Bernard Imming, a past president and chief executive officer of the Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association, died Sept. 23. He was 94.
After more than four years of service with the U.S. Army in World War II, Imming joined the Kansas City, Mo.-based United Merchandising Institute as an instructor in retail merchandising.
He went on to work for 37 years for United Merchandising’s parent company, the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association, the forerunner of United Fresh.
In 1956, Imming transferred to Washington to become United Fresh’s corporate secretary. He was promoted to executive vice president in 1973, then to president and chief executive officer in 1975.
Imming retired from United Fresh in 1985, then worked another 15 years as a consultant to state and national associations.
During his tenure at United Fresh, Imming founded the United Nutrition Education Foundation. He also represented the produce industry on the U.S. delegation to the annual U.S. European Community Conference on Food and Agriculture, and served on committees and as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other government groups.
Tom Stenzel, United Fresh president and chief executive officer, praised Imming’s service to the industry.
“Bernie was a wonderful leader of our association and the produce industry. I was fortunate to join the staff in 1993, and Bernie still served as a mentor to me. His regular phone chats and drop-bys to the office were times for me to pick his brain about industry issues, but really learn more about the culture that is an essential part of our industry’s character.”
Services are at 11 a.m. Oct. 1 at the Everly Wheatley Funeral Home in Alexandria, Va.