Providing unique networking and business growth opportunities for professionals in the produce and floral industries in California, since 1965.
The FPFC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and an Executive Committee of professionals from all produce and floral industries sectors. In addition, committees handle specific tasks related to the Council’s events and industry relations. The Council’s business is managed by staff in Southern California.
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 business and collectively advance the industry.
Fresh Produce & Floral Council Staff
Event & Communications Specialist
Emma brings a background in civic and non-profit communications to the FPFC. Emma handles all FPFC event marketing, advertising sales, membership CRM, support to all FPFC committees, and website design for the Council. Throughout college, Emma worked in the service industry as a waitress, server, and prep cook.
Emma is a dedicated auntie (Auntie Em) to three nieces and two nephews. Emma lives in Long Beach, California, with her dog (Izzy), and in her free time, she enjoys spending time on the beach, skiing, and hiking with her friends and family.
Fresh Produce & Floral Council 2023 Executive Committee
Chair Produce Professional/Retail Consultant
In a town that for most is nothing more than a gas stop, Winnemucca Nevada was the place where Michael’s career began for the grocery retailer, Raleys. Interviewing in the winter of 85 as a 15yr old Schutt was told “come back in the spring and I’ll have something for you”. 37yrs later its evident that Michael’s passion for Produce has been there since the beginning. As Raleys was pushing out west in the early 90s Schutt opted to take a leap of faith from his small town everyone knows your name store and further his career in the wild frontier of the Bay Area.By the age of 22 Schutt was running his own Produce Dept in Newark, Ca. After a few store openings and some moves to bigger stores Schutt found himself in Santa Rosa Ca being asked to come to corporate for an interview. And in the fall of 97 Schutt was promoted to Produce Quality Control and relief buyer where he spent 7yrs working closely with the buying team.In 2004 Schutt was promoted to Produce Buyer, 2018 he was promoted again to Sr Category manager of Produce and Floral a title which he held until 2020 when he was again elevated. As a Produce Buyer Michael’s top measure for success is flavor, “that’s what the customer will remember and what will bring them back.” Schutt elevated to Director of Produce in Floral in 2020 before departing grocery retail in early 2023. Now looking to pen his next chapter is working closely with many aspects of the produce community to help raise awarenss and consumption of fresh produce.Living in California feeds both his working passion and his love of the outdoors. If he’s not visiting local growers, you may find him hiking or camping in the region.
Kristen Reid is a partner at MIXTEC Group, a leading executive search firm in the produce industry. Kristen started as a Senior Recruiter with the company in 2008 and, after two promotions, became a partner in the firm in 2012. Kristen has enjoyed interacting with a wide variety of people from all supply chain segments and in all different functions. Prior to joining MIXTEC, Kristen began her career in executive recruiting at Netzel Associates, Inc., placing fundraising and development executives. She has also held positions as a full-time professor at Westmont College and Pepperdine University, where she taught a variety of communication courses, including public speaking and interviewing. In addition to her job, Kristen is actively engaged in the industry. She chairs the Business Solutions Provider Roundtable for the International Fresh Produce Association and is the former Chair of the United Fresh Produce Association Leadership Alumni Board. She was recognized by Produce Business as a 40-under Forty recipient, is a graduate of the United Fresh Produce Leadership Program and was awarded the Frieda Rappaport Caplan Women’s Catalyst Award by the Produce Marketing Association (PMA). Kristen has a Master’s in Communication Studies and a Bachelor’s in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Pepperdine University. She also maintains professional certifications from the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants and the National Association of Personnel Services.
Bryan Presley comes from a retail background and has been with the same retailer for his entire 40-year career. Presley was born and raised in Southern California and played football and basketball. Like many retailers, Presley was introduced to the business by his father, who spent more than a quarter century as a store director. Presley became a Produce Manager for 12 years and then moved into the produce warehouse as a Quality Control Clerk. In 2001, Bryan became a Floral Buyer and then moved on to the Produce Buyer position about a year later, in 2017, he became a Replenishment Manager.
In his current replenishment management position, Bryan manages the produce-buying operation for all 336 Southern California stores under the three banners: Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions.
