YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. — Members of the Southeast Produce Council fondly remembered Terry Vorhees, the organization’s co-founder and first director.
During the SEPC’s Sept. 24-27 fall conference, leaders paid tribute to Vorhees who died July 30 at the age of 64 after a short battle with lung cancer.
Vorhees’ many friends said their goodbyes and credited him with creating one of the industry’s most successful regional produce organizations.
“Without Terry Vorhees, there would not be a Southeast Produce Council,” said Andrew Scott, director of marketing and business development for Atlanta-based Nickey Gregory Co. LLC.
The organization is in its 15th year and during a Sept. 26 general session, Scott, the council’s immediate past president, hailed Vorhees as a leader who inspired SEPC members to expand industry involvement.
“Without his committed vision and seamless efforts, the council would not have grown to the powerful force it has become,” he said. “There’s no way we can replace a man like Terry. He left an indelible mark that will guide this organization for years to come and he will live forever in the hearts of those who have been privileged to call him friend.”
At the Sept. 25 opening reception, attendees remembered him by releasing balloons in his honor.
The balloons set sail at sundown at the Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa’s sunset pavilion.
David Sherrod, the council’s new executive director, read Isaiah 40:31, a favorite Bible verse of Vorhees which states those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength and soar on wings like eagles.
“This is in remembrance of our friend,” Sherrod said. “We love you, Terry.”
Council members are funding a pediatric intensive care room at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in his name.
“Terry will live on forever in a bunch of us, but we’re wanting to bless those less fortunate by a council that’s been blessed in more ways,” said Tommy Wilkins, director of sales and business development for Louisville, Ky.-based Grow Farms Texas LLC.