SAN DIEGO — Lisa McNeece, who has spent the past 22 years developing foodservice markets for Grimmway Enterprises Inc. as well as volunteering in numerous industry roles, recounted what she described as an “incredible journey” from her first job picking lettuce during a United Farm Worker strike in the Imperial Valley to her current role with carrot giant Grimmway Enterprises.
McNeece, vice president of foodservice and industrial sales at Bakersfield, Calif.-based Grimmway, was the featured speaker at the Women in Produce reception May 15 during United Fresh 2013.
McNeece joined Bakersfield, Calif.-based Grimmway in 1991 as a coordinator between production and sales for the new peeled baby carrot line.
She was promoted to vice president of foodservice and industrial sales in 2001, a position she’s held ever since.
McNeece credited company founders Rod and Bob Grimm, whom she called “true visionaries,” for their mentoring over the years.
“Who would have thought you could do so much with just a carrot?” she said. “I was extremely fortunate to stand on the shoulders of these giants.”
She also said it is vital for those in the industry to give back, whether by volunteering on industry boards or helping out at the local level.
McNeece is on the United Fresh board and is part of its health and nutrition council.
She also is a Produce Marketing Association Foundation for Industry Talent board member and a former PMA board member as well.
Among her most recent accomplishments is serving as co-chairwoman for the Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools program that netted 436 donated salad bars for state schools.