PRO*ACT Announces Women’s Leadership Fund to Drive Change

Monterey, CA – Recognizing a need in an industry looking for fresh ideas and thoughtful innovation, supply chain management leader PRO*ACT is launching a fund to encourage more women to enter the produce industry.

“We’ve seen growers, distributors, and our own company benefit from the thoughtful contributions of talented women over the years,” shared PRO*ACT CEO Chip Walker, “but we also know that this is an industry where women’s representation has lagged behind other industries. We hope this fund is another step to bring more women to a field who needs their perspectives, experiences, and leadership.”

Scholarship applications will be open in June for women pursuing a graduate or post-graduate degree while majoring in various industry-related programs, including horticulture, agribusiness, and supply chain management.

“The timing for this initiative is right; we want to have a workforce representation that empowers our industry to grow exponentially,” added Mackenzie Lovelace – PRO* ACT’s Marketing Manager who is working with a team from PRO*ACT and their supply chain to award scholarships in August.

The announcement coincides with International Women’s Day, and a week where PRO*ACT is celebrating women across the fresh produce supply chain while highlighting on their website and social channels five whose contributions have strengthened PRO*ACT and their partners:

  • Joan Daleo | CEO | Ole Tyme Produce
  • Meyree Escobar | Senior Account Manager | PRO*ACT
  • Penny Schneider | Director Contract Services | Vizient
  • Michelle Weech | VP Marketing | Hardie’s Fresh Foods
  • Julie Laughton | Account Manager | Taylor Farms

“The workforce landscape is shifting before our very eyes,” said Joan Daleo – “as an industry, we have to continue to be intentional about attracting, mentoring and promoting the talented, diverse, and motivated group of personnel who will one day lead our industry.”

“This isn’t about reaching a quota,” adds Walker “it’s about building companies with the best people while recognizing that too often young women look at our industry – and then look elsewhere. This fund is designed to open that door a bit wider and show that we are serious about building a workforce of the best and the brightest.”


PRO*ACT is North America’s leading distributor of fresh food to the foodservice and retail industries, sourcing from premier national, regional, and local suppliers.  

PRO*ACT distributors work in their regions to bring fresh produce to over 200k restaurants, airports, hospitals, schools, grocery stores, and other customers of all shapes and sizes. PRO*ACT has grown to over 100 distribution centers serving 98.4% of the United States and Canada population. 

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