Lisa McNeece, vice president of food service and industrial sales for Grimmway Enterprises, Inc., will be the guest speaker at the United Fresh Produce Association's annual Reception Honoring Women in Produce, Wednesday, May 15, at United Fresh 2013 in San Diego, Calif.
Held each year in conjunction with the United Fresh convention and expo, the Reception Honoring Women in Produce recognizes the contributions of all women working in the produce industry and selects one individual to share their personal experience of service. The featured speaker is selected from nominations submitted by United Fresh members across the industry and reviewed by a committee of her peers, including honorees from the past 16 years.
"Lisa's passion for the industry is evident in her continued leadership and creative business development. She always has the big picture in mind and recognizes that what is good for the industry is great for Grimmway," said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel. "She inspires young members in the produce industry as an impeccable example of leading with decisiveness and a fresh, strong commitment to any project or function she is involved in. Lisa has demonstrated this recently by going above and beyond in her role as co-chair of the Let's Move Salad Bars to California Schools campaign and her dedication to improving child nutrition."
McNeece joined Grimmway in 1991 to coordinate between sales and production for a newly introduced item called baby peeled carrots. For the past 22 years, she has driven their tremendous market growth. In her current position, McNeece navigates business development and the bulk sales of carrots to processors all over the country for use in salads, snack packs and large food service operations such as schools. Grimmway is one of the world's largest carrot shippers and a pioneer in creating and marketing the baby carrot.
"It is a tremendous honor to be part of this outstanding event that celebrates women in the produce industry," said McNeece. "The Women in Produce reception is always one of my favorite events at the United Fresh convention; I go every year to connect with my peers and to learn from them. I'm looking forward to sharing my story."
Beyond her success in carrot marketing, McNeece is committed to the future of the entire fresh produce industry. She serves on the United Fresh board of directors and the United Fresh Nutrition & Health Council, and has been a driving force as a co-chair of the Let's Move Salad Bars to California Schools campaign. McNeece has served on the Produce Marketing Association's board of directors, food service board, and Foundation for Industry Talent Campaign Committee. Additionally, she has served on the Produce for Better Health Foundation's executive and foundation boards, and has lent her expertise to the Western Growers and the USDA Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. Her previous honors include the 2008 Packer's Foodservice Achievement Award and recognition in The Packer's 25 List as an industry leader.
The annual Reception Honoring Women in Produce has established itself as one of the most popular networking events at the association's annual convention. This year's annual event will be held Wednesday, May 15, at the San Diego Convention Center. Tickets are required for the event, as part of a convention package registration or purchased on site for $50.
Past honorees include:
Dan'l Mackey Almy, DMA Solutions, Inc.
Tonya Antle, Tanimura & Antle
Frieda Rapoport Caplan, Frieda's, Inc.
Margaret D'Arrigo, Taylor Farms, Inc.
Jan DeLyser, California Avocado Commission
Jan Fleming, Strube Celery & Vegetable Co.
Janice Honigberg, Sun Belle, Inc.
Lorri Koster, Mann Packing Co.
Kathleen Nave, California Table Grape Commission
Dr. Martha Rhodes-Roberts, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Steffanie Smith, River Point Farms, LLC
Heather Shavey, Costco Wholesale
Mayda Sotomayor-Kirk, Seald Sweet International
Rosemary Talley, Talley Farms
Jenney Tenney, The Kroger Co.
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