Women, Young Professionals Meet to Drive Leadership in Produce


Two powerful communities in the fresh produce and floral industries are preparing to meet this April as part of a concentration on leadership development, hosted by the Produce Marketing Association Foundation for Industry Talent. The Women's Fresh Perspectives Conference and the Emerging Leaders Program are a part of the PMA Foundation's initiative to establish a workforce with the diverse skills necessary to meet the complex demands of business.

Women in produce advance cross-functional skills
A group of 250 women in the industry will meet in Phoenix, Ariz., to cultivate their skills even further at the PMA Foundation's Women's Fresh Perspectives Conference, scheduled for April 27-29. The PMA Foundation will partner with the Simmons School of Management, repeatedly ranked No. 1 nationally in the category of "Greatest Opportunity for Women" by The Princeton Review guidebook, The Best 296 Business Schools. The conference is designed to sharpen participants' business acumen and further develop leadership potential. Speakers familiar with produce industry issues will help attendees learn how to:
  • Negotiate and communicate effectively to reach goals
  • Gain insights and actionable tools to enhance their personal brand
  • Lead high-performing teams
  • Manage work-life balance
"Although I was skeptical that this would be just a 'feel-good' conference, I was pleasantly surprised at its richness in content," says Jackie Caplan Wiggins, Frieda's, a 2013 participant. "And it was appropriate for the complete spectrum of experience in the industry."

Young professionals focus on management and critical thinking
The sold-out PMA Foundation Emerging Leaders Program will cultivate 36 young professionals in Glendale, Ariz., in conjunction with the Thunderbird School of Global Management. The program, now in its fourth year, provides an intensive learning designed to increase performance, focus abilities, and equip tomorrow's leaders with critical management and thinking skills. Participants will meet April 6-10 for an on-site event that includes a business module simulation and crisis management preparedness. The program will continue throughout the year and culminate at PMA's Fresh Summit in Anaheim, Calif.

"The program is an invaluable professional training experience for any leader in produce," says Kate Elliott of Walmart, a 2013 participant. "I cannot imagine a more robust and thorough primer on all key business management skills, taught to such a vibrant, intelligent group of professionals."

For more information on speakers and program details, sponsorship opportunities or to register, visit www.pmafoundation.com.