ANAHEIM, Calif. – The first winner of the Produce Marketing Association's Robert L. Carey Leadership Award is Mike O'Brien.
O’Brien, vice president of produce and floral at Schnuck Markets Inc., St. Louis, received PMA’s inaugural Robert L. Carey Leadership Award during the Fresh Summit 2012 general session on Oct. 26. Carey, 81, led the PMA for 38 years, retiring in 1996.
Bryan Silbermann, president of PMA, said O'Brien epitomizes the values of service that Carey stood for.
Past PMA chairman Bill Schuler, president and CEO of The Castellini Cos., said O'Brien served eight years on the PMA board since 2004, ultimately serving as chairman. He said O'Brien served in many other PMA leadership positions, including a key role in exploring a potential merger with the United Fresh Produce Association.
"For reflecting PMA's commitment to courage community and character, he is the first-ever recipient of the Robert L. Carey Leadership Award," Schuler said.
A committee of four past PMA chairmen selected O’Brien.
“I am deeply humbled by this honor. To be considered in the same league as Bob Carey is a genuine honor,” O’Brien said in a news release. “I’m grateful to those who have allowed me to serve the industry, especially those from my own company, who have graciously allowed me to channel my career into service back to the produce industry."