Eastern Produce Council Leadership Class Completes Industry Education at NY Produce Show Foundational Excellence Program

The fourth Eastern Produce Council (EPC) Leadership Class culminated its 2022 educational program by attending the New York Produce Show (NYPS) and participating in Cornell University’s Foundational Excellence Future-Leaders-In-Produce event at the show. 

The career-building Foundational Excellence program provided an immersion into the structure and operations of the produce industry and included crucial topics for today’s industry leaders. “Our class heard from renowned Cornell faculty as well as respected produce industry professionals,” says Susan McAleavey Sarlund, EPC Executive Director. “This program provides invaluable industry support and mentorship for those in our leadership class.”

The members of the EPC Leadership Class were recognized at the Keynote Breakfast prior to the trade show and then walked the exposition. “Attending an industry event such as this is a great fit with the dual-medium learning environment of our EPC Leadership program which combines field experience with classroom learning throughout the year,” says McAleavey Sarlund.

The selected up-and-coming produce professionals have benefited from professional development opportunities both in the field and classroom throughout this past year. “The capable members of our well-rounded class were highly engaged with one another and enjoyed the exposure to the many different facets of our industry,” said McAleavey Sarlund. 

The 2022 class activities began with a visit in March to the Philadelphia Produce Wholesale Market (PWPM) in Philadelphia, PA, followed by Holt Cargo Systems at the Port of Gloucester, NJ. In April, the group participated in a Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) seminar discussing significant food safety issues. A combined classroom and field experience took place in November at Hionis Greenhouses in Whitehouse Station, NJ. The classroom experience was led by an adjunct professor from Rutgers University. The program wrapped up with group’s NYPS participation. Nominations for the fifth Leadership Class will open in January of 2023. For more information visit www.easternproducecouncil.com.

Participants selected for the 2022 EPC Leadership Class included: Mohammed Bouzaidi of Global Fresh Vision LLC; John Carapella, Jr. of Sierra Produce; Shanna Deegan of Suja Juice; Catherine DeLettera with Zespri; Louis Getzelman of Canyon Sales Company LLC; Patrick Hallock of Four Seasons Produce; Brendan Haslam of Bolthouse Farms; Peter Machala of Wakefern Food Corp.; Krystal McCusker of The Oppenheimer Group; Juliet Moran with Suja Juice; Noelle Neary of Wakefern Food Corp.; Dan Oettinger with JOH Metro; Garett Sebor of Key Food Stores; Kate Watson of The Oppenheimer Group; and Shawn Wen with Zespri.