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Lisa McNeece, vice president of foodservice and industrial sales at Grimmway Enterprises Inc., will be the guest speaker at the United Fresh Produce Association's annual Reception Honoring Women in Produce, to be held Wednesday, May 15, at United Fresh 2013 in San Diego.

Held each year in conjunction with the United Fresh convention and expo, the Reception Honoring Women in Produce recognizes the contributions of all women working in the produce industry, and selects one individual to share their personal experience of service.

The featured speaker is selected from nominations submitted by United Fresh members across the industry and reviewed by a committee of her peers, including honorees from the past 16 years.

McNeeceLisa McNeece"Lisa's passion for the industry is evident in her continued leadership and creative business development," Tom Stenzel, president and chief executive officer of United Fresh, said in a press release. "She always has the big picture in mind and recognizes that what is good for the industry is great for Grimmway. She inspires young members in the produce industry as an impeccable example of leading with and decisiveness and a fresh, strong commitment to any project or function she is involved in. Lisa has demonstrated this recently by going above and beyond in her role as co-chair of the Let's Move Salad Bars to California Schools campaign and her dedication to improving child nutrition."

Ms. McNeece joined Grimmway in 1991 to coordinate between sales and production for a newly introduced item called baby peeled carrots. For the past 22 years, she has driven their tremendous market growth.

In her current position, Ms. McNeece navigates business development and the bulk sales of carrots to processors all over the country for use in salads, snack packs and large foodservice operations such as schools. Grimmway is one of the world's larger carrot shippers, and a pioneer in creating and marketing the baby carrot.

"It is a tremendous honor to be part of this outstanding event that celebrates women in the produce industry," Ms. McNeece said in the press release. "The Women in Produce reception is always one of my favorite events at the United Fresh convention; I go every year to connect with my peers and to learn from them. I'm looking forward to sharing my story."

Beyond her success in carrot marketing, Ms. McNeece is committed to the future of the entire fresh produce industry. She serves on the United Fresh board of directors and the United Fresh Nutrition & Health Council, and has been a driving force as a co-chair of the Let's Move Salad Bars to California Schools campaign.

Previously, Ms. McNeece served on the Produce Marketing Association's board of directors, its foodservice board, and PMA's Foundation for Industry Talent Campaign Committee.

Additionally, she has served on the Produce for Better Health Foundation's executive and foundation boards, and has lent her expertise to the Western Growers Association and the USDA Fruit & Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee.

The annual Reception Honoring Women in Produce has established itself as one of the top networking events at the association's annual convention. Past honorees include:

• Dan'l Mackey Almy of DMA Solutions Inc.

• Tonya Antle of Tanimura & Antle

• Frieda Rapoport Caplan of Frieda's Inc.

• Margaret D'Arrigo of Taylor Farms Inc.

• Jan DeLyser of the California Avocado Commission

• Jan Fleming of Strube Celery & Vegetable Co.

• Janice Honigberg of Sun Belle Inc.

• Lorri Koster of Mann Packing Co.

• Kathleen Nave of the California Table Grape Commission

• Dr. Martha Rhodes-Roberts of the University of Florida's Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences

• Steffanie Smith of River Point Farms LLC

• Heather Shavey of Costco Wholesale

• Mayda Sotomayor-Kirk of Seald Sweet International

• Rosemary Talley of Talley Farms

• Jenney Tenney of The Kroger Co.