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MEET CLASS 24 OF THE PRODUCE INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP PROGRAM

 

Fresh produce has been a part of Daniel Corsaro‘s life since he was old enough to hold an apple. Whether it was selling produce on the corner of his street, dropping off preorders at the neighbors, or running a delivery route during the summer, he always enjoyed bringing tasteful and healthy products into the lives of others. In this industry, every day brings new challenges and exciting opportunities, and Daniel is grateful and proud to be a part of such an experienced and customer focused team at Indy Fruit.

 

Shanan Cox is a Senior Merchant for Sam’s Club. After obtaining her MBA from Missouri State University, she began working in the produce industry where she has held various roles in buying, account management, brand strategy, and retail merchandising. She is passionate about leading positive, transformational change both within her organization and within the produce industry. Shanan is currently responsible for buying citrus and avocados for Sam’s Clubs, and sources produce from over 10 countries. As a Senior Merchant, she is responsible for providing Sam’s Club members with a consistent supply of premium quality produce at the best possible value. 

 

Jason Frost is the Plant Manager of Apio Inc’s Hanover, Pennsylvania facility. He began his career over 12 years ago as an assistant supervisor with GreenLine Foods. Through the years and subsequent merger with Apio Inc., Jason has grown and progressed into various leadership roles. As Plant Manager, Jason is responsible for the growth and development of his team and plant processes to support the strategic initiatives and financial expectations of the facility.  Jason is passionate about the fresh produce industry because of the health and wellness value it provides his family, employees and consumers.

 

 

Heather Fuller is the Sr. Director of Sales for Braga Fresh Family Farms, headquartered in Soledad, CA. Heather began her career and love of the produce industry soon after graduating from Cal Poly, SLO with a degree in Agribusiness. In her twelve years in the business, she has worked in both retail and foodservice as a buyer and seller. Her experience encompasses many commodity categories and roles from QC to marketing, account management, commodity management and finally elevated to the role of Sr. Director of Sales. In her current position, Heather is responsible for account management, and both national and international programs, while growing the company’s business through the development of strong relationships with their retailer, wholesaler and foodservice partners. 

 

Growing up in the central San Joaquin Valley, Brett Grimm  has always had a significant exposure to agriculture. Brett’s late father Bob and late uncle Rod Grimm Co-founded Grimmway Farms and as a young child Brett would often go out to work with his father on the weekends and would work summers at Grimmway learning about the world of carrots. Brett graduated from Arizona State university with a degree in Agriculture business from WP Carey school of business. Brett is now currently working the organic side of the business as a Sales associate for Grimmway’s organic vegetable division of Cal Organic. 

 

Lacy Litten works in Field Operations at Innovative Produce in Santa Maria, CA, a role that exposes her to all aspects of farming.  Lacy primarily manages the company’s food safety program and oversees the successful development of the company safety program, Culture Evolution. With passion for her work and love for her community, she serves on multiple non-profit boards using her talents to benefit others. Lacy brings enthusiasm for promoting agriculture and educating the public, along with community knowledge and field-level experience to her advocacy and leadership positions.

 

Matt Roy ’s produce career began in the grocery store where he helped with stocking produce. His passion and work ethic were recognized early and he became an Assistant Produce Manager during his senior year of high school. From there, he went on to run three retail produce departments including the largest in size, largest in volume and opened up a new store from the ground up. Throughout his career, Matt has held a number of roles in the produce industry. In 2013, he joined US Foods as a sourcing manager before accepting the role of West Region Category Manager for Produce a few months later, overseeing all the produce operations for twelve West Coast-based facilities. Today, Matt is the Director, Produce Replenishment Service Center and is responsible for all centrally managed fresh produce replenishment activities and team.

 

Brianna Shales is the communications manager at Stemilt Growers LLC in Wenatchee, WA. She joined Stemilt’s team a decade ago and quickly developed a passion for produce and sharing honest stories about the family-owned fruit company she represents with consumers. Today, Brianna manages Stemilt’s media relations and trade and consumer communications programs. She also works on brand strategy and development, and promotion activation on the retail side. Brianna is a current member of Produce for Better Health’s Marketing and Communications Committee and PMA’s Product Identification Committee. 

Leslie Simmons joined Dave’s in 2011 to become the third generation in her family’s business. In 2013 she was named as one of The Snack magazine’s “Women to Watch” and in 2015 she was awarded Produce Business magazine’s 40 under 40 award. Presently she is a volunteer on Southeast Produce Council’s Marketing Committee and the co-chair of the Women’s Fresh Perspectives Advisory Board for the Center for Growing Talent by PMA. Currently the VP at Dave’s, she focuses on new business development, branding, strategy, and general marketing efforts for the company. She also works closely with the company’s food safety and traceability programs.

 

Olivia Storvik is the Southern Regional Sales Manager for NatureSweet Tomatoes based in San Antonio, TX. She has held multiple positions managing national and regional accounts with responsibilities in the functional areas of sales, order management, forecasting and analysis, and transportation. As an avid vegetarian, Olivia sees produce as a way of life rather than just a career, and her passion to see a healthier generation grow up on sustainably grown produce is what drives her.  

 

Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms, a lifestyle brand and community of passionate fresh produce advocates with a mission to inspire everyone, especially children, to eat more fruits and vegetables. For ten years Lori was employed at Indianapolis Fruit Company where she managed the sales & marketing of fresh produce to over 300 retail accounts. Today, Lori and her team are fully focused on educating consumers about fresh produce, introducing them to produce brands, engaging the produce industry with consumers in inspiring conversations, and promoting public policy to protect and increase the availability of fresh produce at American schools. Her work has been featured on Oprah.com, Huffington Post, Real Simple Magazine, US Kids Magazines, as well as ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC affiliates throughout the US. 

 

Ross Williams is the Director of Packing Operations for Titan Farms, one of the largest commercial peach and vegetable operations in the country. Ross is certified/trained in HAACP, FSPCA, SQF 2000 Level 3 and leads the company’s Food Safety & Security Team as well as the Crisis Management Team. The daily demands of his job involve managing all packing facility operations including product receiving, shipping, production planning, order fulfillment, equipment operations, quality control, and facility maintenance. Ross works closely with senior management on short and long term planning as well as budget development. 

 

For questions about the Produce Industry Leadership Program, contact Amanda Griffin, Senior Director of Education & Member Programs, at 202.303.3412.