Bob Carey in retrospect

12/02/2013 11:15:00 PM
Tom Karst

Tom KarstI had the chance to visit with Bob Carey at length  only once, and that time in late 2007 was well after his retirement from PMA in 1996. 

When people favorably describe a person, they sometimes say, "He was a prince of a man."  

That's the feeling I had about Bob Carey. He had a light, easy-going manner and didn't take himself too seriously. His reflections about the early days of PMA directed much credit to the group's strong volunteer leaders.

The Packer's coverage of Bob Carey's passing is found here 

The PMA and Bryan Silbermann have constructed a "tribute" page to Bob Carey and that link is in our coverage.

Also, check out this article in The Cape Gazette about Bob's passing.

One former editor of The Packer was much more familiar with the work of Bob Carey. Paul Campbell wrote the following piece after the retirement of The Packer's Bill Coon and PMA's Bob Carey. It was published on June 24, 1996:


Bob Carey's retirement signals end of an era

Two months ago, Bill Coon retired from THE PACKER, and on July 1, Bob Carey will retire from the Produce Marketing Association. Thus, an era has ended.

It's out with the old, and in with the new, a natural occurrence. But don't forget the contributions these two men made to the produce industry. And don't forget the unique relationship that has existed between PMA and THE PACKER over the years.

PMA and THE PACKER grew up together -- the parallels in their progress and growth are remarkable. I joined THE PACKER in September 1966 and planned to work there a couple of years to ``get some journalistic experience.'' I stayed 18 years. I had worked only a month before attending my first convention -- the Produce Packaging Association meeting at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago. Knowing nothing about the produce industry, conventions, airplanes or Chicago, it was quite a learning experience for me. I remember the exhibit hall was very small, and one could walk through the exhibits in a couple of minutes. At this time, both PMA and THE PACKER were searching for the keys to their future. Both knew they needed to change their approach, and they knew it had to do with retailing and marketing, but they hadn't quite put it all together yet.


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