FPAA Celebrates 75 Years at Annual Produce Convention

Nogales, AZ– Founded in 1944, the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA) celebrated its 75th year as an association at the Annual FPAA Produce Convention & Golf Tournament at the Tubac Golf Resort on November 7-9, 2019.  The convention was an incredible opportunity to connect with and learn from other leaders in the industry all while celebrating a huge milestone.  

The FPAA Convention is the premier event to attend for high quality educational sessions, networking opportunities, delicious food, and much more.  This year the FPAA offered something for everyone, from the educational sessions to the opening fiesta, a culinary showcase, and perfect weather for golfing and enjoying the area. The FPAA also showcased the 75 Years of FPAA Gallery, which displayed history starting from the association’s beginnings to now.

 “We had more than 600 attendees at the convention, and it was a great way to celebrate 75 years with our membership,” said FPAA Vice President Allison Moore. “Our guests enjoyed exceptional speakers, entertainment, networking opportunities, and great food. Events like this are a great way to celebrate this tightknit industry.”

The educational sessions on Thursday offered attendees the opportunity to connect with others in the industry. This year the FPAA offered a new segment titled Produce Industry Storyteller, where three industry leaders shared their story about how they worked their way up to success. Storyteller speakers included Raquel Espinoza of Produce House, Walter Ram of Giumarra Companies, and Jaime Chamberlain of Chamberlain Distributing. The keynote speaker for this year was Rick Stein of Food Marketing Institute (FMI), who spoke about fresh food strategies. This year, attendees also received a Cold Facility Update from Georgina Felix of the FPAA. The educational sessions were rounded out by a panel of industry experts that focused on hot topics impacting the produce industry.  The panel was moderated by Chris Ciruli of Ciruli Brothers and featured Tom Stenzel of United Fresh Produce Association, Ron LeMaire of Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), Rick Stein of FMI, and Britton Clarke of BC Consulting.  

The opening fiesta was held in the beautiful outdoor plaza of the Tubac Golf Resort and highlighted live music, a historical gallery dedicated to showcasing 75 years of Association History, and amazing food. “The FPAA Fall Convention was a great kickoff to the Fall/Winter season of Mexican fruits and vegetables. We were pleased to host visitors from across the nation and discuss important issues, as well as to reconnect,” said Lance Jungmeyer, President, FPAA.

Friday was another full day for attendees. The Consulate General of Mexico and the FPAA teamed up to host the 4th Annual Culinary Showcase, which invited guests to experience delicious food from chefs across Arizona and Mexico that feature the fresh produce items imported by the FPAA’s members.

The Gala on Friday night was an elegant celebration that featured entertainment, mariachis, a live band, special recognitions and awards, and an evening of dancing.

The highlight of the evening was when Lance Jungmeyer, president of the FPAA presented Charles “Chuck” Ciruli, Jr. with the Pillar of the FPAA Award.  The Pillar of the FPAA Award is given to members of the association that have contributed greatly to the evolution and sustainability of the U.S. industry importing fresh produce from Mexico. Chuck was honored for his commitment to the FPAA and the produce industry.

This year the FPAA along with the Nogales U.S. Customs Brokers Association and the United Fresh Start Foundation had the pleasure of giving away another salad bar to a local school. The school that was awarded the salad bar was Mexicayotl Charter School.

The 2-day golf tournament participants were fiercely competitive from the onset. Prizes for this event were awarded are as follow: Friday, November 2 golf winners included; Closest to the Pin: Harold Myers, Longest Drive: Scott Kosnik, 1st Place: Jimmy Munguia & Earl Bekins, 2nd Place: Mike Nuñez & Ernie Manzo, and 3rd Place: Kyle McGrath & Scott Kosnik. The Saturday winners included Closest to the Pin: Ivonne Maldonado, Longest Drive: Edgar Duarte. 1st Place: Mike Nuñez & Ernie Manzo, 2nd Place: Jimmy Munguia & Earl Bekins, 3rd Place Adam Cancellieri & Jeff Young.

The FPAA thanks all of its members and guests for making this convention one to remember.  Be sure to save the date for FPAA’s 2020 Annual Convention in Tubac, Arizona, November 5-7, 2020.

About the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas: 

The FPAA is a nonprofit trade association headquartered in Nogales, Arizona, that represents over 120 U.S. member companies involved in growing, packing, sales and transportation of fresh fruits and vegetables grown in Mexico.  The FPAA leverages the efforts of private companies and partner-associations to increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetable from Mexico.