– Lindsey Vonn, who has overcome adversity to become the most successful female alpine ski racer in world history, will keynote Center for Growing Talent’s (CGT) 2018 Women’s Fresh Perspectives Leadership Breakfast on Saturday morning, Oct. 20. The inspirational breakfast will be held in Orlando, Florida, USA, in conjunction with Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) annual Fresh Summit Convention & Expo Oct. 18-20. CGT will also present the first-ever Women’s Catalyst Award at the Leadership Breakfast.
Inspiring on and off the slopes
Vonn is the most successful female alpine skier in the history of the sport, and is on her way to becoming the most successful ski racer ever. Over the course of her career, she has captured a world-record 82 World Cup wins while on her way to earning 20 International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine World Cup titles – surpassing even Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark – and including four FIS crystal globes and two World Championship titles. She earned her many records by overcoming injuries that caused her to miss parts of several seasons.
Off the slopes, Vonn’s nonprofit Lindsey Vonn Foundation (LVF) empowers young girls to grow as athletes and individuals by providing them with opportunities and experiences that build self-esteem and create positive self-image. In 2016, People magazine named Lindsey and LVF to its "25 Women Changing the World" list. Her book Strong is the New Beautiful debuted that same year, and was recently added to The New York Times’ Best Sellers List of sports books.
“Lindsey is living proof that excellence can be achieved despite incredible adversity, and true inspiration both on and off the slopes. She is an example to us all – women and men – of what’s possible when we push ourselves beyond where we think our limits are,” said Nancy Johnston, Sysco senior manager for produce sales and CGT Women’s Fresh Perspectives Committee co-chair.
“Lindsey’s powerhouse presence is very fitting for this year’s event, as we continue to push this program to the next level – starting with moving into a larger venue,” said Leslie Simmons, Dave’s Specialty Imports vice president and Women’s Fresh Perspectives Committee co-chair with Johnston. “From the feedback we are getting from our industry, it is clear that everyone wants to learn how to better support the women in our companies. This is the perfect event to find inspiration, motivation and career tools – while connecting with some of the best domestic and global leaders in produce and floral.”
CGT’s Women’s Fresh Perspectives Leadership Breakfast provides industry women and men with an annual opportunity to build and maintain meaningful relationships while gaining career insights from an inspirational guest speaker. The seated breakfast draws a mix of attendees from industry newcomers to seasoned veterans, young professionals to senior executives, all looking to exchange ideas and strengthen their communities.
Women’s Catalyst Award to be presented
New this year, Center for Growing Talent will present the first-ever Women’s Catalyst Award at the Women’s Fresh Perspectives Leadership Breakfast. The award honors one leader annually – female or male – nominated from the fresh produce and floral industry who is cultivating women’s potential by mentoring women and by providing a path for their leadership, development and participation.
CGT’s Margi Prueitt announced the new award at last year’s Leadership Breakfast. “We know that there are some amazing people out there striving to cultivate women’s potential in our industry – they mentor us, they inspire us to raise the bar, and they teach us by their excellent example.” said Prueitt, CGT executive vice president and PMA senior vice president.
By recognizing an inspiring and innovative leader each year, CGT seeks to build industry’s awareness of the value of mentoring women, and to create excitement around women’s leadership. “We also know that when leaders like that are recognized, they inspire others to do the same. They inspire others to also cultivate women’s potential,” said Prueitt. Nominations for this year’s award were due Aug. 10.
The October Leadership Breakfast is part of CGT’s Women’s Fresh Perspectives portfolio that includes an annual Women’s Fresh Perspectives Conference, to be held April 14-16, 2019, in San Antonio, Texas, USA; and the Women’s Fresh Perspectives Reception held annual in conjunction with PMA’s annual Foodservice Conference & Expo in July.
This event has historically sold out, so register early. To learn more and to register, visit
About Center for Growing Talent
Center for Growing Talent (CGT) was 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, women, emerging leaders and senior executives. For more information, visit CenterforGrowingTalent.org.