(UPDATED COVERAGE, Aug. 6) MONTEREY, Calif. — Produce Marketing Association Foundation for Industry Talent’s fundraising efforts were off to a running start at the association’s annual Foodservice Conference & Exhibition July 31.

UPDATED: PMA foundation events raise money

Ashley Bentley

Racers listen to a description of the route before setting off on a 3.1-mile run to benefit the Produce Marketing Association's Foundation for Industry Talent at the association's annual Foodservice Conference & Exposition July 31.

A pack of conference attendees participated in the foundation’s first-ever FIT 5K at the foodservice show. Participants contributed an entry fee to support the foundation.

The top male finishers were:

  • Todd Laurence, HarvestMark, Redwood City, Calif.;
  • Richard Downey, Markon Cooperative, Salinas, Calif.; and
  • Justin Guibert, Christopher Ranch, Gilroy, Calif.

The top female finishers were:

  • Stephanie Owen, Veg-Fresh Farms LLC, Anaheim, Calif.;
  • Kristin Stinavage, Culinary Institute of America, St. Helena, Calif.; and
  • Amber Oliveira, Christopher Ranch.

The foundation had its first 5K fundraiser at the PMA Fresh Summit conference last year. Its next race is scheduled for Oct. 15 at Fresh Summit 2010 in Orlando, Fla.

At its fifth annual golf tournament, the foundation raised more than $36,000, Bryan Silbermann, PMA president, announced at the conference’s opening session.

Fresh Perspectives

The association had its annual Fresh Perspectives women's networking event after the conference July 31. The event was sponsored by Freshway Foods, Sidney, Ohio.

“It’s a great networking event, a great chance to catch up with industry folks,” said Nichole Towell, marketing development manager for Duda Farm Fresh Foods. “And everyone really comes together for the charities.”

Soles for Souls benefited from the event. Conference attendees donated more than 900 pairs of shoes to the charity over the weekend.

“I’m looking forward to what’s going to be the next because of how this generation of women are going to mentor the next generation of women in the industry,” said Dan Purdy, vice president of sales and marketing for Freshway Foods.