ANAHEIM, CA – The Apprentice Task Force and the Board of Directors of the Fresh Produce & Floral Council (FPFC) has selected the following twelve individuals to participate in the 2021 FPFC Apprentice Program. They are:
• Gisel Arenas, Westlake Produce Co.
• Anjali Bonfante, Bolthouse Farms
• Veleyin Contreras, Progressive Produce, LLC
• Alexandra Danell, Country Sweet Produce
• Cassidy Davis, Calavo Growers, Inc.
• Tawne Rose Haynish, Index Fresh
• James Hunt, Great West Produce Co.
• Pebbles Johnson, Grocery Outlet
• Brent Purvis, Allen Lund Company
• Sean Quintero, California Endive Farms
• Heather Riebe, Renaissance Food Group
• Elsa Y. Salazar, Bard Valley Date Growers
“Having been involved in the Program since its inception – as a graduate of Class One in 2014 and serving on the task force and as a mentor every year thereafter – I’ve been fortunate to witness the Apprentice Program evolve and flourish with each new class,” stated Rachelle Schulken, FPFC Apprentice Program Chair. “From the strategic educational programming to the esteemed mentor group to the talented candidates we receive, I’m so proud of what this Program has become and the value it brings to every graduate and FPFC member company. Best of luck to the 2021 Apprentice Program Class!” adds Schulken.
Sponsored by Dennis Gertmenian, founder and retired CEO of Ready Pac and Bounduelle Fresh Americas, home of Ready Pac Foods and Grimmway Farms. The FPFC Apprentice Program prepares participants for leadership roles in their companies and in the industry. The program consists of education sessions, facility and field tours, and group and team-building projects. Each Apprentice is also paired with an industry mentor to act as a guide and to facilitate introductions at networking events.
“Each year, individuals are chosen from a wide range of companies and positions in the produce industry to participate in this elite 9-month program,” shared Don Gann, FPFC Executive Director. “Candidates, viewed by their employers as having great leadership potential, are screened through a competitive selection process. Participation in this program adds tremendous value to the produce industry through programming designed to provide a holistic view of the industry and instill leadership skills in each Apprentice. I am very excited to see the 2021 Apprentice Class learn and grow into the leaders of tomorrow!”
The 2021 FPFC Apprentice Program begins with a meeting of Apprentices and their mentors in April and will conclude in January of 2022 when the Apprentices are recognized with a graduation ceremony at the FPFC Dinner Dance.