. — Attracting, developing and retaining industry talent will be center stage at Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) 2017 Foodservice Conference and Expo when it convenes July 28-30. The Center for Growing Talent by PMA (CGTbyPMA) will host a range of activities leading up to and during PMA’s popular conference in Monterey, California, USA.
“To thrive and grow, our industry must support and invest in our most important asset: our people. CGTbyPMA exists to help our industry meet its talent needs, which makes CGTbyPMA an important industry asset,” says CGTbyPMA Board of Directors Chairman Leonard Batti, vice president of Taylor Farms and a former industry search executive. “If you aren’t already tapping into what CGTbyPMA can do to help you and your company to attract, develop and retain talent, you’ll want to correct that today. Your future may well depend on it.”
Coming off its 10-year anniversary in 2016, CGTbyPMA is stepping up its offerings to better serve the global fresh produce and floral industry’s talent needs. For more information about CGTbyPMA, its mission and programs, visit
Women’s Fresh Perspectives reception brings women, men together
CGTbyPMA will host the eighth annual Women’s Fresh Perspectives Networking Reception on Saturday, July 29 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. This event provides an opportunity for women and men alike to connect around the theme of celebrating women in the industry. Attendance at the Women’s Fresh Perspectives Reception is included in PMA Foodservice Conference registration.
CGTbyPMA’s Women’s Fresh Perspectives portfolio also includes an inspirational Leadership Breakfast at PMA’s annual Fresh Summit Convention & Exposition in October. The portfolio’s crown jewel is the annual Women’s Fresh Perspectives Conference, which, in April, celebrated its fifth anniversary advancing the professional development of industry women.
Attracting the best and the brightest university students
Fourteen students from four universities will participate in the CGTbyPMA Career Pathways program at the Foodservice Conference & Expo, exposing them to the industry and career opportunities in it. The students will travel from: University of California, Merced, San Jose State University, California State University, Chico, and Hartnell College.
“We have to remember that if a student didn’t grow up in or around our industry, then they probably don’t know about our many and varied career opportunities,” said Batti, who will serve as a Career Ambassador to a Career Pathways student in Monterey. “The Career Pathways program is working to create that awareness among top university students here and abroad – with great results.”
CGTbyPMA hosts eleven Career Pathways-branded student attraction programs at industry events throughout the year, in the United States and around the world. To date, 67 percent of students who participated in a Career Pathways program took a job in the industry; 78 percent of them remain employed in the industry today.
The original and still largest Career Pathways program is held at PMA’s Fresh Summit Convention & Expo each year, and was the brainchild of industry executive and philanthropist Jay Pack. That program, now known as the Pack Family Career Pathways Program, began in 2004.
“Our industry owes Jay Pack a debt of gratitude for his original vision and leadership to attract top university students to careers in our industry,” said CGTbyPMA Executive Director Margi Prueitt.
For more information about Career Pathways, visit
Have fun and support a great cause
CGTbyPMA is hosting several fun events at PMA’s Foodservice Conference to raise funds in support of its mission to attract, develop and retain talent for the global fresh produce and floral industry.
First up is CGTbyPMA’s popular
Bocce for Talent Tournament on Wednesday evening, July 26
starting at 4:30 p.m. Watch area teams compete for the coveted tournament trophy and industry bragging rights. Spectators will enjoy great food, beverages, music and mingling with fellow industry members. Purchase spectator tickets at
Golfers can tee off for a good cause while networking and enjoying a round of 18 holes at this year’s
CGTbyPMA Joe Nucci Memorial Golf Tournament
being held at the historic Bayonet & Black Horse Golf Course on
Thursday, July 27
starting at 11 a.m. Golfers can take part in one of several contest holes including Chip & Putt, or take home "Longest Drive" honors. New this year, participants will meet this year’s Career Pathways students and faculty before the rest of the industry during the tournament’s closing awards reception. Register for the Joe Nucci Memorial Golf Tournament at
Runners and walkers can participate in
CGTbyPMA’s 5K Race for Talent on Saturday morning, July 29;
race start time is 6:30 a.m. The course is along the picturesque Monterey Bay Coastal Trail. Awards will be given to top male and female finishers, and by age groups. Companies can also compete for Best Team Spirit, Best Team Attire and Largest Team to Register. Not a morning person? Then sign up for the Sleep-In Virtual Run to support CGTbyPMA’s mission. For more information and to register, visit
Note to editors:
• View and download pictures from last year’s event on CGTbyPMA’s