Frieda Rapaport Caplan ( File photo )

The Produce Marketing Association’s Center for Growing Talent is honoring Frieda Rapaport Caplan with the 2019 Women’s Catalyst Award.

The award will be presented Oct 19 in Anaheim, Calif., at the Women’s Fresh Perspective Breakfast, during the PMA’s Fresh Summit convention and expo.
Dawn Gray, of Dawn Gray Global Consulting, who received the award in 2018, will present the award, according to a news release.

Rapoport Caplan, founder of Frieda’s Specialty Produce, was the first woman to own and operate a produce company on the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market, according to a news release from PMA. The third-generation female-owned family business has introduced hundreds of exotic specialty fruits and vegetables to U.S. consumers since it was founded in 1962.

“Frieda Caplan is a very special, one-of-a-kind, inspirational leader as well as mentor to so very many of us who have followed her in the produce and floral industries — both male and female,” Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing at the California Avocado Commission and moderator for the Women’s Fresh Perspectives Breakfast, said in the release. “I have always felt fortunate that Frieda was kind enough to ‘adopt’ me when I moved to California with The Packer newspaper in the late 70’s and that she has stayed with me as a valued mentor every day since.”

PMA CEO Cathy Burns said Rapoport Caplan has been an inspiration and role model to many people in the industry.
“For me, the opportunity to build not only a relationship, but also a friendship, over the years is something I treasure,” Burns said in the release. “Her willingness to mentor others as they sit under her learning tree is one of the many reasons Frieda is being honored by the Center for Growing Talent with this award."

Other awards scheduled during Fresh Summit include:

  • Floral Marketer of the Year, during the Floral Beach Bash Reception, 5:15-7 p.m.  Oct. 18 in Room 204ABC.
  • The Jay Pack Cultivating our Future Award, to be announced at the Center for Growing Talent Contributor Reception October 16.
  • Robert L. Carey Leadership Award, to Rich Dachman, CEO of Brighter Bites; and the Bryan E. Silbermann Collaboration Award, to Vic Smith, CEO of the JV Smith Cos. The awards will be presented at the State of the Industry Forum for the Future on October 17.

Related stories:

A Century of Produce: Frieda Caplan, Minnie Johnston & Sybil Henderson

Dawn Gray receives CGT’s first Catalyst Award

PMA to honor Rich Dachman, Vic Smith at Fresh Summit