The United Fresh Foundation has announced the 12 new members of its 2011-12 United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program.

The yearlong program uses field experience and classroom instruction to teach leadership skills to future industry leaders, according to a news release. During the year the class will participate in educational events and outings centered on four focus areas of the program: leadership development, business relationships, government and public affairs, and media and public communications.

“It is extremely difficult to select 12 participants out of the large and impressive field of applicants, especially because the committee must consider a wide range of factors to ensure a well-balanced class,” Jackson Woodward, United board member and alumnus of the program, said in the release. “That said, we are proud of the members selected for this year’s class and we are confident that this program will develop them to become powerful and influential leaders who will direct our industry forward.”

The class:

  • Beth Bland Oleson, Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association, La-Grange, Ga.;
  • Craig Cahill, Allen Lund Company Inc., Wakefield, Mass.;
  • Megan Chedwick, Church Bros. LLC, Salinas, Calif.;
  • Joe Cimino, Pro*Act LLC, Monterey, Calif.;
  • Anthony M. DeAngelis, Christopher Ranch LLC, Edison, N.J.;
  • Mark DeCosta, Costco Wholesale, Issaquah, Wash.;
  • Brian Jenny, Naturipe Farms, Lawrenceville, Ga.;
  • Shannon Kyle, Torrey Farms Inc., Elba, N.Y.;
  • Michael Muir, Muir Copper Canyon Farms, Salt Lake City, Utah;
  • Sheridan Silver, Mann Packing Co., Salinas, Calif.;
  • Sam Stewart, WES Pak Sales Inc., Dinuba, Calif.; and
  • Ross Verner, Topco Associates, Skokie, Ill.
United Fresh names leadership program members