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United Fresh offers digital Cornell Executive Leadership certificate program

In conjunction with United Fresh Live the United Fresh Produce Association BB #:145458 has added Cornell University Executive Education course, “Leading through Crisis: the Path Forward for the Fresh Produce Industry.”

I took some time to chat with Amanda Griffin, vice president of education and program management, about the program, a 5-day course scheduled for June 15-20.


Pamela R:  Hey, this is Pamela Riemenschneider. I’m the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services. And I have Amanda Griffin here from United Fresh and United Fresh has a new program coming up with an all new show. Tell me a little bit about  what you guys have been coming up what what is this new Cornell Executive Leadership Program?

Amanda Griffin: Hello, yes. Thanks for having me today. Yeah, we just launched this new program. We’re pretty excited about it. We’ve been working with the Cornell Executive Education team on really trying to figure out the next step of virtual training. Now it’s not going to replace any of our in-person training. So we’re excited to really get back into in-person when it’s safe and okay to do so. But in the meantime, we did just launch the Leading Through Crisis, the Path Forward for the Fresh Produce Industry and really it is a leadership program dialed in directly to fresh produce industry, working with the faculty and professors over at the Cornell Executive Education team.

PR: When are you guys doing it? And what can people expect?

AG: Great, so yeah, so we are doing it in June. So we are actually going to do it in conjunction with United Fresh Live and have the education jump off of the live platform. So we, it’s part of the education offerings, it is a separate registration fee, because as you know, United Fresh Live is free to anybody in the industry to attend. But this unique certificate program actually comes with a bit of a small price tag for what it is, but at the end of the five days of live training on the virtual platform, you will get a certificate issued directly from Cornell. So it’s very, very exciting to have the professors and executive team over there backing the program.

PR: I took a quick look at the list of classes that are offered, I mean, the the training that’s offered and so it’s five sessions, how long are the sessions and how is that going to run?

AG: Yeah, so the sessions are an hour each, and they will be held each on each of the five days of the United Fresh Live. So Monday through Friday, and they will be held on a platform similar to Zoom with some interaction with the instructors, and a lot of q&a. And there will be for those that sign up, there will be a survey sent out ahead of time so that the program can actually have some tailored elements to it for those that are participating. So it’s a bit more of a a tailored to those that will be on the line.

PR: Can you give me an idea of what some of the content is of some of the classes?

AG: Sure. Yeah. So one of the programs that came up in talking with Cornell was definitely they’re communicating through a crisis. Right. So the the moment that we’re in right now, and so we quickly tried to secure that faculty member that does that and see if they could tailor it directly to produce. So we’re really excited about that one because it is quite relevant to our time, as well as the planning session. Supply chains for resiliency. So another one that is a bit timely. And we’ve lined up two faculty members from Cornell for that one to dial in on the produce side of the supply chain. So those are sessions definitely a little bit COVID related at the moment. And then we also secured General George Casey, who does a leadership training program called VUCA -Volatile, Uncertain, Chaotic and Ambiguous- and so that leadership training, I actually haven’t sat through it yet, but I’ve read all about it, and it seems very intuitive and helpful. So I’m excited to hear that one. So those are a couple of the highlights, but then we’ve got two other ones and we end with state of the industry. So Professor Ed McLaughlin is a professor that we’ve worked with on the executive program that we do every year in March and he has been instrumental to the produce industry on the leadership front So we’re excited to have him close out the week and his session is actually the one that’s going to be very much tailored to those that are online.

PR: And the cost is, there’s a tiered membership members, $400 I believe it was?

AG: No good memory $400 for United fresh members and $600 for non-members. So usually these certificate programs that Cornell offers are a lot pricier than that so especially when they do tailored ones to different industries. So we’re very excited that they’ve worked with us on making the program affordable so that we can get it out to our members in a timely fashion.

PR: And this is part of United Fresh Live. A lot of the people in the industry are excited to see this is the first one out of the gate to see what a virtual show will look like. We’ve got coming up on just under a month before that gets started. So we’re looking forward it.

AG: Yeah, frightening that you say just under a month but we are very excited to get everybody on United Fresh Live to have all of the interaction. You’ll see a lot more announcements from us in the next couple of weeks as to the program taking shape with some other education pieces as well as our interactive fun components. So we’re going to get all those details out to you guys very soon.

PR: All right, thanks, Amanda.

AG: Thanks, Pamela. I looking forward to seeing you online soon.

Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.