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Reimagine Conversations Produce 101

Reimagine Conversations | Month of June

Reimagine Conversations is a month-long, 25-session series delivering a fresh outlook, fresh ideas and fresh connections. The five-track series features thought-provoking sessions, including both education and group discussions to foster discovery, present new ideas and develop new relationships across all channels of the produce supply chain.

Produce 101: Orientation to Fresh Produce Supply Chain

Designed for young professionals, this 5-session series will guide participants on an informative journey of the produce supply chain, from grower to retail and foodservice. Led by members of United Fresh’s market segment boards, each session will provide a deeper understanding of our unique supply chain, helping participants understand the interconnectivity and challenges of various segments in delivering great-tasting, safe fresh produce to consumers around the world.

Track sponsored by:


  • Understanding the Modern Grower-Shipper Business Model
    Now available on-demand (took place Tuesday, June 1, 2:00-3:00 pm ET) 
    It all starts on the farm, and farms today vary greatly in shape, size and format. Hear from leading grower-shippers on their approaches to strategic planning, production, innovation, and sales with the goal of driving the best products into the fresh produce supply chain.

    • Moderator: Paul Lightfoot, President, BrightFarms 
    • Speakers:
      • Joe Barsi, President, California Giant Berry Farms
      • Jacquie Ediger, Executive Vice President, Pro Citrus Network 
      • Kiley Harper-Larsen, Vice President of Product and People Safety, J&J Family of Farms
  • The Future of Produce Wholesaling and Distribution
    Monday, June 7, 11:00 am-Noon ET
    As the produce supply chain has evolved, so has the role of the produce wholesaler and distributor. Learn the critical function of these businesses in bridging the supply chain between grower-shippers and retail and foodservice operators, and advancing the opportunities for growing consumption.

    • Moderator: Tom Brugato, President, Pacific Coast Fruit Company
    • Speakers:
      • Elaine Bellin, President and CEO, Paragon Foods
      • Stefanie Katzman, EVP, S. Katzman Produce
      • Tyler Neu, Vice President, Retail Sales, Russ Davis Wholesale
  • Fresh-Cut Produce: Driving Innovation and Adding Value
    Monday, June 14, 11:00 am-Noon ET
    Sponsored by QIMA

    Consumers today continue to seek ease of preparation as their lives get busier and their time more limited. Explore how fresh-cut processors are adding value and convenience to consumers’ fresh produce experience and how they drive innovation in delivering great-tasting fresh produce to consumers. 

    • Moderator: Raina Nelson, Executive Vice President of Business Development, Renaissance Food Group
    • Speakers:
      • Mason Arnold, Veggie Nerd, Cece’s Veggie Co.
      • Sydney Burlison, Director of Product Management, Taylor Farms
      • Ernst van Eeghen, Vice President, Business Development, Church Brothers Farms
  • Understanding Retail Market Drivers
    Monday, June 21, 11:00 am-Noon ET
    Sponsored by Stemilt Growers LLC

    Retailers are experiencing more changes in shopper behavior than ever before. Hear from key retail leaders the factors they consider when developing pricing strategies, private label decisions, sourcing, variety and more to meet the needs of their unique shopper demographic.

    • Moderator: Rich Gonzales, Vice President Global Produce Sourcing, Walmart
    • Speakers:
      • John Savidan, Sr. Director of Produce & Floral, Gelson’s Markets
      • Jeff Vocatura, Produce Sales Manager, Big Y Foods
  • The Foodservice Landscape: Bringing Produce to the Table
    Monday, June 28, 11:00 am-Noon ET
    Foodservice and culinary set trends in motion for consumer consumption. Learn the role of produce in the foodservice landscape, from menu innovation to sourcing to presentation, driving mutual success for the restaurant or operation, as well as the produce industry.

    • Moderator: Greg Corsaro, President, FreshEdge
    • Speakers:
      • Kim Andreason, Produce Program Coordinator, Jason’s Deli
      • James Loffredo, Director of Marketing, Loffredo Fresh Foods
      • Becky Unwer, Food Safety and Quality Assurance, Chipotle


Reimagine Conversations features five tracks of thought-provoking sessions, including both education and group discussions to foster discovery, present new ideas and develop new relationships across the produce supply chain.

Overall Schedule of Events

For more information, contact Amanda Griffin, Vice President, Education & Program Management at 202.303.3412.