Lisa Cork of Fresh Produce Marketing was selected as the Australia-New Zealand PMA Produce Plus Marketer of the Year Award winner for 2013.
Cork previously worked for Apio Produce sales in Guadalupe, Calif.
Cork became known as the “broccoli lady” when she sent ten tons of broccoli to George H. W. Bush in 1990.
The stunt generated millions in free publicity for broccoli, according to a news release.
Cork also created Apio’s “Eat Smart” brand, which is still used today.
The award recognizes Cork’s work on the Love Kumara Project.
Consumer research indicates that consumers were discouraged from buying Kumara — sweet potato — because of their large size, shape and difficulty to peel.
Cork’s project focused on size and different grading methods, and also branded them as “smooth, easy to peel, cut and serve,” according to the release.
“Lisa’s characteristically creative and enterprising marketing campaign succeeded in bridging the gap between growers and consumers by inventing a new product and driving value growth in the process,” John Hey, managing editor of Produce Plus, said in the release. “’Love Kumara underlined the opportunities to be tapped for this industry through better understanding the consumer and meeting their needs.”