Bob Whitaker, the Produce Marketing Association's chief science and technology officer, will retire from the association in January of 2020 after 11 years of dedication and diligence to bettering the produce industry and helping to grow a healthier world.
"Bob has proven himself to be a true champion not only for our organization, but the industry at large," said Cathy Burns, chief executive officer of PMA. "His voice has been critical in times of challenge and change, providing a credible source of truth for our industry, and in turn, enhancing our relationships with other associations and regulatory partners."
Whitaker's legacy goes beyond his unmatched expertise in the face of food safety outbreaks and regulatory changes such as implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act. It is in the lasting solutions he has helped create to ensure this work continues, including being a cornerstone of the formation of the Center for Produce Safety. His ability to translate complex issues into layman’s terms and his willingness to serve has positioned PMA as a trusted source with our members, the industry, media, policymakers, and regulators.
"In announcing his retirement now, Bob has ensured that PMA is positioned to immediately begin the search to identify his successor, which we have committed to accomplishing by year’s end," said Burns. "We are confident that with Bob’s guidance, we will be able to find the right person to carry his work onward into the future. In the meantime, Bob will continue to lead his team in their unwavering dedication to providing priceless member value in the areas of food safety, technology, sustainability, and supply chain efficiencies.
"I am incredibly proud of the work that we have been able to accomplish under Bob’s leadership," said Burns. "His character, integrity, and passion have been a true gift to me personally, and to the PMA membership and industry at large. My sincere thanks to each of you for your loyal support; I look forward to our continued collaboration and partnership as we move forward on our vision to grow a healthier world."