About the Fresh Produce & Floral Council

Providing unique networking and business growth opportunities for professionals in the produce and floral industries in California, since 1965.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Fresh Produce & Floral Council is to connect members to the information, education and professional network they need to increase knowledge, grow their businesses and collectively advance the industry.

Our members include growers, shippers, wholesalers, brokers, distributors and retailers of produce and/or floral items.

Leadership

The FPFC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and Executive Committee made up of professionals from all sectors of the produce and floral industries.  In addition, committees handle specific tasks related to the Council’s events and industry relations.

The Council’s business is managed by a staff located in Anaheim, California. 

Fresh Produce & Floral Council 2019 Executive Committee

Andrew Bivens (Westlake Produce Company)

Andrew Bivens (Westlake Produce Company)

Chairman

Andrew Bivens (Westlake Produce Company)

Andrew Bivens (Westlake Produce Company)

Chairman

Working in in the produce industry nearly 30 years, Andrew started his career with Ralphs Grocery Company. Throughout his 12 years there, he served as a produce clerk, produce manager, inspector and category manager.  In 2002, he joined Westlake Produce Company as a salesman and now serves as COO.  While working at Westlake, he has completed a number of executive programs including programs from Cornell University and University of Notre Dame.  In 2010, he was a member of the Produce News’ 40 under 40 and is an alumnus of the United Fresh Leadership Program.

Andrew has been involved with the FPFC for over 15 years, serving on many committees, and is currently chairing the task force developing the FPFC Executive Program.  He was elected to the FPFC board of directors in 2014.

In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf, playing piano and woodworking.

Connie Stukenberg (California Avocado Commission)

Connie Stukenberg (California Avocado Commission)

Past Chair Representative

Connie Stukenberg (California Avocado Commission)

Connie Stukenberg (California Avocado Commission)

Past Chair Representative

Connie Stukenberg began her produce career more than 35 years ago, beginning in 1979 implementing fresh juice programs in stores with juice extractors in an era before bottled fresh juices were even merchandised in produce.  While working full time she earned her BS in Business Administration and Management from the University of Phoenix.  She went on to co-found Citrus Connection, a wholesale fresh juice distribution company in 1987 and built it up until it was acquired by California Day Fresh Foods (a Chiquita Brands subsidiary that was later renamed Naked Juice). Connie stayed on with Naked Juice as National Sales Manager.

In 2000, she joined the California Avocado Commission as the Retail Marketing Director, where she managed retail marketing and merchandising programs. Almost 10 years later she started CS Sales and Marketing for Results where she continued her affiliation with the Commission along with consulting for Progressive Produce and other companies within the produce industry. In 2014 she rejoined the California Avocado Commission staff full time as Retail Marketing Director.

In addition to her service on the FPFC Board and committees, Connie also serves on the PMA Fresh Summit Advisory Committee and PMA Foundation for Growing Talent Career Pathways Advisory Committee. Her care and concern for the produce industry and young professionals of tomorrow have made her an avid supporter of mentorship programs which have helped develop many of our industry’s up and coming leaders.  Her volunteer efforts with the local community, national and international efforts from Taiwan to Mexico have led to her being recognized by the USA Service Corps with the President’s Silver Volunteer Award.

Connie and her husband, Bob, live in Lake Forest and have three adult daughters.

Brian Cook (Pete's Living Greens)

Brian Cook (Pete's Living Greens)

Chair Elect

Brian Cook (Pete's Living Greens)

Brian Cook (Pete's Living Greens)

Chair Elect

Brian Cook joined Hollandia Produce in February 2016 as the Vice President of Sales. He works closely with his team to strengthen relationships with long time partners, developing new business and exploring new sales channels. Brian led the beginning of Hollandia’s rebranding to Pete’s Living Greens while launching their new line of Living Strips and was named President of Pete’s Living Greens in August of 2018.

Before joining Hollandia/Pete’s Living Greens, Brian was the Director of Sales & Marketing for San Miguel Produce for eight years. His primary responsibilities at San Miguel includded the management and development of a staff of regional sales managers and customer service representatives as well as managing pricing, brokers, and merchandising support. He also worked with the President on planting projections for four different niche markets, and worked alongside managers of other departments on cost savings opportunities throughout the farming channel. Prior to joining San Miguel Produce, Brian served as Sales Representative for distributor United Produce Sales, focused on melon, potato, and onion sales.

