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Mike O’Brien, VP of produce and floral for St. Louis-based Schnuck Markets Inc., was presented with the first-ever Robert L. Carey Leadership Award during the recent Produce Marketing Association (PMA) 2012 Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition in Anaheim that concluded earlier this week.
Named in honor of Bob Carey, who led the Newark, Del.-based association for 38 years until 1996, Bill Schuler, president and CEO of The Castellini Cos. and past PMA chairman, said while presenting the award, that O’Brien, like Bob Carey, “Holds the mission of increasing consumption near and dear to his heart, as shown by his chairing the Produce for Better Health Foundation, an organization Bob helped create and nurture.”
Since 2004, O’Brien has served eight years on the PMA board, including as its chairman; he also served on the Retail Division Board and on numerous committees, including the Produce Electronic Identification Board and the Government Affairs Committee. He also served on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fruit & Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee and previously served as chairman of the Produce for Better Health Foundation.
“I am deeply humbled by this honor. To be considered in the same league as Bob Carey is a genuine honor,” O’Brien said. “I’m grateful to those who have allowed me to serve the industry, especially those from my own company, who have graciously allowed me to channel my career into service back to the produce industry. I have worked alongside many devoted individuals who inspire me with their knowledge and great ideas.”