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WILMINGTON, Del. -- Jan DeLyser, v.p. of marketing for the California Avocado Commission, was elected to chair the board of trustees of the Produce for Better Health Foundation based here.
DeLyser most recently served as the vice chair of PBH, whose board of trustees recognized the service of outgoing 2005 board chairman David Parker, director of marketing for Fruit Patch Sales. Parker remains on the executive committee as immediate past chair.
Mike O'Brien, v.p. of produce for Schnuck Markets was elected vice chairman, while Mark Munger of Andrew Williamson Sales Co. was elected secretary/treasurer.
Ray Gilmer, director of public affairs for Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, was elected chair of PBH's consumer marketing and communications committee. While Gregg Storey, industry relations lead for Bayer CropScience, assumes chairmanship of the foundation's development committee.
In addition to officers and committee chairs, other individuals elected to serve as at-large members of PBH's executive committee include: Sheila Cohn, nutrition coordinator, National Restaurant Association; Mary DeGroat, director of public relations for the California Strawberry Commission; Terry Humfeld, PMA's v.p. of member relations; Steve Junqueiro, Save Mart Supermarkets; Paul Klutes, director of brand sales, C. H. Robinson Worldwide; Blair Richardson, president of the California Tree Fruit Agreement, and Tom Stenzel, president of United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association, Washington, D.C.
In related news, PBH also awarded 12 companies with its 5 A Day excellence awards, honored for their outstanding commitment to increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables through corporate, employee, and community efforts.
Melissa's/World Variety Produce received PBH's highest honor, the Diamond Crystal Award, for its many activities to help create a healthier America through increased fruit and vegetable consumption. Melissa's, a large national specialty produce distributor, was recognized for its outreach to children, programs tailored to Spanish-speaking customers, and its longtime support of the California 5 A Day program and of PBH.
Eleven additional organizations across a range of industries were recognized for their exemplary contributions to PBH and the national 5 A Day program.
Supermarket/Retail Industry-Employee/Community Efforts
Save Mart Supermarkets -- Implemented numerous programs in their stores, including diabetes care and prevention seminars and employee health fairs. The company also featured the 5 A Day logo on all advertising and sales materials in an effort to educate customers about the 5 A Day message.
Meijer, Inc. -- Promoted 5 A Day throughout 2005 in stores, on the Web site, and at health fairs. The company used handouts, activity sheets, and healthy snacks in addition to consistent 5 A Day ads every week and a dedicated page on their Web site to continue to raise awareness of the 5 A Day campaign.
Bayer CropScience -- One of the world's leading innovative crop science companies, in 2005 implemented a corporate wellness program. The company also sponsored several events, including the Eastern & Central North Carolina Food Bank "Backpack Program" and the PBH 2005 State of the Plate consumer survey. The Bayer subsidiary also co-sponsored the Phytochemical Information Center Web site to help reach medical professionals, nutritionists, and educators.
Tropicana -- Used a variety of newsletters, sales materials, and the media to reach employees and consumers with the 5 A Day message. With help from Publix, Tropicana donated $13,600 to the Children's Miracle Network. Tropicana also partnered with Wal-Mart and Publix to reach 4.5 million consumers with messages about including fruits and vegetables for good health.
Produce Industry - Employee/Community Efforts
Four Seasons Produce Inc. -- Hired a corporate chef, Bill Scepansky, who, along with the company's foodservice team, promoted the 5 A Day program to local schools and colleges in the area. The company had a strong presence at local community events like "Kid Fair" and provided monetary and produce donations to 138 different community organizations in 2005 for a total contribution of over $15,500.
Kagome -- An entrepreneurial company new to the U.S. market, the company was recognized for its on- and off-package consumer education and programs with local schools.
State Coalitions and Coordinators - Employee/Community Efforts
The Florida Department of Health -- Recognized for its dedicated promotion of the "Give Me 5 A Day" music CD as an educational tool for parents in the WIC program and educators in day care centers. The CD was introduced with a live video broadcast and WIC staff demonstrations.
The Georgia Department of Education -- Focused its efforts on the PBH Creative Pocket Kits and developed a training DVD for the kits. The agency also provided an Atlanta inner-city school with 600 5 A Day flying discs and oranges for a field day.
Culinary Institute of America's (CIA) -- Via a special one-time only award, CIA was recognized for its efforts to include more fruits and vegetables on restaurant menus. CIA and PBH collaborated on the "Produce First! American Menus Initiative," which engaged chefs and foodservice operators in bringing produce front and center to new menu development. Drawing inspiration from the culinary traditions of the Mediterranean, Asia, and Latin America as well as from innovation across the United States, the program asked that chefs and foodservice operators think of produce first when developing new menu items.
Foodservice Industry - Employee/Community Efforts
The School District of Palm Beach County/School Foodservice Department -- Was recognized for continually educating students and staff about the importance of fruits and vegetables through health fairs and a local wellness policy for the entire district. The department dedicated a section of its Web site to 5 A Day and gave children the chance to try new fruits and vegetables they had not experienced before.
Washington Elementary School District, Phoenix, Ariz. -- Used foodservice dietitians and other staff to promote better nutrition, increased physical activity, and increased fruit and vegetable consumption to both students and in-house staff. The district sent a team of nutrition educators to visit classrooms with the 5 A Day message, displayed "Put a Rainbow on your Plate" bulletin boards throughout the school district, and gave the students take home items like carrot or apple beanies and broccoli-handled jump ropes.
The 2006 National Excellence Awards competition will get underway later this year. For more information, contact Kathy Rosini, by calling 302-235-2329, ext 332, or visit http://www.pbhfoundation.org.