Called the driving force behind Philadelphia’s new produce terminal, Sonny DiCrecchio received the Market Manager of the Year award from the National Association of Produce Market Managers.
The Columbia, S.C.-based trade organization presented the award to DiCrecchio, president and chief executive officer of the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market, at a March 31 awards banquet during its 66th annual conference in Los Angeles.
Ben Vitale, market managers association president and executive director of the Central New York Regional Market Authority, Syracuse, recognized DiCrecchio for his “outstanding achievements related to the development, construction and management” of the market.
In 2002, DiCrecchio, who became market manager in 2000, helped initiate the search for new market operations to replace the city’s aging produce terminal.
“This particular honor is well-deserved,” said John Vena Jr., president of John Vena Inc., Philadelphia. “Sonny worked tirelessly on this project. It was an all-consuming project for all the board members who served over the years, but particularly for Sonny who spearheaded our efforts for over 10 years.
“For very long, he literally carried this project on his back,” Vena said. “If not for his personal strength and perseverance, we would not have this new market.”
George Manos, president of TM Kovacevich-Philadelphia Inc., said DiCrecchio continues his passion for the market.
“He was the driving force,” Manos said. “If he didn’t do it, it wouldn’t have gotten done.”
DiCrecchio said he is honored to receive the recognition.
“The market managers group has done so much for this industry and they are such great friends,” DiCrecchio said. “I so much appreciate their recognition of what we have accomplished in building the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market. The state-of-the-art facility was built on the strength of all of our merchants and especially the market’s officers and board of directors, who were absolutely determined throughout the decade it took to complete the project.”
Also at the conference, the association honored Fidel Delgado, a longtime U.S. Department of Agriculture market architect, for his dedication to designing market facilities.
Association members elected Dan Kane, market manager of the Philadelphia market, as 1st vice-president; Betty Allison, deputy director of the Maryland Wholesale Food Authority, Jessup, 2nd vice-president; Ronnie Best, market manager of the North Carolina State Farmers Market, Raleigh, as secretary.
Vitale was reelected president and Deb Churchill, the property manager of City Market in Kansas City, Mo., remains treasurer.