The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Foundation for Industry Talent celebrates 10 years by refreshing itself with a new name, logo and even stronger commitment to its people.
“We are evolving into the Center for Growing Talent by PMA to better communicate to our industry what we can do for them,” says Dick Spezzano, PMA’s board chairman and president of Spezzano Consulting Service, Inc., Monrovia, Calif. “The new name also emphasizes that the strong relationship with PMA continues.”
“We celebrate our 10th anniversary this year, and that milestone demanded introspection to ensure we’re best positioned for now, the next 10 years and beyond,” adds Leonard Batti, chair-elect of Center for Growing Talent by PMA, Newark, Del., and president of Taylor Farms, Orlando, Fla. “As a result, we’re stepping up our programming, so that we can best serve our industry into the future. We also hope that the industry will better understand why we need their financial support.”
Strategic planning led the Center for Growing Talent by PMA to set an “invest-to-grow agenda” for its programs and the people who deliver them.
“Simply put, that means we are pushing the organization to a new level to meet our industry’s ever-growing demands for talent, and to respond to competitive forces that are threatening our industry’s ability to retain our essential people,” says Jim Leimkuhler, the organization’s immediate past chair and president of Progressive Produce, Los Angeles. “We listened carefully, and are leaning into our industry’s most important priorities—for today and tomorrow.”
“I am thrilled that the Pack Family Career Pathways program, which was the inaugural program for the Center for Growing Talent by PMA, remains the centerpiece of the student attraction programs,” says Jay Pack, whose Pack Family Foundation financially supports the original student attraction program. “It is hugely rewarding to see the investment we made spark a decade of growth, and immensely gratifying to see the quantity of successful careers launched by the Pack program.”
“In fact, in just over 10 years, we have reached nearly 800 students, 65% of whom have come to work in our industry,” says Margi Prueitt, Center for Growing Talent by PMA executive director.