TORONTO — So busy preparing for the 2009 Canadian Produce Marketing Association’s annual convention, outgoing chairwoman Beth Pattillo had little time to dwell on the fact the last day of the event coincided with her birthday, or time to ponder who might be winning The Packer’s Produce Man or Woman of the Year award May 8.



Imagine her surprise when she began to realize The Packer’s publisher Shannon Shuman’s introduction was about her.

“I’ve been so focused on getting everything done, (I hadn’t thought about it),” said Pattillo, marketing director of Nova Scotia-based Kings Produce Ltd., and Noggins Farm, a business celebrating its 250th year.

“It just blew me away. I had no idea,” she said. “It was quite something. It’s incredible. It’s just such an honor to be among all the fabulous past winners. I almost can’t describe it.”

Seated next to her husband, Andrew Bishop, who turned to her and asked, “Are you OK?” Pattillo replied, “I think so,” although she found herself visibly shaking even several moments after she accepted the award.

“If history is any guide, this year’s recipient, undoubtedly, will continue to provide an energetic spark for the Canadian produce industry,” Shuman said during his presentation.

“Most recently, she served as the first female CPMA chair in the 84-year history of the organization and, as one member states fondly, ‘she has ensured we have purged the word ‘man,’ from the title ‘chairman.’”

Since she became a CPMA board member in 1998, Pattillo has helped drive numerous important political, economic and strategic initiatives at the association.

Canadian Produce Woman of the Year 'blown away' by award
Beth Pattillo, marketing director of Nova Scotia-based Kings Produce Ltd., and Noggins Farm, accepts the Produce Woman of the Year award May 8 from Shannon Shuman, publisher of The Packer.