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United Fresh to Honor Mike Cavallero With Lifetime Achievement Award

Oct 21, 2014

Award To Be Presented at Midwinter Leadership Forum

Michael Cavallero, retired President of North American Tropical Fresh Fruit for Dole Fresh Fruit Company, will be the 2015 honoree at the Produce Legends Dinner during the United Fresh Midwinter Leadership Forum January 13-15, at the La Quinta Resort and Club, in La Quinta, CA.

“Mike is a tremendously deserving honoree,” said United Fresh Chairman Ron Carkoski, President and CEO, Four Seasons Family of Companies. Cavallero has served the fresh produce industry for more than 40 years, working his entire career with the Dole Food Company and its predecessor Castle & Cooke. Cavallero has also served on many industry boards and councils, including as a member of the Board of Directors of United Fresh and PMA, as well as Chairman of the Board of the International Banana Association.

United’s Midwinter Leadership Forum brings together all of the association’s volunteer leaders for council and board meetings, its annual United Fresh Start Foundation golf tournament to support children’s increased access to fresh produce, and the Produce Legends Dinner honoring an individual for his or her lifetime achievement in the produce industry. Past honorees have included Joe Procacci, Frieda Caplan, Reggie Griffin and Bob Grimm. The 2015 Produce Legends Dinner will take place on Tuesday, January 13, following the Foundation golf tournament.

Cavallero began his career as a technical service representative in the Fresh Fruit Division of Castle & Cooke. Four years later, he was promoted to director of marketing services. In 1983, he was promoted to the Fresh Vegetable Division in Salinas, CA, with responsibility in central sales. After a stint in New York as Eastern Division sales manager, Cavallero returned to Salinas as vice president of sales for fresh vegetables. In 1992 he returned to the Fresh Fruit Division as vice president of sales and marketing for tropical products, and was promoted to president of North American Tropical Fresh Fruit in 2001, serving as an officer of the Dole Fresh Fruit Company. In 2013, he was awarded The Packer’s Produce Man for All Seasons. He retired in 2014.

“Volunteer leaders and friends from throughout the fresh produce and supermarket industry are invited to participate with Mike in the Foundation Golf Tournament on Tuesday, January 13,” said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel. “Many friends throughout the industry have enjoyed being Mike’s guests at Dole golf tournaments over the years, so it’s great to be able to turn the tables and honor him at this year’s event. And, it’s for a great cause increasing kids’ access to fresh produce, which Mike has supported for so long.”

The 2015 United Fresh Start Foundation Golf Tournament will be played on the renowned TPC Stadium Course at PGA West. Rated one of the “Top 100 Courses in the World” by GOLF Magazine and 4th toughest course in America in Golf Digest’s “Top 50 Toughest Courses in America” (2007), this Pete Dye course offers one of the most enjoyable challenges in the game of golf. For those guests who do not play golf, United will arrange a tour on Tuesday of local fresh produce operations in the Palm Springs area.

On Wednesday morning following the Produce Legends Dinner, United Fresh will host a Keynote Leadership Breakfast for all volunteer leaders and dinner guests. After that event, United’s boards and councils will begin their meetings, and guests are welcome to observe a meeting of their choice or to depart.

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