— Television news anchor, bestselling author and women’s advocate Gretchen Carlson will be the closing keynote speaker at the sixth annual Women’s Fresh Perspectives Conference April 15-17 in Miami, Fla., USA, hosted by the Center for Growing Talent by PMA (CGT). The conference is developed specifically for women in the produce and floral industry across all career stages, with a mission to cultivate women’s potential.
A no-holds-barred political reporter and commentator, Gretchen Carlson most recently hosted “The Real Story” on Fox News and co-hosted the #1 “Fox and Friends” and CBS’s “The Saturday Early Show” before that. Her 2017 book Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back became a New York Times bestseller. Her Gift of Courage Fund empowers young girls by helping them to build their self-esteem and confidence.
“Get ready to be wowed. Gretchen is grounded in the heart of two of today’s very hottest topics, politics and women’s issues, we are thrilled to have a speaker of her caliber join us,” said Nancy Johnston, sr. manager of produce sales at Sysco Corporation, who co-chairs the volunteer Women’s Fresh Perspectives planning committee. “To boot, joining Gretchen is another Carlson with a message designed specifically for today’s women.”
Human behavior and connection expert Colette Carlson – no relation to Gretchen – will be the conference’s opening keynote speaker. Her session “Speaking Your Truth” combines facts and fun to help attendees learn to speak their truths. Colette Carlson’s credentials include serving as Leadership Faculty for Executive Women International. She also writes a monthly column, "Tactfully Speaking," for Business Management Daily.
Professional development reaches all career stages
Continuing its time-proven model, this year’s Women’s Fresh Perspectives Conference will deliver professional development education on a diverse range of timely topics to help industry women leverage their strengths. The three-day event includes general sessions for all attendees, as well as breakouts tailored to attendees’ career stages. Session topics include resiliency, crucial conversations, being an introvert in an extrovert world, and intersectionality – the interconnectedness of gender, race and other social categorizations, and how they contribute to both privilege and discrimination. The popular multigenerational She Speaks panel will also return.
All of the education is designed by CGT’s professional and academic partners. Networking is woven throughout the agenda to help attendees build and maintain strong female support communities.
The theme for all of CGT’s 2018 Women’s Fresh Perspectives offerings, including the conference, is “Own It”. That theme is being carried over from 2017 because there is much more ground to cover around it, report volunteer leaders who help guide CGT’s women’s programming.
“Our companies and the entire supply chain benefits when we develop and leverage the talents and passions of our female colleagues,” said Leslie A. Simmons, vice president of Dave’s Specialty Imports. “This conference delivers proven programming in an immersive experience that ensures that every woman can own the ability to live and work more purposefully.”
Conference is part of CGT’s Develop mission
CGT is a nonprofit charitable organization that delivers industry-specific solutions to attract, develop and retain talent for the global fresh produce and floral industry. CGT fulfills the “Develop” component of its mission by providing leadership development solutions that span all career stages, from young professionals and middle-level managers to emerging leaders and senior executives. All of CGT’s development programs are designed specifically for the fresh produce and floral industry.
“The myriad demands of today’s industry and economy also demand that we must work more intentionally to attract, develop and retain the talent we need to survive and thrive in the future,” said CGT Vice President, Talent Portfolio Alicia Calhoun. “CGT was created by our industry and PMA to do just that. If you aren’t already familiar with us, look into us today. Your future depends on it.”
CGT’s suite of Women’s Fresh Perspectives offerings is topped by the annual conference and includes networking receptions at key industry conferences throughout the year, as well as a motivational Leadership Breakfast at PMA’s annual Fresh Summit Convention & Exposition.
Presenting Sponsors of this year’s Women’s Fresh Perspectives Conference include Sunkist Growers, Inc. and Sysco/Freshpoint. In addition to program-specific sponsorships, CGTs overall work is made possible by annual charitable gifts from visionary companies and individuals from across the industry supply chain. To learn how you can support and benefit from CGT’s work, visit
Register early, a sell-out is expected
Registration for the 2018 Women’s Fresh Perspectives Conference is now open, reports Calhoun. The fee for first-time attendees who are CGT donors or PMA members is $2,900, for non-donors or non-members $5,800. Discounts are available to returning attendees, and to companies sending two or more attendees. Registration does not include lodging or transportation.
Register by March 9 for early-bird savings; registration closes on 4/12/18 or when the conference sells out. For more information and to register,
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About Center for Growing Talent by PMA
Center for Growing Talent by PMA 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, mid-level individuals and senior executives. For more information, visit GrowingTalentbyPMA.org.