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Midwinter Leadership Forum

Midwinter Leadership Forum 

At the United Fresh Midwinter Leadership Forum, friends and volunteer leaders throughout the fresh produce industry are invited to gather in support of the United Fresh Start Foundation. The two day event brings together hundreds of industry leaders to start the year off reconnecting, engaging in dynamic conversations and camaraderie, honoring industry leaders and to set goals for the industry’s year ahead.

The Forum kicks off with the annual United Fresh Start Foundation Golf Tournament. That evening, the industry gathers to celebrate industry icons as our United Fresh Lifetime Achievement Award honorees during the Produce Legends Dinner.

All are invited to register and attend.

This is a can’t miss opportunity to network with industry executives, build new business connections, play a fantastic golf course and celebrate the achievements, all while supporting the United Fresh Start Foundation.

2016 Schedule of Events

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

10:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

United Fresh Start Foundation Golf Tournament*
Mountain Course, La Quinta Resort
Putting Contest 10:30am, Shotgun Start 12:00pm

6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Produce Legends Dinner* Honoring Tonya and Rick Antle 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Breakfast General Session
9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Food Safety & Technology Council
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  Finance & Business Management Council
Supply Chain Logistics Council
Produce Marketing & Merchandising Council
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Leadership Alumni Organization Board
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Buffet Lunch for all Volunteer Leaders
1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Grower-Shipper Board
Fresh-Cut Board
Wholesaler-Distributor Board
Retail-Foodservice Board
Fresh Start Foundation Board of Trustees**
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Volunteer Leaders Reception & Dinner

Thursday, January 14, 2016

8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Board of Directors Meeting**
6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Board of Directors Dinner**

*Tickets required. For more information, contact Tressie Tillar at 202.303.3414.

**Attendance at these events is limited to Board Members.

United Fresh Start Foundation Golf TournamentTuesday, January 12, 2016


GrowingUpFreshThe 2016 United Fresh Start Foundation Golf Tournament, held at the famed Mountain Course at the La Quinta Resort, challenged golfers with soaring peaks elevating the Palm Springs golf experience. Famous for its unique Pete Dye design, playability and stunning visuals, this exciting and challenging course nestled at the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains features pot bunkers and rock formations, as well as incredible elevations of tee boxes and well-bunkered greens. Ascending to the top of the elevated tee box of the signature 16th enables you to fully appreciate the majesty of this course, named one of Golf Magazine’s Top 100 You Can Play.

All proceeds from the golf tournament support the United Fresh Start Foundation’s programs to increase children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables – ensuring generations of children are “Growing Up Fresh.”

For more information, contact Andrew Marshall at 202.303.3407.

Produce Legends DinnerTuesday, January 12, 2016

Honoring Tonya & Rick Antle with the Lifetime Achievement Award
La Quinta Resort, Palm Springs, CA


The produce industry honored the achievements of industry icons Tonya & Rick Antle, with the 2016 United Fresh Lifetime Achievement Award! 

Tonya Antle
Tonya Antle has been a driving force in the farming and produce industry for more than thirty years. She grew up on her family’s table grape and citrus farm in Delano, California. She is recognized as true trailblazer for the organic produce segment, helping to propel organic produce from the fringe to mainstream mass-market retailing.

Tonya held the position of Vice President of Organic Sales for over 13 years at Earthbound Farm.  During her tenure, she was an instrumental leader in building the brand to its half billion-dollar sales level that it enjoys today.

Tonya is a past recipient of United Fresh’s Women in Produce achievement award. She has served on several industry boards and currently serves on the Ag Business Department at Cal Poly board of directors, San Luis Obispo as a guest lecturer, as a member of the President’s Council and holds a board position on the Community Foundation for Monterey County.

Having experienced the benefits of mentoring by professional women early in her career, Tonya has always been generous in paying those sisterhood benefits forward. Wherever she has gone, she has reached out to help younger professional women navigate the path to achievement, sharing the valuable insight gained in a successful career.

Rick Antle
Rick Antle has been President and Principal of Tanimura & Antle, Inc., in Salinas, California, since its inception in 1982 and Chief Executive Officer since 2003. Never one to shy away from an important issue or a cause that directly affects his company or the produce industry at-large, Rick takes a proactive approach to engage T & A leadership in finding solutions to meet these challenges.

