Advancing industry talent is a core focus of 2016 Fresh Summit
— Looking for help to attract, develop and retain the talent your fresh produce or floral business needs for its future? (And who isn’t?) Make plans now to attend Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) 2016 Fresh Summit Convention & Expo when it convenes October 14-16, in Orlando, Florida, USA.
This year’s Fresh Summit will include leadership and professional development sessions, a networking event hosted by Center for Growing Talent by PMA (CGTbyPMA), a women’s motivational leadership-development event, and CGTbyPMA’s original and largest university student-attraction program. New this year, a CGTbyPMA and PMA pilot project will help future efforts to attract leading science and technology students to industry careers.
Fresh Summit 2016 is a week earlier than usual; attendees are encouraged to register by the advance registration deadline of Sept. 30 to avoid registration lines in Orlando.
Find talent-advancing inspiration, education and connections
Attendees who are interested in attracting, developing and retaining produce and floral talent are invited to tap into Fresh Summit’s Industry Talent Community of Interest – and to learn more about CGTbyPMA, whose mission is to attract, develop and retain industry talent.
Fresh Summit’s Communities of Interest are designed to help attendees find education, inspiration and connections related to their priority business interests. In addition to Industry Talent, other 2016 Communities of Interest include Floral, Global Connections, Issues Leadership, and Science & Technology.
“Talent is about more than HR, it is a critical management and leadership issue – every single organization in this industry is challenged to find, train and keep qualified, committed people,” said Leonard Batti of Taylor Farms and CGTbyPMA board chair-elect, “If you don’t already know CGTbyPMA, Fresh Summit is your chance to learn what this remarkable young organization can do for your business. You will be glad you did!”
This year’s Fresh Summit offers a range of leadership and professional development educational opportunities. At Saturday’s general session, CEO Johnny “Cupcakes” Earle will teach attendees how to grow your personal brand, to establish a business reputation that can’t be ignored. At Sunday’s general session, entrepreneur Josh Linkner will share his process for embracing innovation to fuel business growth.
On Friday, three workshops will address various talent topics:
- “Recruiting and Retaining a Highly Talented Workforce” will explore how to leverage new technology, innovative strategies and company culture to attract and retain the right talent for your organization. Stay Zapar, the most connected woman on LinkedIn, will present this session.
- “How to Be a Knock-Out Networker” will teach networking strategies to help develop the connections and relationships you need to grow your business. The presenter for this session is the Knock-Out Networker Michael Goldberg.
- In the session “Building a Culture That Thrives on Change,” management professor Dr. Amanda Bullough will explore how to help employees prepare for and adapt to change without fear.
On Saturday evening, CGTbyPMA will host an Industry Talent Reception. That event will feature the continuing celebration of CGTbyPMA’s tenth anniversary year, to thank the center’s contributors, volunteers and program users and to introduce CGTbyPMA to industry members who want to know more.
Throughout Fresh Summit, CGTbyPMA will also invite attendees to demonstrate their commitment to industry talent by taking the 10 for Talent Challenge. CGTbyPMA is seeking 10,000 industry members to each donate $10 to CGTbyPMA, by texting 10forTalent to 41444 or by giving online. For more information about the challenge, visit www.growingtalentbypma.org/10-for-talent/.
Saturday’s reception will also be attended by participants in CGTbyPMA’s largest and oldest student attraction program, Pack Family Career Pathways.
Leadership Breakfast offers Women’s Fresh Perspectives
CGTbyPMA will host its annual Women’s Fresh Perspectives Leadership Breakfast the morning of Oct. 14. This year’s event has already sold out and has a waiting list, after CGTbyPMA increased the seating capacity by 20 percent over last year. Other Women’s Fresh Perspectives events include a networking reception at PMA’s Foodservice Conference & Expo, and the Women’s Fresh Perspectives Conference which offers leadership development training for industry women across all career stages.
“The run-away popularity of this and other Women’s Fresh Perspectives events sends a clear message that women are a driving force in how our industry is growing, and reinforces the changes we are making and the goals we are striving for,” said Alicia Calhoun, CGTbyPMA vice president, talent portfolio.
To learn more, visit www.growingtalentbypma.org/womens-fresh-perspectives/
Career Pathways programs started with Jay Pack’s great idea
This year’s Fresh Summit attendees will include 40 students from 12 universities, attending on scholarships from CGTbyPMA’s Pack Family Career Pathways program. To learn about career opportunities in fresh produce and floral, these students will participate in classes to learn about the industry, work with an industry mentor, and explore the Fresh Summit expo. Students hail from these universities:
The first student attraction program at Fresh Summit in 2004 was the brainchild of Jay Pack, former owner of Standard Fruit & Vegetable Co. The Jay and Ruthie Pack Family Foundation continues to underwrite the program today. The concept has grown into nine Career Pathways programs, operated at industry events across the United States, and in Canada and Australia/New Zealand.
To date, 65 percent of students who have participated in a Career Pathways program took jobs or internships in the industry after they graduated.
“Career Pathways has been a stunning success story, and it is only one part of what CGTbyPMA can do for this industry,” said Mikel Hancock, Walmart senior director, produce and floral, and CGTbyPMA board member. “CGTbyPMA’s leadership development offerings are world class, and bring a supply chain-wide perspective that can’t be achieved anywhere else.”
Pilot program focuses on attracting new STEM talent
To help the industry address its increasing need for science and technology professionals, this year’s Fresh Summit will also include a pilot project with university professors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. University faculty from so-called STEM disciplines have been invited to Fresh Summit to learn about our industry and its many and varied STEM career options. This pilot program will help inform creation of future CGTbyPMA programs to attract top science and technology university students to industry careers. The pilot project is a collaborative effort between CGTbyPMA and PMA’s Science & Technology team, which is led by PMA Chief Science & Technology Officer Bob Whitaker, Ph.D.
“It doesn’t take an advanced degree to understand this math: our industry has a tremendous need for science and technology talent, and CGTbyPMA has a very successful student attraction model to follow,” said Margi Prueitt, CGTbyPMA executive director.
To learn about PMA’s Fresh Summit Convention & Expo and its Industry Talent and CGTbyPMA offerings, and to register online, visit www.freshsummit.com
. The deadline to register in advance is Sept. 30; on-site registration is available.
Notes to reporters and editors:
• Please help us to differentiate CGTbyPMA from PMA – they are separate, but related, organizations.
• For photos from the 2015 Fresh Summit, visit www.flickr.com/photos/producemarketing/albums.
• If you would like to receive PMA’s comprehensive media guide to help you preview Fresh Summit to your audiences before the event, contact PMA’s Kate Hill by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About Produce Marketing Association (PMA)
Produce Marketing Association is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing connections that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption. For more information, visit www.pma.com.
About the Center for Growing Talent by PMA
Center for Growing Talent by PMA (CGTbyPMA) is a charitable organization created by the produce and floral industry to grow the people across our industry. We help attract, develop and retain the talent needed to feed our industry's growth, including educational programming and networking events. We offer a variety of industry-specific solutions across the career continuum, for university students, young professionals and women, emerging leaders, mid-level individuals and senior executives. Created in 2005, CGTbyPMA evolved from the PMA Foundation for Industry Talent to our new name and logo in 2016 to better describe what we do for the industry. For more information, visit GrowingTalentbyPMA.org.