Veronica Rodarte is the Chili, Citrus & Herb Commodity Manager at Progressive Produce. She has been with Progressive since 2012 serving in multiple roles throughout the organization. In business for 55 years, Progressive Produce is a Grower-Packer-Shipper of fresh produce that specializes in conventional and organic potatoes, onions, asparagus, citrus, peppers, and Hispanic items.A proud third-generation produce person, Veronica got her start in the industry as a Dispatcher for Pathfinder Logistics (Division of Progressive Produce) where she worked her way up to General Manager. Her father began as a forklift driver at Progressive Produce and retired as an Owner/VP of Sales. Her grandmother started the family tradition, she worked for Progressive for 25 years in the warehouse sorting potatoes on the packing line. Before joining the produce world Veronica worked at the YMCA, serving as Director of Youth Development. At the Y, Veronica created and organized programming for thousands of children, teens, and families. She was a National YMCA of the USA trainer covering the West Coast Region. She has been a Red Cross Trainer for over 15 years and continues to train locally and at Progressive Produce. Veronica has been involved with the Fresh Produce and Floral Council’s Apprentice Program for 10 years, she serves as a Committee Chair and Mentor. She also Serves on the Fresh Produce and Floral Council Board of Directors and recently joined the Executive Team. Veronica is very involved in her local community. She sits on her local YMCA Board of Directors and volunteers with a YMCA group called Youth & Government—putting in time as the group’s lead advisor. She volunteers on the YMCA Youth & Government Advisor Development team: training and onboarding new Advisors. Veronica sits on the Board of Directors for the Girl Scout’s of the Central Coast. She serves as the Girl Scout Gold Award Committee Chair. Veronica has a passion for produce and is always excited to learn more about and grow in the industry.
The Oppenheimer Group
Immediate Past Chair
Kori Martin started her produce career at Oppy in Los Angeles as a sales and marketing intern immediately after graduating from Azusa Pacific University with a business degree in Marketing and a Spanish language minor. She then moved to Seattle as a business development representative for the Pacific Northwest territory before returning back to Los Angeles to take on California, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. In 2015 she became a sales representative, and in 2018 she was promoted to Senior Sales Representative and Key Account Manager, where she currently handles sales for products in the Western United States region and some national programs. She is part of the 2018 Class of Produce Business 40 under 40. She has volunteered with the FPFC for over 13 years and served on multiple committees, including EXPO and the Apprentice program as a mentor. Kori was elected to the board of directors in 2019 and Chaired the FPFC in 2022.
Past Chair Representative
Sean McClure first entered the industry over 30 years ago as a box boy for Lucky Markets. Before joining Professional Produce in 2019 in a Sales and Operations role, he spent more than 20 years at Ready Pac Foods, where he had a variety of positions, including Merchandiser Trainer, Buyer, Senior Buyer, Procurement Manager, and National Director of Procurement. Sean has been actively involved in this industry and enjoys helping others. Over the years, he has donated his time as a Career Ambassador and participated with the PMA Foundation for Growing Talent's Career Pathways Advisory Committee in the past.
He has served on and led as chair of numerous FPFC committees. He was elected to serve on the FPFC board of directors in 2017 and, shortly after, joined the Executive Board. He served as FPFC chairman in 2021. Sean enjoys cooking for his family and friends and is an avid sports fan.
Honorary Board Member
Roger has been active in the produce industry since his career as a box boy, so he has an extensive and thorough background. From the ’60s 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 ten 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 Produce for Better Health Foundation's highest office and pioneered 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.
Quebec Distributing Co.
Honorary Board Member
Marvin was born in the Salinas Valley and has been passionately involved in the produce industry for over 25 years, carrying a broad amount of expertise and knowledge. He began his career loading trucks and as a produce inspector before being promoted to FOB Sales for a Grower/Shipper in the Salinas Valley.
He worked his way to Sales, Sales Manager, and VP of sales through various produce companies. He became President and managing partner of Quebec Distributing Company, founded in 2006 with Bill and Joe Colace. Marvin has been an FPFC Board member since 2009. A 1997 Menlo College graduate, and recipient of Menlo College’s Collis Steere Award having played as an Academic All-American in football and basketball. Marvin also completed the Cornell University Leadership Program in 2013. Marvin enjoys being proactive in the produce industry while serving on different committees, putting his energies into the FPFC, and helping others grow. Marvin also believes in constantly nurturing relationships with customers and growers and strongly believes that the FPFC provides that platform. He was recently named the 2023 Norman H.”Buz” Bolstad winner, and received the designation of Lifetime Honorary Board Member. Marvin and his wife, Wali, live in the San Joaquin Valley, CA, They have one daughter and three grandchildren.
2023 Board of Directors
ANDREW BIVENSWestlake Produce Co.
JACOB CADWALLADERStater Bros. Markets
BALTAZAR GARCIALocal Bounti
NATALIE J. MACHADOFreshSource, LLC.
BRAD MARTINPerimeter Sales & Merchandising
LYNNIE NOJADERAGreat West Produce Co.
DEBI ORRINEdge Sales + Retail Services
PAIGE VENABLEVallarta Supermarkets
SHONNA LEA WILLIAMSCardenas Markets