Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak has always been a fan of the Produce for Better Health Foundation. Now, she is responsible for helping to steer the foundation forward into a new era.
Reinhardt Kapsak was appointed president and CEO of PBH in February 2017, succeeding long-time CEO Elizabeth Pivonka.
She already has big goals.
“My hope and dream for PBH is that it would be seen as a premier organization that is that is making fruit and vegetable consumption a priority in America, and that it is seen as a partner of choice not only by the produce industry but by anyone who has the shared vision for a healthier America,” she said.
Before coming to PBH, Reinhardt Kapsak worked for 12 years at the International Food Information Council. The group worked with PBH on a number of issues, including the Dietary Guidelines Alliance, which was focused on making dietary guidance actionable for consumers.
Reinhardt Kapsak also was global lead for food, nutrition and health partnerships at Monsanto Co.
“I am a long-standing supporter of PBH and those two perspectives — collaborator and industry supporter — provided me with a unique perspective to lead the organization for the next 25-plus years.”
As a registered dietitian, Reinhardt Kapsak said she loves the role of promoting produce. And she said she is leading PBH with a sense of urgency, and making sure that the organization changes with the times.
A 2019 refresh to the PBH campaign — boldly embracing the challenge of doubling fruit and vegetable consumption — is straight ahead.
“The world is changing at a very rapid pace, and change is constant and evolution is necessary,” she said.
One leading produce marketer said Reinhardt Kapsak has been moving fast, and with purpose, at PBH.
“Wendy is a great collaborator in a diverse industry, which will bring us huge success,” said Roger Pepperl, director of marketing at Stemilt Growers, Wenatchee, Wash. Pepperl said Reinhardt Kapsak will take PBH to new heights.
Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing for Del Monte Fresh Produce NA, Coral Gables, Fla., said Reinhardt Kapsak is a dynamic leader with an innate ability to motivate diverse audiences and stakeholders to align behind the common goals of PBH.
“Since she took over the leadership role in PBH, she has been instrumental in formulating and executing a bold new strategy aimed at rejuvenating PBH, making it relevant to all stakeholders and ensuring its success for the next 25 years,” he said.
Reinhardt Kapsak said focusing 100% on promoting fruit and vegetable consumption is a dietitian’s dream role.
“In a swamp of less healthful options for consumers, produce is that beacon of light that saying, look at me and I have so much to offer you.”
She seems prepared to push PBH to change and grow in its industry role and bring those from both within and outside the industry to support the vision.
“It’s no longer the time for hand-wringing about consumption or the lack of collaboration,” she said.
“Now is the time to stand and to coalesce around the common vision and recognize each organization, company or individual (is) a part of this,” she said.
“That’s the exciting part — engaging lots of different stakeholders around a common goal and mission and driving against our objectives and building something together.”