'Strong-willed' Metro VP earns Canadian awardCALGARY – A tireless advocate of the produce industry, with a “strong-willed” “can-do” attitude, Bernadette Hamel may have been the only one surprised to hear her name announced as the The Packer's 40th Canadian Produce Person of the Year.

“There are so many others who deserve this award,” Hamel said. “I’m overwhelmed, honored.”

The Packer’s publisher Shannon Shuman presented the award April 13 at the Canadian Produce Marketing Association Convention awards breakfast.

Hamel, vice president of national procurement for Montreal-based Metro-Richelieu Inc., is slated to be the CPMA chair in 2015, and was the first woman to serve as the Quebec Produce Marketing Association chairman of the board.

“She’s been described as a focused, generous, fair and most importantly, a tireless advocate for the advancement of the produce industry,” Shuman said. “We are enormously fortunate to have passionate leaders in our industry.”

Also at the awards breakfast, the CPMA Lifetime Achievement Award went to Glenn Baty, owner of Star Produce Ltd., and the Mary FitzGerald award went to Anthony Bisogno, category manager for Toronto-based Burnac Produce Ltd.