Three generations of women in the Frieda’s Specialty Produce family recently earned recognition for their accomplishments.

Frieda’s founder Frieda Rapoport Caplan was awarded with an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters on June 14 at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s commencement ceremony, according to a news release. The award honored her achievement as one of the nation’s most successful female entrepreneurs for introducing exotic produce to supermarkets and revolutionizing the produce industry.

Three generations of Frieda’s women recognized“It was a great privilege to present Frieda with this degree in recognition of her visionary leadership in the agricultural business industry,” Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong said in the release.

Frieda’s vice president and chief operating officer Jackie Caplan Wiggins, Caplan’s daughter, was at the ceremony, missing the announcement of the award she was given at the United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program Alumni Reunion dinner in Chicago. She received the “Timothy Vaux Outstanding Alumni Leadership Award” by fellow graduates of the leadership program for exceptional leadership achievements.

“Jackie is the embodiment of exceptional leadership, passion, and dedication,” said Victoria Backer, United’s SVP of Member Services, in the release. “She is the type of person you depend on. She doesn’t take on responsibilities unless she knows she can come through, and when she does, she does it whole-heartedly.”

Wiggins was in the first class of the leadership program in 2005. Her niece, Alex Jackson, sales account manager and daughter of Karen Caplan, president and chief executive officer of Frieda’s, joins this year’s class in July.