Brian volunteers on a a number of FPFC committees and task forces and has served as chairman of the Expo Committee. He has served on the PMA Fresh Summit committee, chairing the committee in 2015 and also currently serves on the PMA Foodservice committee. He is a graduate of the United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program.

Brian participates in a number of events to raise money for cancer research and volunteers on the Early Childhood Ministry Team at Camarillo Christian Church. Brian is married with 4 children.

Harland Heath (Heath & Lejeune)

Harland Heath (Heath & Lejeune)

Honorary Past Chair Representative

Harland Heath (Heath & Lejeune Honorary)

Harland Heath (Heath & Lejeune Honorary)

Honorary Past Chair Representative

A California native, fifth of eleven children and a veteran of the Korean War, Harland began his career in the industry at the age of eleven. Immediately following high school, he worked for Boys Markets, then spent five years with the Alpha Beta Markets group. In 1955, Harland and six partners opened the first Pantry Market in Pasadena where, as Director of Produce Operations, he was responsible for procurement of produce, warehousing, distribution to stores, merchandising, advertising and supervision of personnel. In 1970, he joined the Ed Miller Company, a Los Angeles Produce Broker. Five years later, Harland moved to William Hooker Company as Produce Broker, Sales Agent, Importer and Exporter. In 1981, Harland and his partner Patrick Lejeune, started the national and international brokerage firm of Heath and Lejeune, Inc. The company provides mixed load buying and consolidating.

Harland has been a member of the Pasadena Optimist Club and a member of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses since 1958. He served four years on the Salvation Army Advisory Board and six years as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Bethany Church of Sierra Madre. He and his wife Lois have three children.

One of 15 of the original founding members of the Fresh Produce & Floral Council, Harland served as President in 1968-69 and as Chairman of the Board. He has served on the Board of Directors since the formation of the Council in 1965 and served as Past Chairman Representative for many years. In 2003, Harland was named as Honorary Past Chairman of the Fresh Produce & Floral Council and will serve as Past Chairman Representative of the FPFC for life.

Sean McClure

Sean McClure

Secretary/Treasurer

Sean McClure

Sean McClure

Secretary/Treasurer

Over his 19 years at Ready Pac Foods, Sean McClure served in many roles including Merchandiser Trainer, Buyer, Senior Buyer, Procurement Manager, and most recently served as National Director of Procurement, Specialties. He started in the produce and grocery industry as a clerk working at Lucky’s. Sean has served as Chairman of the FPFC Dinner Dance and Expo Committees, and has volunteered as a Career Ambassador for the PMA Career Pathways program since 2013. He is a family man with a wonderful wife, Michelle, and three young children: a boy and identical twin girls who keep him and his wife very busy. Sean is an avid sports fan and enjoys cooking for his family.

Roger Schroeder

Roger Schroeder

Honorary Past Chair Representative

Roger Schroeder

Roger Schroeder

Honorary Past Chair Representative

Active in the produce industry since he began his career as a box boy, Roger’s background is extensive and thorough. From the 60’s until 1988, Roger was with the Vons Grocery Company. In 1988 he left his position as Supervisor of Perishables to accept a position as Vice President of Produce & Floral with the Hughes Family Markets. He continued his career with Hughes for the next 10 years and when mergers and acquisitions overtook Hughes, Roger was recruited to join Stater Bros. Markets as Vice President of Produce & Floral. He served in that position until his retirement in 2018.

Roger’s volunteer leadership history is also extensive. He has served for many years as a Director of the Fresh Produce & Floral Council and was Chairman of the Board three times – in 1994, 2000 and 2004. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Produce Marketing Association, as a Director of the Retail Board of the Produce Marketing Association. He held the highest office of the Produce for Better Health Foundation and was a pioneer in promoting the 5 a Day program in the California retail sector. Roger has been extremely active as a member of the Produce & Floral Committee and the Harvest Ball Committee for the City of Hope.

In 1995, Roger was named by the Produce Marketing Association as the Marketer of the Year and in 2013 was inducted into the Food Industry Hall of Fame.

