PMA’s Emerging Leaders Program

Kelsey Fry Industry News Release, Top Posts

Newark, Del. — Want to groom a rising star employee for leadership in your organization? Apply today for the Center for Growing Talent by PMA’s (CGTbyPMA) 2017 Emerging Leaders Program that gets underway in February. New in 2017, CGTbyPMA is partnering with Eller College of Management at University of Arizona to train rising leaders to lead their companies and the industry into the future. Register early, as this program is capped at 36 participants and typically sells out.

“Talent is a fundamental business priority that impacts and influences everything else we do,” said CGTbyPMA Chair Leonard Batti, vice president at Taylor Farms California and a former executive recruiter. “The Emerging Leaders Program is specifically designed to prepare our next generation of leaders to take on more responsibility, and to be ready for the challenges and opportunities that they will face.”

The multidimensional program helps participants learn and sharpen cross-functional skills using in-person, online and webinar group training, case studies, an extensive simulation, as well as individual coaching. The program trains participants in nine leadership competencies using a global business lens, including strategic thinking, effective communication and decision making. The 2017 program begins online in February, and includes a four-day session at the University of Arizona campus in March. The program concludes in October with a capstone course and graduation ceremony at PMA’s Fresh Summit Convention & Expo.

The Emerging Leaders Program is one of a suite of leadership development offerings from CGTbyPMA that span across the career continuum.


The “typical” Emerging Leaders Program participant is aged 27-35, and has 5-10 years of professional experience. CGTbyPMA looks for emerging leaders who have cross-functional background, and hail from across the fresh produce and floral supply chain.

“Simply put, we are looking for professionals who continuously think beyond their current job description,” said CGTbyPMA Vice President of Talent Portfolio Alicia Calhoun. “Senior management shouldn’t wait for employees to volunteer, they should proactively strategize who to send to this training.”

Calhoun noted that the Emerging Leaders Program is specifically designed for the fresh produce and floral industry, and brings together participants from across the supply chain. This diverse exchange of ideas, and the supply chain business connections that are made, can’t be replicated by individual companies’ in-house programs or by mass-market programs.

“In addition to being specifically designed for our industry, participants benefit from the elite minds of our trainers from the prestigious Eller College of Management at University of Arizona,” said Calhoun.


CGTbyPMA’s mission is to attract, develop and retain talent for the fresh produce and floral industry. CGTbyPMA fulfills the “Develop” component of its mission by offering leadership development programs that span the career continuum. Those programs target young professionals, mid-level managers, emerging leaders, senior executives and women. All of the programs are designed specifically for the fresh produce and floral industry.

“Making leadership development a priority can help each of our organizations to attract, develop and retain the talent we need for our future,” said CGTbyPMA Chair Batti. “Potential and current employees want to know their employers value them and want to invest in them.”


Apply for the 2017 Emerging Leaders Program by Jan. 20; interested persons are urged to sign up early, as the seven-year-old program has sold out for the past six years. The registration rate is $6,600 for PMA members, and $13,200 for nonmembers; that includes lodging and meals for the Arizona segment.

Monsanto Vegetable Seeds is the program’s 2017 Founding Sponsor; Sunkist International is 2017 Presenting Sponsor. The Produce News is Official Media Sponsor.

For more information and to apply, visit


Center for Growing Talent by PMA was created by the produce and floral industry to grow the people across our industry. We help attract, develop and retain the talent needed to feed our industry’s growth, including educational programming and networking events. We offer a variety of industry-specific solutions across the career continuum, for university students, young professionals and women, emerging leaders, mid-level individuals and senior executives. We were created December 2005 as the PMA Education Foundation and later became PMA Foundation for Industry Talent; now we are evolving into Center for Growing Talent by PMA. For more information, visit


Produce Marketing Association is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing connections that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption. For more information, visit

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