SEPC Announces Next Generation Leadership Academy

Millen, GA – The Southeast Produce Council is thrilled to expand their education portfolio with a truly unique leadership development program designed for up-and-coming leaders.

This year long program will provide participants a unique approach to conscious leadership ideals and methodologies. Participants will develop and galvanize leadership skills and prepare to navigate industry challenges with a growth mindset. The Academy will feature quarterly modules that will include virtually guided events and up to 2 in-person programming events.  This program will equip and prepare participants for future leadership responsibilities with content relevant to their leadership challenges.

“When we received an overwhelming number of nominations for our prestigious Next Generation Award last year, we realized the need to transform a single award into a robust leadership program. The Next Generation Leadership Academy is more than a moment, more than a single award, and has been thoughtfully designed to recognize, honor, and invest in future leaders seeking to be changemakers in the produce industry.”

~ SEPC Past Chairman Raina Nelson of Westfalia Fruit USA (pictured)

If you have someone in mind whom you’d like to nominate for the Next Generation Leadership Academy, nominations are now open and will close December 15th before 5:00 pm EST.

Nominees should have organizational level support to participate.  The inaugural class will be announced during the General Session & Keynote Luncheon at Southern Exposures 2023 and will graduate at Southern Exposure 2024.

Eligibility requirements for nominee:

  • Emerging leader in produce, mid-level manager or above
  • Employed in the produce industry for at least 4 years
  • Member in “Good Standing” of the SEPC*
  • Must possess a vision for leadership, a strong drive to carry it out, and strong communications skills to convey why they believe they would be a good candidate for the program by submitting a short video for selection process

*To be in “Good Standing”, a member must actively participate in the SEPC by their attendance, contributions, or both and must be included in SEPC’s membership roll. SEPC member companies who are in “Good Standing” may nominate an employee who is not currently on the active SEPC membership role.

Note that employees of the Southeast Produce Council, the SEPC’s participating vendors, any contract employees of the SEPC, and members of the immediate family of any such persons are not eligible to be nominated or win the Award. The term “immediate family” includes spouses, siblings, parents, children, grandparents, and grandchildren, whether as “in-laws”, or by current or past marriage(s), adoption, co-habitation or other family extension, and other persons residing at the same household whether related.

Please contact the Southeast Produce Council at or (877) 720-SEPC if you have any questions.

About Southeast Produce Council

The Southeast Produce Council (SEPC) is a member-driven, non-profit association of more than 3,000 leaders from all facets of the produce industry. It was formed more than 20 years ago to promote the value of fresh fruits and vegetables in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Virginia through networking, innovation, community, and education. Today, SEPC is a thriving organization that continues to share and pursue its vision, mission, values, and goals. Learn more by visiting