Lisa McNeece will be the featured speaker at the May 15 United Fresh Produce Association’s Women in Produce reception at the group’s convention in San Diego.

“It is a tremendous honor to be part of this outstanding event that celebrates women in the produce industry,” McNeece, vice president, foodservice and industrial sales for Bakersfield, Calif.-based Grimmway Enterprises Inc., said in a news release from United Fresh.

Joining Grimmway in 1991 to coordinate sales and production for newly introduced baby peeled carrots, McNeece has helped navigate the category’s dramatic growth, according to the release. In her current role, McNeece directs business development, including bulk sales of carrots to processors.

McNeece is on the United Fresh board of directors and its nutrition and health council, and is as co-chairwoman of the Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools campaign. In the past she was on the Produce Marketing Association’s board of directors, foodservice board, and the Foundation for Industry Talent campaign committee. Other service, according to the release, includes stints on the Produce for Better Health Foundation’s executive and foundation boards and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s fruit and vegetable industry advisory committee. She was the 2008 Packer’s Foodservice Achievement Award recipient and is a Packer 25 industry leader honoree.

“Lisa’s passion for the industry is evident in her continued leadership and creative business development,” Tom Stenzel, president of United Fresh, said in the release. “She always has the big picture in mind and recognizes that what is good for the industry is great for Grimmway.”

The annual Women in Produce reception is May 15 at the San Diego Convention Center. Tickets are required for the event, as part of a convention package registration or purchased on site for $50, according to the release.

Past honorees include:

  • Dan’l Mackey Almy, DMA Solutions Inc.;
  • Tonya Antle, Tanimura & Antle;
  • Frieda Rapoport Caplan, Frieda’s Inc.;
  • Margaret D’Arrigo, Taylor Farms Inc. ;
  • Jan DeLyser, California Avocado Commission;
  • Jan Fleming, Strube Celery & Vegetable Co.;
  • Janice Honigberg, Sun Belle Inc.;
  • Lorri Koster, Mann Packing Co,;
  • Kathleen Nave, California Table Grape Commission;
  • Martha Rhodes-Roberts, University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences;
  • Steffanie Smith, River Point Farms LLC;
  • Heather Shavey, Costco Wholesale;
  • Mayda Sotomayor-Kirk, Seald Sweet International;
  • Rosemary Talley, Talley Farms; and
  • Jenney Tenney, The Kroger Co.