's Hall of Fame Banquet
MISSION, TX - The advantages and benefits of working in the fresh produce industry are many, from the passion it inspires to the healthy food our sector produces. One of those many gifts given to us by this industry also resides in the leaders who forever impacted the history of the game and who will inevitably change the course of fruits and vegetables on the world's stage.
On Monday evening, January 27th, nearly 260 produce industry professionals and family members convened at the 2020 Texas International Produce Association’s (TIPA) Hall of Fame Ceremony and Banquet, where seven industry veterans were honored for their longstanding contributions to the Texas produce industry.
Among those honored at the event were Harold Macomb (posthumously), Ross LaGrange (posthumously), Aquiles J. Garza of Bebo Distributing, Kathy Reavis of Reavis Farms, Charlie LaGrange of J&D Produce, Lawrence Kroman of I-Kunik, and Jimmy Pawlik of Pawlik Farms.
“The Hall of Fame is always an incredibly touching and moving event,” Dante Galeazzi, President and CEO of TIPA, commented. “Hearing the stories of leaders who laid the foundation for our region’s success, who fought and built what we now take as ‘truisms’ of our industry, it is a wonderful chance to show our gratitude for their achievements.”
Established in 1988, the event recognizes the region’s industry leaders who have made exceptional contributions crucial to the long-term success of the trade. From trailblazers to innovators and industry advocates, these members have also served on behalf of the industry in many different capacities, pushing for the betterment of all the region’s fresh produce stakeholders, according to a press release.
Along with these top distinctions, Jimmy Santos of Santos International US Customs Brokers, was also an honoree of the night, accepting the Scott Toothaker Award for years of commitment and service to the industry. Established in 1989, the Scott Toothaker Award acknowledges those who are not directly involved in production agriculture, but who have also made important contributions to the Texas produce industry and beyond.
“It’s a privilege to be part of this industry and serving as Chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee is truly an honor,” shared Bob Peterson, formerly of C&V Supply, Mission, Texas, who has served as Chairman of the committee since 2010. “Our biggest challenge as a committee is finalizing a list of honorees when there are so many deserving people.”
The Texas Produce Hall of Fame Committee accepts and reviews nominations throughout the year. The event was held at the McAllen Country Club in McAllen, Texas, where every seat and every table was completely filled to pay tribute to these Texas leaders. The event also provides a platform for the William E. Weeks Agricultural Scholarship fundraiser, established to encourage future generations to carry on the hard work of our past leaders and pursue an education in the field of specialty crop agriculture.
Congratulations to these exceptional leaders and thank you for the amazing contributions that impact us today and will elevate the standards of tomorrow.