We’re Honored To Recognize Leaders In Produce
Our industry is about passion. Every member of SEPC puts in extra time on the job because of the satisfaction that a better yield in crops, businesses, and relationships brings us. But there are a select few who stand out among us who unite our region through tireless effort, extraordinary instinct, and a genuine love for our industry. We’re proud to recognize them each year with our Next Generation and Terry Vorhees Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Next Generation Leadership Academy
The Southeast Produce Council is thrilled to expand our education portfolio with a truly unique leadership development program designed for up-and-coming leaders. When we received an overwhelming number of nominations for our prestigious Next Generation Award last year, we realized the need to transform a single award into a robust leadership program. The Next Generation Leadership Academy is more than a moment, more than a single award and has been thoughtfully designed to recognize, honor, and invest in future leaders seeking to be changemakers in the produce industry.
This year-long program will provide participants a unique approach to conscious leadership ideals and methodologies. Participants will develop and galvanize leadership skills and prepare to navigate industry challenges with a growth mindset. The Academy will feature virtually guided events as well as in-person programming events. This program will equip and prepare participants for future leadership responsibilities with content relevant to their leadership challenges.
If you have someone in mind whom you’d like to nominate next year for the Next Generation Leadership Academy, nominations will open again in December.
Nominees should have organizational level support to participate. The inaugural class will be recognized during the Future Generations Celebration Dinner on Thursday, March 2nd, at Southern Exposure 2023 and will graduate at Southern Exposure 2024.
Nominees are eligible if they are:
- Emerging leader in produce, mid-level manager or above
- Employed in the produce industry for at least 4 years
- Member in “Good Standing” of the SEPC*
- Must possess a vision for leadership, a strong drive to carry it out, and strong communications skills to convey why they believe they would be a good candidate for the program by submitting a short video for selection process
*To be in “Good Standing”, a member must actively participate in the SEPC by their attendance, contributions, or both and must be included in our Membership Roll. SEPC member companies who are in “Good Standing” may nominate an employee who is not currently on the active SEPC membership role.
NOTE: Employees of the Southeast Produce Council, the SEPC’s participating vendors, any contract employees of the SEPC, and members of the immediate family of any such persons are not eligible to be nominated or participate in the program. The term “immediate family” includes spouses, siblings, parents, children, grandparents, and grandchildren, whether as “in-laws”, or by current or past marriage(s), adoption, co-habitation or other family extension, and other persons residing at the same household whether related.
2020 – Kristin Yerecic Scott 2019 – Andrew Hare 2018 – Ross Williams 2017 – Adam Lytch
Terry Vorhees Lifetime Achievement Award
Our highest honor awarded in partnership with co-sponsor The Produce News. Recipients of this award have displayed consistent excellence over a career in produce and have left an indelible impression on the industry, providing new benchmarks for future leaders.
Congratulations To Our 2023 Recipient!
Al Finch | Florida Classic Growers
2022 – Bobby Creel
2021 – Martin Eubanks
2020 – Rick Estess
2019 – Gordon Hochberg
2018 – David Stornetta
2017 – Sheila Carden
2016 – Joe Klare
2015 – Terry Vorhees
2014 – Tom Page
2013 – Paul DiMare
2012 – Reggie Griffin
2011 – Tommy Irvin
2010 – Peter Pero III
2009 – Ferdinand Duda
2008 – Joe McGee