( Courtesy Dallas Fresh Food Association )

Last year marked the launch of the Dallas Fresh Food Association, and now the group has named its 2018 board of directors and is seeking members.

Industry members formed the association to boost careers and consumption of fresh food in North Texas through education and training.

The group’s initial goal this year is to provide networking opportunities for local professionals through monthly luncheons featuring guest speakers, as well as with efforts to support food education in underserved areas, according to a news release.

To lead the Dallas Fresh Food Association’s mission this first year, the group chose Dale Long of North Texas Food Bank as president of the board. Long has more than 30 years of experience in the fresh produce industry and has connections to local retailers and schools, according to the release.

The group chose several other experienced industry members to serve on the board:

  • Treasurer: Michael Grinstead, partner in The Grinstead Group;
  • Marketing: Beth Keeton, communications director at DMA Solutions;
  • Membership: Steve Monson of C.H. Robinson;
  • Philanthropy: Lucian LaBarbara, business analyst at Ben E. Keith Foods; and
  • Technology: Bobby Grinstead of FreightFlow.

“The value of having a local association dedicated to serving the (Dallas/Fort Worth) area means being able to connect with and train the future leaders of the fresh food industry, while empowering our community to choose more fresh food,” Long said in the release.

Founding members of the group include many of the board members, but also representation from several other companies, including:

  • Ben E. Keith Foods;
  • Del Monte Fresh;
  • DMA Solutions;
  • Hardie’s Fresh Foods;
  • Kroger;
  • North Texas Food Bank;
  • Robinson Fresh;
  • Sunfed; and
  • The Grinstead Group.

For more information about membership and to attend the next meeting, e-mail [email protected]