Hugh Topper, who recently retired as group vice president of fresh foods for San Antonio-based H.E. Butt Co., is this year’s recipient of the Viva Fresh Healthy Living Lifetime Achievement Award. ( File photo )

With the Viva Fresh Expo April 5-7 deep in the heart of H-E-B country, picking a local favorite as the 2018 Viva Fresh Healthy Living Lifetime Achievement Award honoree only makes sense.

Viva Fresh chose Hugh Topper, who recently retired as group vice president of fresh foods for San Antonio-based H.E. Butt Co., as this year’s recipient.

The award’s purpose is to recognize people who make a difference in educating consumers about the importance of health and nutrition, especially when it comes to increasing fruits and vegetables in their daily lives.

“The goal of the award is to honor an individual who embodies the spirit of the Viva Fresh Expo, empowering the produce industry and its members to take an active role in promoting healthy lifestyles with diets heavy in fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Dante Galeazzi, president and CEO of the Texas International Produce Association.

With previous recipients like David Katz and Bhimu Patil, Topper is in good company, Galeazzi said.

“Both have been tremendous advocates, and they continually advocate the importance of fresh produce in our lives,” he said.

Topper’s commitment, not only in H-E-B produce departments, but also in Texas schools and communities led to his nomination for the honor.

“It was these accomplishments during his many years in the industry where the committee felt Viva Fresh goals had been reflected,” Galeazzi said.

Topper will be honored during the April 6 keynote luncheon, which runs from 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 
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