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EPC announces 2023 leadership class

Eastern Produce Council Leadership Class Final Banner

The Eastern Produce Council (EPC) is proud to announce the members of its 2023 Leadership Class. An unprecedented class of 26 up-and-coming produce professionals will benefit from a wide array of professional development opportunities related to the produce industry.

The respected program delivers growth and knowledge experiences in a variety of venues. “Through this program, participants have the opportunity to grow from experiences in both field and classroom,” says Susan McAleavey Sarlund, EPC Executive Director. “This learning environment furthers their ability to develop their career in our industry. This is the largest class we’ve had yet which underscores the value of this type of combined classroom-field program.”

Participants selected for this year’s program: Brian Arena, Four Seasons Produce Inc.; Julie Barber, The Oppenheimer Group; Lauren Barczak, Procacci Brothers Sales Corp.; Jack Christy, The Oppenheimer Group; Andrea Cutler, Michael Cutler Company; Tyler Davidov, Suja; Anna Fagan, AeroFarms; Michael Hill, Nature Sweet; Chris Jacobsen, Silo; Mike Kominsky, Ventura Foods; Savannah Lloyd, Farm-Wey Produce Inc.; Joshua Minton, Frank Donio Inc.; Isaac Olivas, Fowler Farms; Luke Palizay, Pacific Trellis Fruit; Max Pozzessere, Little Leaf Farms; Nicolina Rutherford, Wakefern Food Corp.; Jessica Sarter, Pulmuone Foods; Jerry Scherwin, PennRose Farms; Christopher Scotti, John Vena Inc.; Eric Smith, John Vena Inc.; Karolina Sokolska, Hampton Farms; Alexis Sommers, F&S Fresh Foods; Joseph Strumolo, Wakefern Food Corp.; Stephanie Tramutola, A & J Produce Corp.; Jenna Vaccaro, Sugar Foods; and Nicholas Vargas, Wakefern Food Corp.

The 2023 Program will kick off in March with a visit to the Philadelphia Produce Wholesale Market (PWPM) in Philadelphia, PA, followed by Holt Cargo Systems at the Port of Gloucester, NJ. “Experiencing the logistical role of these crucial hubs first-hand provides a key perspective into the supply chain,” says McAleavey Sarlund.

In April, the group will participate in a seminar on the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) at Top Golf in Edison, NJ, prior to the EPC Membership Event.

“This seminar presents and discusses significant food safety issues,” says McAleavey Sarlund. “Food safety is another crucial area for our industry and remains an important topic to incorporate into leadership development.”

In October, the class will enjoy field experiences at Hionis Greenhouses and Rutgers Snyder Research Farm in New Jersey, and an engaging seminar in leadership by a Rutgers University adjunct professor.

The program will wrap up in December with participation in the New York Produce Show, including the Cornell University Foundational Excellence Future-Leaders-In-Produce program, the show’s Opening Reception, and recognition at the Keynote Breakfast.

“We look forward to engaging with this group of talented industry professionals and providing the opportunities for them to further their development in our industry,” says McAleavey Sarlund.