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IFPA announces Caplan Scholarship awards to attend Washington Conference

Frieda Rapoport Caplan Family Scholarship brings family-owned businesses to Washington

Washington D.C. – International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) BB #:378962 has announced the recipients of the Frieda Rapoport Caplan Family Business Scholarship Program.

The scholarship provides airfare, hotel and registration for representatives from family-owned businesses to attend the IFPA Washington Conference for the first time.   

This year’s winners are: 

  • Billy Itule, Senior Management, Willy Itule Produce, Inc. (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Amanda Horney, Business Development, London Fruit (Pharr, TX) 
  • Marco Ochoa, CFO, Legend Produce (Scottsdale, AZ) 
  • Camile Matrana, Sales Rep, Matrana’s Produce (Westwego, LA)

The program was launched in 2001 by Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins of Frieda’s, Inc. in honor of their mother, Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan.  

“We’re proud to empower these incredible leaders to attend the Washington Conference in September” said Karen Caplan, former CEO of Frieda’s Branded Produce. “This year is especially critical with so much relevant legislation on the docket for the fresh produce and floral supply chain.  It is imperative that all industry members are able to come to Washington, hone their voice, and advocate for their business and the industry as a whole at the federal level.”   

The Washington Conference is taking place this year from September 12-15 and will feature a number of ways for the scholarship recipients to learn from and engage with Congressional leaders, Administration officials and industry colleagues.   

The conference brings together hundreds of produce leaders from all sectors of the industry to network, learn, and advocate for the produce and floral industry.  The education sessions are designed to inform and onboard attendees as they learn more about how to navigate the political process and advocate for their priority issues.  A few of the speakers for this year’s sessions include Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; Representative G.T. Thompson, Chair of the House Agriculture Committee; Election Expert Charlie Cook; Mark Moorman, Director of the Office of Food Safety, at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s Rob Ahern.   

“One of the most important roles these scholarship recipients will play is in sharing their business’ stories and concerns with members of Congress and officials,” said Angela Tiwari, director of grassroots and political affairs at IFPA. “These stories are often the most memorable input lawmakers have when considering their votes on issues that impact the industry. We need as many of our industry perspectives represented and are grateful for the Caplan family’s continued generosity in helping this important segment of our members participate.”  

Each year, a scholarship committee reviews applicants for the program using several criteria, including each candidate’s interest in advocacy work and their commitment to the produce industry. 

For more information on the Frieda Rapoport Caplan Family Business Scholarship Program, contact Angela Tiwari

Registration is currently open for The IFPA Washington Conference. 


About the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA)

The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) is the largest and most diverse international association serving the entire fresh produce and floral supply chain and the only to seamlessly integrate world-facing advocacy and industry-facing support. We exist to bring the industry together to create a vibrant future for all. We grow our member’s prosperity by conducting advocacy; connecting people and ideas; and offering guidance that allows us all to take action with purpose and confidence.