A choice for PMA’s future

08/09/2013 11:11:00 AM
The Packer Editorial Board

Cathy Green BurnsGreen BurnsThe announcement that Cathy Green Burns will assume the duties of Produce Marketing Association president on Dec. 1 is being met with strong support by industry leaders who know her.

With 30 years’ experience in the grocery industry, Green Burns is moving into a different culture as a senior executive in a national trade association.

The move to bring an industry leader to assume a senior management position is not necessarily “textbook.” Some corporate executives used to making quick decisions are unprepared for the slower pace and consensus building necessary in association work. Yet there is every sign that Green Burns is well prepared for the position.

During her term as chairwoman of the Produce Traceability Initiative’s Leadership Council from 2008-12, she is credited with creating consensus in the unwieldy 48-member body and being a quick study on technical subjects related to traceability.

At PMA, Green Burns will report to chief executive officer Bryan Silbermann and will initially focus on board development, creating better staff development programs and making connections to the food industry for PMA.

Silbermann said her appointment coincides with the October release of the second version of PMA’s strategic plan, first released in 2008.

Given the global and complex nature of PMA, he said that having more senior management with industry experience was needed. While Silbermann insists he is making no plans for retirement, the appointment of Green Burns signals that PMA is thinking about present and future needs of its members.

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