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    United Fresh Foundation Selects 12 Produce Industry Execs as Latest Leadership Class

    Retailers and suppliers are included in the 08-09 class, United's 14th.

    Twelve new candidates were selected to take part in the United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program, a year-long program that teaches leadership skills to future industry leaders.

    The new members of the 14th Produce Industry Leadership Class are:
     Katy Blowers, Church Brothers, LLC, Salinas, Calif.
     Ricardo Crisantes, Cris-P Produce Company, Inc., Nogales, Ariz.
     Maile Shanahan Geis, Buy California Marketing Agreement, Sacramento, Calif.
     John Gurrisi R.E.H.S., Darden Restaurants, Orlando, Fla.
     Robert Kirch, Caito Foods Service, Inc., Indianapolis, Ind.
    Amy Kunugi, Southern Colorado Farms, Center, Colo.
    Justin Parnagian, Fowler Packing Company, Inc.. Fresno, Calif.
     Todd Penza, Pinto Brothers, Inc., Philadelphia, Pa.
     Mark Shaw, Markon, Inc., Salinas, Calif.
     Tammy Sparkman, Wal-Mart Stores, Bentonville, Ark.
    Brian Thure, River Ranch Fresh Foods, LLC., Salinas, Calif.
     Michael Wise, Horton Fruit Co., Louisville, Ken.

    Over the upcoming program year, the class members will participate in a number of trips focused on the core goals of the program: leadership development; business relationships; government and public affairs; and media and public communications.

    Throughout the program, the class also will take part in customized field and facility tours, train with expert educators, and meet with key industry leaders and innovators. The program begins in June with the first trip to Central/Northern California, followed by trips to Washington, D.C./Wilmington, Del. and Southern Florida, as well as Las Vegas, for the 2009 United Fresh convention. 
     
    The United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program is presented through the United Fresh Research & Education Foundation and sponsored by a grant from DuPont Crop Protection. The program has graduated more than 150 program participants since its inception in 1995.

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