Rick is a graduate of California Poly and was honored by being named its distinguished alumni for the School of Agriculture. He has also been recognized by the Salinas Chamber of Commerce as its outstanding young farmer. Rick has served in various volunteer roles including Chairman of the Iceberg Lettuce Research Board, Chairman of the Monterey County Water Resources Agency and on the Board of the United Fresh Produce Association. He is also a recipient of United Fresh’s Produce Man of the Year Award.

Before the formation of Tanimura & Antle, Rick was a Vice President of Bud Antle, Inc., a division of Castle & Cooke, Inc., which today is known as Dole Foods.

All proceeds from the dinner support the United Fresh Start Foundation’s programs to increase children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables – ensuring generations of children are “Growing Up Fresh.”

PresentationEvolving Supplier-Retailer Relationships


 Evolving Supplier-Retailer Relationships
Speaker: Rod Hawkes




Volunteer Leadership Meetings

Hundreds of industry members serving on United Fresh boards and councils convene for meetings at the Midwinter Leadership Forum. These individuals represent United Fresh member companies throughout the entire produce supply chain and some of the most powerful decision-makers in the fresh produce industry.

United Fresh Volunteer Leadership Groups Meeting at the Midwinter Leadership Forum

  • Finance & Business Management Council
  • Food Safety & Technology Council
  • Fresh-Cut Processor Board
  • Grower-Shipper Board
  • Produce Marketing & Merchandising Council
  • Retail-Foodservice Board
  • Supply Chain Logistics Council
  • Wholesaler-Distributor Board
  • United Fresh Start Foundation Board of Trustees*
  • United Fresh Board of Directors*

*Attendance at these meetings is limited to board members.

If you do not currently serve as a volunteer leader, you are welcome to observe expert council and market segment board meetings to gain a deeper understanding of the work these volunteer leaders do to benefit the broader United Fresh membership.

We encourage all volunteer leaders to take part in the annual United Fresh Start Foundation Golf Tournament and Produce Legends Dinner.

Hotel & Travel


La Quinta Resort & Club is the event location for the United Fresh Midwinter Leadership Forum.

La Quinta Resort & Club
49-499 Eisenhower Drive
La Quinta, CA 92253

In addition, there is a variety of other hotel properties in the area. The two properties below are within 5 miles of the resort:

Embassy Suites La Quinta – Hotel & Spa
50777 Santa Rosa Plaza
La Quinta, CA  92253
~3 miles to La Quinta Resort & Club

Homewood Suites by Hilton La Quinta
200 Washington Street #45
La Quinta, CA  92253
~3 miles to La Quinta Resort & Club

The La Quinta Resort & Club is located 20 miles from Palm Springs International Airport (PSP). A variety of ground transportation options are available at the airport. For a list of rental car companies click here and for other ground transportation options click here. The approximate taxi fare is $70 each way.

If you’d like to pre-arrange a taxi cab pick-up at the airport, La Quinta Resort recommends contacting:

Yellow Cab of the Desert


Apio-Color-Logo     app-Baldor     app-BayerCropscience     app-Braga
bushmans-logo     Cabbage-Inc     caito-foods-logo    TWC-CalGiantBerry      app-Castellini     
app-IFCO-and-CHEP     app-CrunchPak     app-Del-Monte     app-EBF     app-farmersbest
TWC-FourSeasonsFamilyofComp      app-FoxPackaging     app-Friedas     app-grimmway     app-growers-express
app-jablogo     app_JasmineVineyards     app-JVSmith     app-Markon     app-McEntire
app-mission     app_muircoppercanyonfarms     app-Pandol     app_Phillips-Mushroom     app_premier_produce
ProduceBusiness     ProdProc_web     app-Stemilt-WFF     app-Sunkist     app-SunWorld
app-Tanimura-and-Antle     app-TaylorFarms     app-The-Nunes     WonderfulCitrus

We encourage all volunteer leaders to take part in the annual United Fresh Start Foundation Golf Tournament and Produce Legends Dinner. If you would like assistance purchasing dinner tickets, contact Sophie Drayton at 202.303.3413. For inquiries or to sign up for the United Fresh Start Golf Tournament, contact Andrew Marshall at 202.303.3407.

For all other inquiries related to the United Fresh Midwinter Leadership Forum, contact us at 202.303.3400.