February 4, 2013

PMA to hold first conference for women

The Produce Marketing Association Foundation for Industry Talent will debut the Women’s Fresh Perspectives (WFP) Conference April 21-23 at the FireSky Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz. Offered in partnership with Simmons School of Management, a widely recognized authority on women’s leadership and management, this new conference has been customized to develop women’s leadership potential throughout the global produce industry and will make its mark as the only industry-specific development program for women, according to the PMA Foundation.

“Today, the produce industry recognizes women should and do have a seat at the table in management and in leadership positions; however, there’s still a lot more room to grow,” said Tonya Antle, Tanimura & Antle principal and WFP steering committee chair. “This new PMA Foundation program is comprehensive, thoughtful and exciting. No matter what stage of your career path or level in company management or leadership, we all can continue to learn and grow.”

The conference is for industry newcomers and veterans alike. The program will provide competency-based leadership training backed by research and a PMA-member needs assessment of leadership development for women in produce. Consultant Julie Krivanek, president of Krivanek Consulting, facilitated the process, which included industry research, input from attendees of the WFP leadership breakfast at Fresh Summit and networking reception at Foodservice Conference, review of existing programs inside and outside the fresh produce industry, and research on how women influence business success.

“Ninety-two percent of all food purchase decisions are made by a woman,” said Krivanek. “The smart organizations are creating strategies to understand how to connect with this consumer. The really smart ones have this consumer viewpoint woven into the fabric of their business at the decision-maker level. If we look inside the boardrooms and management teams of the companies in our industry, we would find an almost complete lack of women. That means decisions made to increase consumption, connect to the consumer, and attract people to our stellar products are being made without the voice of those most influential.”

Participants will hone cross-functional skills, and network and learn from peers and business leaders. Speakers familiar with produce industry issues will help attendees learn how to:

  • Achieve business results through strategic thinking skills
  • Amplify leadership strengths to motivate and inspire
  • Negotiate and communicate effectively to reach goals
  • Gain insights and actionable tools to enhance their personal brand
  • Lead high performing teams
  • Manage work-life balance


The Women’s Fresh Perspectives Conference is part of the PMA Foundation “career continuum,” which offers students and industry members a spectrum of programs and networking events to support every stage of a produce career. Men interested in honing skills related to effectively managing women and/or who believe in the benefits of diversity throughout an organization — especially in leadership positions — are also invited to attend.

For more information on speakers and program details, sponsorship opportunities or to register, visit www.pmafoundation.com. Register early by March 1 to save; PMA members receive additional discount. Quantity discounts are also available for groups from the same company.


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