ANAHEIM, Calif. â Jack Pandol Sr., chairman emeritus of Pandol Bros. Inc., Delano, Calif., has been selected to receive the Bernardo OâHiggins Presidential Order of Merit from the Chilean government.
Angelica Pandol (from left), Rodrigo Echeverria, chairman of the Fresh Fruit Growers Federation of Chile; Ronald Bown, chairman of the Chilean Exporters Association; Bryan Silbermann, PMA president; Andrew Pandol, John Pandol, and Jose Manuel Lira, Chilean counsel general in Los Angeles, were at Fresh Summitâs International Partners reception to honor Jack Pandol Sr. with the Bernando OâHiggins Presidential Merit from the Chilean government.
The award â the highest designation the Chilean government can give to a private individual â was announced at the Produce Marketing Associationâs International Partners reception Oct. 4.
The Chilean Exporters Association and PMA also bestowed a lifetime achievement award on Pandol.
âIt is a great honor and a privilege to recognize what Jack Pandol has done for our country and the business,â said Ronald Bown, chairman of the Chilean Exporters Association, Santiago.
Bryan Silbermann, PMA president and chief executive officer, recounted a story that exemplifies Pandolâs drive and determination.
After the pair had finished dining in a Newark, Del., restaurant in January 1986, Pandol asked the waitress for some fresh fruit.
âYou canât get fresh fruit at this time of year,â the waitress replied.
That was the wrong answer to give Pandol, Silbermann said.
Pandol went to the port and picked up cases of red and green grapes and some peaches and asked Silbermann to deliver them to the chef.
âIt is because of Jack and that kind of persistence and that refusal to accept ânoâ as an answer that really marked his career,â Silbermann said. âHis actions say a lot about the growth of the Chilean industry and how âthe entire global network of countries is now trading.â
âJack was a pioneer in that,â he said.
Protocol dictates the Chilean award must be presented personally, and because the 86-year-old Pandol could not attend the reception for health reasons, the Chilean counsel general will present it at a later date.