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    PMA Realigns Executive Leadership

    In tandem with its ongoing strategic plan, the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) has reorganized its executive staff alongside other organizational changes, paramount to which is combining its food safety and traceability teams into a new group under the direction of chief science and technology officer Dr. Bob Whitaker.

    In tandem with its ongoing strategic plan, the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) has reorganized its executive staff alongside other organizational changes, paramount to which is combining its food safety and traceability teams into a new group under the direction of chief science and technology officer Dr. Bob Whitaker.

    “Food safety and technology are critical areas in which we can deliver real value to our members right now,” said PMA president Bryan Silbermann, noting that the new group will now be responsible for all food safety and technology initiatives, including its leadership on the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI). “Bob’s leadership of this new team will be reinforced by his considerable operational experience in the industry, as well as his exceptional professional stature and credibility with both industry and government.”

    The Newark, Del.-based PMA has also restructured its executive staff, in a move designed to enhance “our ability to better serve our members at a time when they expect even more value,” Silbermann said. “PMA’s Senior Management Team is now organized to provide our members with the unique value they need, today and in the future.”

    Among the senior staff changes that Silbermann said would allow him to focus more on external partnerships and volunteer leadership engagement, Lorna Christie, who has been with PMA since 2002 and who has been COO since January 2009, has been promoted to EVP/COO, a post in which she is now responsible for managing PMA’s member service and administrative functions,

    Duane Eaton, previously PMA’s chief administrative officer, has been upped to SVP/administration. Eaton will manage the association’s support services. Tony Parassio, who joined PMA in 2008 as VP/new business development, was also promoted to SVP/member value, where he will be responsible for matching PMA member needs with business solutions. Both Eaton and Parassio now report to Christie.

    PMA’s senior management also includes chief financial officer Yvonne Bull, chief science and technology officer Whitaker and Cindy Steel, executive director of the PMA Foundation for Industry Talent.

    Bill Schuler, president/CEO of Wilder, Ky.-based Castellini Co., LLC and PMA’s board chairman, said the moves provided resources for strategic needs without adding to PMA’s staff. “At a time when our members are watching their own expenses carefully and are relying even more on the association for help, PMA’s management has used a highly disciplined approach to focus on adding targeted skills where they are most needed, while eliminating areas that are less valuable.”

    Other staff changes implemented at PMA include the following:

    —Kent Allaway, previously director of meetings and trade shows at PMA, is now VP/meetings and trade show logistics
    —Eboni Wall, previously PMA event management director, has been named senior director of events
    —Terry Humfeld, a 17-year PMA veteran and previously PMA’s VP of member relations, is now VP of chapter relations, a new position. Humfeld’s responsibilities include working with PMA’s first international affiliate, PMA Australia-New Zealand, Ltd., which was launched Oct. 1, 2009

    “PMA’s events have always been a source of real value to our members,” Silbermann said. “That is why we are strengthening our staff with the promotions of two emerging staff leaders, each of whom have more than a decade of experience building our unparalleled learning and networking events.”

    The trade association has also hired Richard Owen as its new director of global business development, to further strengthen and expand PMA’s global efforts. With extensive international and agriculture industry experience ranging from director of agricultural affairs for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to association leadership positions, Owen will work closely with 30-year PMA veteran Nancy Tucker, VP of global business development. Both Owen and Tucker are part of the globally focused team now led by Parassio.

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