Caplan was selected for the award because she was the first woman to own a U.S. produce business, as well as for her continued efforts in the advancement of women in business.
She is most known for bringing the kiwifruit to the U.S. in 1962. Since then, she has introduced more than 200 specialty produce items to American markets in the company’s 50 years of operation.
“When I started on the produce market in 1956, there were no other women, no women organizations. And now to look at how powerful (the association) is and the number of women and businesses it represents, it’s really quite thrilling,” Caplan said in an e-mail.
Caplan also was interviewed, along with daughter Karen Caplan (president and CEO of Frieda’s), on Los Angeles’s KFWB 980 AM radio show, “Unfinished Business with Betsy Berkehemer and Renee Fraser.”