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Midwinter Leadership Forum

Midwinter Leadership Forum & Produce Legends Dinner  
January 10-12, 2017 | New Orleans, LA

The United Fresh Midwinter Leadership Forum brings together hundreds of United Fresh leaders for three days of meetings, activities and engagement. This gathering is an opportunity for our volunteer leadership to kick off 2017 by reconnecting, engaging in dynamic conversations, and setting goals for the year ahead.

The 2017 Midwinter Leadership Forum begins on January 10 with the annual Produce Legends Dinner. Proceeds from the special event support the United Fresh Start Foundation and its mission to increase children’s access to fresh produce. Join us as we honor Bruce McEvoy with the Lifetime Achievement Award and celebrate his accomplishments spanning a 50 year career in the industry. 

All are invited to purchase a ticket to the dinner and help support the United Fresh Start Foundation!
Get Your Ticket

2017 Schedule of Events

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Food Safety & Technology Council Meeting
6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Produce Legends Dinner* Honoring Bruce McEvoy

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Breakfast General Session for all Volunteer Leaders
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  United Fresh Start Foundation Board/Committees
Supply Chain Logistics Council
Produce Marketing & Merchandising Council
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 Processor Board
Wholesaler-Distributor Board
Retail-Foodservice Board
Finance & Business Management Council
Leadership Alumni Organization Board
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Volunteer Leaders Reception & Dinner

Thursday, January 12, 2017

8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Board of Directors Meeting
5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Board of Directors Dinner

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

Produce Legends DinnerTuesday, January 10, 2017

Honoring Bruce McEvoy with the Lifetime Achievement Award
Supporting the United Fresh Start Foundation

Bruce McEvoyDuring the dinner, we will honor Bruce McEvoy with the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award. Bruce is currently a Government Relations Consultant for Seald Sweet International. His 50 year career in produce has spanned the globe, originating with the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service in Europe and Thailand, eventually assigned to the U.S. Embassy in London where he focused on export expansion.

Bruce went on to join Sunkist where he led its European subsidiary and established license programs for juices and soft drinks in the Middle East and a beverage plant in Sicily, Italy. The company had an active barter trade program with the East Bloc countries that helped to support a summer charter service. Bruce also managed the California Citrus Quality Council in Europe, a constant challenge to maintain market access.

In 1984 Bruce was transferred to Sunkist’s headquarters in Southern California where he managed sales and marketing for the Products Division and the global use of the Sunkist trademark.  The Asian markets were now a priority.

In 1989, he moved to DuPont’s Biotech division to help commercialize innovative products from two new companies – Fresh World Farms and Intermountain Canola – both of which he served as president.

In 1994, Bruce joined Seald Sweet International as the company president, where he successfully helped transform the regional Florida citrus cooperative into a global produce company. Bruce retired as company president in 2004, but still serves Seald Sweet and its parent company Greenyard as a government relations consultant.

Bruce recently celebrated 50 years working in the produce industry. In those five decades, he has received numerous accolades for his work, including the Special Achievement Award for Produce Export Expansion from the Secretary of Agriculture; a Special Achievement Award from the Foreign Agricultural Service for his work developing the concept of an Agriculture Trade Office in major export markets; The Packer Man of Year in 2000; and The Packer’s first list of 25 Leaders in the Produce Industry. He was also appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to the Industry Biotechnology Committee. Bruce served on the United Fresh Board of Directors for seven years and was Chairman during the 1999/2000 transition year. He used his term as Chairman to work with a highly motivated team on strategic planning. As Chairman of the Hunt’s Point Committee, Bruce’s efforts ultimately resulted in a settlement of $150 million with USDA. Also of note, his efforts on the Farm Worker Relief Program following the 1994 Hurricanes were able generate almost $1,500,000 for those who were homeless.

Bruce and his wife Ann have been married for 44 years and have two sons. In addition to dedicating his time to the produce industry, Bruce serves as the board chair of his local Alzheimer/Parkinson’s Association chapter, a disease he was diagnosed with in 2008. He has since become a tireless champion, advocating on Capitol Hill for legislation to increase research funding.

Proceeds from the dinner support the United Fresh Start Foundation‘s mission to increase children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables – ensuring generations of children are “Growing Up Fresh.”  Purchase your ticket today!

Can’t join us in person? Consider making a donation to the foundation to support our efforts. For more information, please contact our Director of Development, Steven Titlebaum, CFRE at 202-303-.3420.

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
  • Leadership Alumni Board
  • Produce Marketing & Merchandising Council
  • Retail-Foodservice Board
  • Supply Chain Logistics Council
  • Wholesaler-Distributor Board
  • United Fresh Start Foundation Committees 
  • United Fresh Start Foundation Board of Trustees*
  • United Fresh Board of Directors*

*Attendance at these meetings is limited to board members.

If you are not currently serving 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.

Hotel & Travel

The Royal Sonesta is the event location for the United Fresh Midwinter Leadership Forum.

hotel-exterior-_-desire-cornerRoyal Sonesta
300 Bourbon Street
New Orleans, LA  70130

The Midwinter Leadership Forum will take place at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans. To make a hotel reservation or check hotel availability, please use the link below:

Hotel Reservations

Or call the hotel at 1-855-463-3092 and reference United Fresh Midwinter Leadership Forum. The Royal Sonesta is located 20 miles from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY). A variety of ground transportation options are available at the airport. For recommended ways to travel from the hotel, please visit the Getting Here page on the Royal Sonesta website.


If you are interested in sponsoring the 2017 Produce Legends Dinner or Midwinter Leadership Forum, please contact our Director of Development, Steven Titlebaum, CFRE at 202-303-3420.

Thank you to all of the companies that supported our 2016 event:

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

If you would like assistance purchasing dinner tickets, contact Tressie Tillar at 202.303.3414.  

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