Alfonso Cano (Lucky)

Alfonso Cano (Lucky)

Immediate Past Chair

Alfonso Cano (Lucky)

Alfonso Cano (Lucky)

Immediate Past Chair

In 2007 Alfonso joined Northgate Gonzalez Markets, a family owned and operated full service supermarket with 41 locations in Southern California, as the Produce Director. In 2018, he took the position of Director of Produce & Floral at the newly-launched Lucky.

In 2015 Alfonso joined the FPFC and United Fresh Board of Directors. He was elected to Secretary/Treasurer of the FPFC in 2016.

Alfonso and his wife, Deanna, have two daughters and live in Anaheim, California.

2019 Board of Directors

MIKE CASAZZA
FreshSource, LLC

GREG CORRIGAN 
Raley’s Supermarkets

RICK CRUZ
Pavilions

DON GANN
Stater Bros. Markets

PAUL KNEELAND
Gelson’s Markets

SCOTT LEIMKUHLER
Progressive Produce, LLC

KORI MARTIN
The Oppenheimer Group

LIANE MAST
Stater Bros. Markets

JEFFREY McLELLAN
Jeffrey McLellan – Credit Consulting

LYNNIE NOJADERA
Quebec Distributing Co.

KRISTEN REID
MIXTEC Group

SHERYL SALAZAR
Albertsons/Vons

MICHAEL SCHUTT
Raley’s Supermarkets

DANNIE TIMBLIN
Edge Sales & Marketing

RICH VAN VALKENBURG
Van Valkenburg & Associates

PAIGE VENABLE
Vallarta Supermarkets

BOB WALDUSKY
Fresh Gourmet Company, LLC

CARISSA MACE
President, Fresh Produce & Floral Council 

Fresh Produce & Floral Council Staff

Carissa Mace

Carissa Mace

President

Carissa Mace

Carissa Mace

President

Carissa joined the staff of the FPFC as President in December 2007. Carissa brings solid industry experience and management expertise to the Council. She began her working career in the non-profit world after graduating from New York University in the 1980s. She worked for 10 years in New York City with the New York City Opera and the United Cerebral Palsy Organization before returning to her native Southern California in the mid-1990s. In 1996 she joined the City of Hope which has long been a favorite charity of the FPFC and Carissa became the Director of Development for the Food Industries Circle of that organization. A year later she was hired by the FPFC as Event Coordinator and Membership Director. She stayed with the Council for five years before joining the Produce Marketing Association as Director of U.S. Business Development in 2001. Her tenure at PMA offered wide-base industry and association experience which have proved valuable in her services to the FPFC.
In 2005, Carissa was a member of the inaugural group of “40 under 40” top industry leaders as named by Produce Business magazine. In addition, she has served on the Board of Directors for the United Fresh Produce Association and is a member of the American Society of Association Executives and the California Society of Association Executives.

Amy Wun

Member Services Director

Click To Email Amy Wun

Amy Wun

Member Services Director

Amy came to the FPFC as the Office Coordinator after working in a variety of accounting positions in the San Gabriel Valley. She spent several years at the FPFC handling accounting and registrations before being appointed the front-line manager for all of FPFC’s member services and is now responsible for many of the details that go into planning and executing successful member events. She is married to her high school sweetheart and still lives in the San Gabriel Valley.

Steve Betancourt

Member Services Specialist

Click to Email Steve Betancourt

Steve Betancourt

Member Services Specialist

A native of Southern California, Steve joined the FPFC staff with eight years of bookkeeping and accounting experience. He enjoys the interpersonal aspect of the fresh produce and floral industry and brings energy and enthusiasm to work with him each day. Steve lives in the San Gabriel Valley and coaches youth sports teams in his spare time.

Community Involvement

The Fresh Produce & Floral Council is dedicated to the success of the produce and floral industries and actively supports other industry organizations with sponsorships and in-kind donations, including the Produce For Better Health Foundation and the Produce Marketing Association’s Foundation for Industry Talent.

Because we are in an industry that is uniquely positioned to help the needy, we also support–and encourage our members to support–the Orange County Food Bank with product donated during our Southern California membership luncheons and with money raised during our annual Holiday Luncheon and Charity Auction.  Past Holiday Luncheons have also benefited Caterina’s Club, the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.

The Fresh Produce & Floral Council is also an ardent supporter of City of Hope National Medical Center, dedicating a fundraising luncheon to their cause each year.  Members of the FPFC also support City of Hope on their own, forming teams for the Walk for Hope Against Breast Cancer among other activities and donations.