Mission Focuses on Increasing Children’s Access to Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
WASHINGTON, DC – The United Fresh Produce Association has unveiled the Board of Trustees to lead the new United Fresh Start Foundation. The members were appointed by the United Fresh Board of Directors at their September 11 meeting in Washington, DC.
The mission of the new United Fresh Start Foundation, focused on increasing children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables, comes as a result of more than two years of strategic planning by the United Fresh Board of Directors. Building on the leadership and work of United’s Nutrition and Health Council and all of United’s policy and outreach programs over the recent years, the Board decided to refocus and reposition the United Research and Education Foundation to focus solely on nutrition and health.
The new United Fresh Start Foundation will create a unique platform to provide a fresh start for kids by increasing their access to fresh fruit and vegetables, and to help grow United’s impact in serving this important mission.
The Foundation will be led by the inaugural Board of Trustees:
- Jim Lemke, Senior Vice President, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc., Foundation Board Chairman
- Kenny Avery, Global Commercial Lead, Monsanto
- Karen Caplan, President & CEO, Frieda’s, Inc.
- Robert Gordon, President, FreshPoint, Inc.
- Emanuel Lazopoulos, Senior Vice President, N.A. Sales & Product Management, Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc.
- Dan’l Mackey Almy, President & CEO, DMA Solutions, Inc.
- Lisa McNeece, Vice President, Foodservice and Industrial Sales, Grimmway Enterprises, Inc.
- Phil Muir, President & CEO, Muir Copper Canyon Farms
- Lee Anne Oxford, Director of Marketing, L & M Companies
- Steffanie Smith, CEO, Colorful Harvest, LLC
- Hugh Topper, Group V.P. Fresh, H-E-B
“In looking at board members to lead the new Foundation, we sought industry leaders who are passionate and committed to the mission and will be strong public advocates for the organization,” said United Chairman Ron Carkoski, President & CEO, Four Seasons Family of Companies. “I’m confident that the collective talent of this group will bring an energy and passion that will not only accelerate our mission, but significantly change the landscape of our children’s health and the future of our nation.”
In addition to the Board of Trustees, the Foundation efforts will be supported by program committees focused directly on key initiatives, including United’s leadership of theLet’s Move Salad Bars to Schools campaign and school foodservice outreach programs. The Foundation will be soliciting volunteers for industry members to serve on the different committees.
“We’ve made incredible progress with salad bars and advancing healthy eating in schools over the past five years,” said Tom Stenzel, President & CEO, United Fresh Produce Association. “But we still have much work to be done to reach our national objective that “Half the Plate” consists of fruits and vegetables. We are working to double fresh fruit and vegetable consumption by the next generation!”
“The United Board of Directors has challenged us with some very lofty goals,” said Foundation Chairman Jim Lemke, CH Robinson Worldwide. “And I am confident that this new Board of Trustees will help lead the charge and make a real difference. The livelihood of our country is dependent upon having a healthy generation to lead us forward, and we are committed to making that happen.”
The Board of Trustees will meet later this year to begin developing the key goals and strategic vision for the Foundation.
Founded in 1904, the United Fresh Produce Association brings together companies across every segment of the fresh produce supply chain, including growers, shippers, fresh-cut processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, foodservice operators, industry suppliers and allied associations. We empower industry leaders to shape sound government policy. We deliver the resources and expertise companies need to succeed in managing complex business and technical issues. We provide the training and development individuals need to advance their careers in produce. And, through these endeavors, we unite our industry with a common purpose – to build long-term value for our members and grow produce consumption. For more information, visit www.unitedfresh.org or call 202-303-3400.