“Building the Future, One Opportunity at a Time” will be the theme of the Fresh Produce & Floral Council’s Southern California Expo July 17 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, CA. About 1,500 floral and produce professionals are expected to attend, an FPFC spokesman said in a June 15 interview, and a capacity crowd of 171 exhibitors has reserved all booth space on the show floor.
The keynote speaker will be J.R. Martinez, a soldier who was severely wounded by a land mine in Iraq, then appeared on the popular daytime TV drama “All My Children” for three years and last year won the season trophy on “Dancing with the Stars.” Mr. Martinez was also named one of People magazine’s most intriguing people in 2011 and was Grand Marshal for the 2012 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA.
Mr. Martinez will speak at the breakfast session on how to face adversity with optimism and unleash hidden potential, according to a council news release. Also at the breakfast, the FPFC Floral Achievement Award will be presented to recognize an individual who has provided outstanding service and dedication to the floral industry.
Other events at the expo, which will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. (see schedule, page 76), include a floral design contest featuring 35 designers from seven supermarket chains creating centerpieces in 20 minutes using a surprise package of ingredients, and the Best of Show booth award. The latter was won the past two years by Kendall Farms.
Students from local universities and their mentors will be guests on the expo floor, learning about the floral and produce industries and meeting FPFC members as part of the Career Pathways Program of the Produce Marketing Association’s Foundation for Industry Talent.
The FPFC was established in 1965 and its three-member staff plans 16 events a year from its offices in La Mirada, CA. Rick Cruz of Vons/A Safeway Co. is chairman of the council.