January 28, 2019

PMA’s Science & Technology Circle of Excellence Award seeking nominations

Nominations for the Produce Marketing Association’s third annual Science & Technology Circle of Excellence Award are being accepted. They are due by March 22.

PMA created the Science & Technology Circle of Excellence award in 2017 to recognize leaders who are helping the industry to solve business challenges by harnessing science and technology, said Vonnie Estes, the association’s Vice President of Technology.

“Science and technology are uniquely positioned to help our industry solve a broad range of business challenges. The goal of this award program is to recognize those game changers,” Estes said. “And by bringing attention to their work, we’ll not only incentivize their businesses, we can also attract other innovators to help our industry address more challenges. Innovation begets more innovation, that’s why we call it the Circle of Excellence award.”

Tanimura & Antle’s PlantTape automated transplanting system received the 2018 award. That system harnesses technology to help address several business challenges, from reducing labor needs to shrinking farming’s environmental footprint.

“Receiving this award was a tremendous honor to all of us at PlantTape. To have our industry peers recognize the hard work our team has put into developing and commercializing the PlantTape system has been very rewarding,” said PlantTape USA President Brian Antle. “We have been very fortunate to receive a lot of press with our system, but certainly the highlight of the year was being recognized by PMA.”

In 2017, the inaugural award went to SmartWash Solutions for its systems that help fresh produce packers and processors to monitor and enhance wash water quality in real time, saving labor while also enhancing food safety and protecting public health.

Nomination info 

PMA members can submit nominations for the 2019 Science & Technology Circle of Excellence Award; nominees do not have to be members. There is no cost to enter; companies can nominate themselves.

Nominees must already be conducting business within the global produce and/or floral industry supply chain. The nominated solution must disrupt industry practice(s) and/or create improved processes, practices and products, and provide benefits that bring value to the produce and floral supply chains. Nominees must fall into one or more of the STEM disciplines, i.e., science, technology, engineering and/or math. The chosen winner must attend PMA’s Tech Knowledge event May 1-2 in Monterey, California, to receive the award in person.

A panel will select a winner from among submitted nominations. Panelists include PMA staff science and technology experts, and qualified industry executives.

The 2019 Science & Technology Circle of Excellence Award winner will be announced and presented at PMA’s Tech Knowledge Conference in May, and will be recognized again at PMA’s Fresh Summit Convention & Expo Oct. 17-19 in Anaheim, California. The winner will receive complimentary full registration to Tech Knowledge and Fresh Summit, and be recognized by PMA via public relations, social media and the association’s website PMA.com.

For more information and to submit a nomination for the 2019 Science & Technology Circle of Excellence Award, visit www.pma.com/members/awards-of-excellence.

A bigger picture

The Science & Technology Circle of Excellence Award is one example of the year-round work of PMA’s Science & Technology team to help PMA members harness science and technology to sustain and grow their businesses. PMA also hosts science- and technology-themed events both in person and via webinar throughout the year. Members can also access PMA’s staff subject matter experts including Estes; and a broad range of science and technology content is posted on PMA.com.

The Science & Technology Circle of Excellence Award is one of four honors that PMA bestows annually. The others are: 

  • PMA’s Floral Marketer of the Year Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills and an uncommon commitment to the mass-market floral retail industry.
  • The Robert L. Carey Leadership Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills and an uncommon commitment to PMA and the fresh produce and floral industries.
  • PMA’s Bryan E. Silbermann Collaboration Award honors a PMA member who has addressed an industry issue and/or challenge through collaboration.

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