The fund was started in 1976 by Dillingham, who passed away in 1980, according to a news release from Newark, Del.-based PMA. Known as “Dill,” Dillingham was former vice president of the Produce Reporter Co., now known as Blue Book Services.
“This contribution will immediately benefit the Career Pathways programs as well as new and exciting young professional initiatives,” Jim Leimkuhler, chair of the PMA Foundation Board of Directors and president/owner of Progressive Produce Corp., said in the release. “Ultimately, though, this gift will help support the PMA Foundation’s entire mission to attract, develop and retain talent for the global produce and floral industry.”
James Carr, president and chief executive officer of Blue Book Services said the donation honors the legacy of Dillingham’s 50-plus years of service to the produce industry.
“Dillingham truly embodied what later became part of PMA Foundation’s mission when few people were dedicating that kind of time and energy to bringing talent to the industry,” Don Corsaro, chairman of the Giumarra Companies said in the release. “The fund helped make the produce industry attractive to bright minds, that’s a great gift.”
The fund provides scholarships to university students looking to pursue jobs in the produce industry, according to the release. Many of the schools supported by the fund have been active partners with the PMA Foundation, including the California Polytechnic State University and Oregon State University.