Courtesy Frieda's Specialty ProduceKaren Caplan, president and chief executive officer of Frieda's Specialty Produce, Los Alamitos, Calif., recently helped judge the Global Youth Business Plan Competition at the University of Southern California. Continuing her long-time commitment to the next generation, Frieda’s Specialty Produce president Karen Caplan recently helped judge the Global Youth Business Plan Competition organized by the Academy of Business Leadership.
The academy is based at the University of Southern California and the plan competition is one of the events in its summer institute program, according to a news release from Frieda’s.
Caplan, who also serves as chief executive officer at Los Alamitos, Calif.-based Frieda’s, joined 21 other senior executives to judge the contest. Other judges included venture capitalists, fashion designers and movie producers.
“I am blown away by their business acumen and dedication to their projects,” Caplan said in the release. “It always amazes me how creative and fearless these students can be with their ideas.
“Supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs is a priority for Frieda’s as a company. We are committed to advance young, future agriculture business leaders in many ways, such as through the Frieda Rapoport Caplan Family Business Scholarship program (through United Fresh Produce Association) and our internship program with EARTH University in Costa Rica.”
This year’s academy scholars were 11-18 years old, from 53 elementary, middle, and high schools primarily in Southern California, and countries as far away as such as Turkey and China, according to the release. Most are facing economic adversity at home and have committed to breaking their families’ cycle of poverty.