Women’s Leadership Initiative – News

Recognizing a need in an industry looking for fresh ideas and thoughtful innovation, supply chain management leader PRO*ACT is launching a fund to encourage more women to enter the produce industry.

“We’ve seen growers, distributors, and our own company benefit from the thoughtful contributions of talented women over the years,” shared PRO*ACT CEO Chip Walker, “but we also know that this is an industry where women’s representation has lagged behind other industries. We hope this fund is another step to bring more women to a field who needs their perspectives, experiences, and leadership.”

Scholarship applications will be open in June for women pursuing a graduate or post-graduate degree while majoring in various industry-related programs, including horticulture, agribusiness, and supply chain management.

“The timing for this initiative is right; we want to have a workforce representation that empowers our industry to grow exponentially,” added Mackenzie Lovelace – PRO* ACT’s Marketing Manager who is working with a team from PRO*ACT and their supply chain to award scholarships in August.

Recognized Leaders

PRO*ACT is proud to recognize five women who are already making moves in the industry and are strong examples of leadership across the entire fresh produce supply chain. The following women are paving a way for women in the fresh produce workforce:

Grower Partner

Julie Laughton | Account Manager | Taylor Farms 

Distributor Partners

Joan Daleo | CEO | Ole Tyme Produce

Michelle Weech | VP Marketing | Hardie’s Fresh Foods

End-User Partner

Penny Schneider | Director Contract Services | Vizient 

PRO*ACT Team Member

Meyree Escobar | Senior Account Manager | PRO*ACT

General Program Details

The PRO*ACT Women’s Leadership Initiative is intended to provide grants to women who are headed for a relevant major (such as Agribusiness or Supply Chain Management) and are looking to contribute to the fresh produce workforce. The grants can be made available for any college/university in the United States that is offering the designated majors laid out in the program rubric.

Grants will be awarded via input from a panel of supply chain professionals, working from a requirements voting rubric. 

Learn More

More details on this program to be released soon. Please sign up to get on our email list for more information including how to apply, how to be a panelist, and how to contribute. 

Email Mackenzie Lovelace (mlovelace@proactusa.com) to get involved. 

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