MONTREAL — A visionary who leads by example, The Packer’s 2011 Canadian Produce Man of the Year is well known for his calm and collected demeanor.

Jim DiMenna, president of Leamington, Ontario-based JD Marketing, Golden Gem and JEM D International, lived up to his reputation as he accepted the award from The Packer’s Publisher Shannon Shuman on April 15 at the Canadian Produce Marketing Association’s annual convention.

“I don’t know what to say,” DiMenna said. “It’s a dream. I probably sat through every Man of the Year award since I’ve been here and everyone who has gotten one has been so deserving of it.”

“To get one myself is extremely humbling,” he said. “I really don’t know what to say.”

Shuman said DiMenna is well known for exceptional service, putting customers at the center of his business.

“His common motto for retail customers is ‘Give us your greatest challenge, and we will exceed your expectations,’” Shuman said. “He cares about every link in the supply chain, retailers and growers alike. Whether it is a farm of 2 or 200 acres or a retailer with eight or 800 stores, he treats them all with the utmost respect and gives them equal attention.”

DiMenna started his first business, JD Marketing, in 1990, growing hydroponic vegetables in Leamington.

He expanded his business, to establish distribution the U.S. retail market in 2003 with JEM D International and in 2008, the company partnered with Mexican greenhouse grower El Rosal take his operations year-round.

DiMenna also is an active member of industry organizations, serving on the CPMA board since 1996 and the CPMA Executive Committee for the past six years.

He also serves on the Produce Traceability Initiative’s Leadership Council, putting his business on the forefront of food safety measures.

Greenhouse grower garners Canadian Produce Man of the Year

Pamela Riemenschneider

Jim DiMenna (left) accepts The Packer’s Canadian Produce Man of the Year Award from Publisher Shannon Shuman.