Pamela RiemenschneiderJohn Anderson, left, chief executive officer at The Oppenheimer Group, receives The Packer's Marketer of the Year award from editor Greg Johnson.ANAHEIM, Calif. – John Anderson, chief executive officer of The Oppenheimer Group, has been named The Packer’s Marketer of the Year.
As he presented the award at Fresh Summit 2012, editor Greg Johnson praised Anderson’s contributions to a globalized produce marketplace and his efforts in leadership development.
“Our winner’s strategic plan and empowerment of employees guides the company to follow through on its motto: ‘Expect the world from us,’” Johnson said.
Anderson started his produce career in a warehouse before moving into sales. In 1979, he helped the company become the first to import Chilean fruit – such as grapes, apples and stone fruit – to the U.S. By the mid-1980s he helped establish a U.S. office, and in 1993 he became chief executive officer at Vancouver-based The Oppenheimer Group.
Oppenheimer now has a dozen offices in three countries.
A signature Anderson program is Oppy U, a company university started six years ago that offers training and management tools. Oppy U has graduated 65 employees; 18 more are enrolled.
Anderson was an early driver of Produce Marketing Association’s Foundation for Industry Talent, which he chaired for two years. He also was chairman of PMA’s International Advisory Council, and still serves on the PMA board.
He’s been honored by The Packer before. In 2000, he was named Canadian Produce Man of the Year, and he was among the first group of leaders profiled in The Packer 25 eight years ago.
“Our winner is everything you’d want in a CEO or chairman of your association or foundation,” Johnson said. “He’s been described by his peers as a tremendous, tireless leader; great strategic thinker; innovative; visionary.
“Where our winner really makes his mark on his company is from the inside. You’ll rarely see a group of employees more proud of their company thanks to his leadership.”
“I can’t accept this just on my behalf, because you don’t get an award like this without a lot of people supporting you,” Anderson said.