(Sept. 3, 12:25 p.m.) The Produce Marketing Association Education Foundation’s board members decided the foundation’s name was too generic and opted to change it. The new name, the PMA Foundation for Industry Talent, or PMA FIT, and a new logo became official Aug. 28.

Cindy Seel, executive director of PMA FIT, said the board discussed potential names in early August, and then voted via e-mail ballot to choose the winner.

“As we talked more and more about what we want to do and what our goals are, one word kept coming up, and that was ‘talent,’” Seel said. “Our goal is to get strong talent and leadership for our industry.”

The foundation, which was established in 2006, will also debut a new program at PMA’s Fresh Summit 2008 in Orlando, Fla. The foundation has three interview rooms reserved at the event for a career fair, which is part of its Career Pathways programs.

Fifteen produce companies are set to participate in the pilot program this year.

“When we released the program, we were literally sold out in three minutes,” Seel said, referring to the amount of time it took to find 15 companies to fill the slots.

The Career Pathways program recruits students from agribusiness, business and food marketing programs from seven U.S. and five international universities and colleges. Its purpose is to provide students with introductions to the industry and to fund their attendance at industry events, Seel said. The Career Pathways program will celebrate its fifth anniversary this year.

Coral Gables, Fla.-based Banacol Marketing Corp. is one of the companies participating at the PMA career fair. Bill Sheridan, executive vice president of sales and marketing, said the company is in the process of looking for another sales person and is using the career fair as one tool.

“We’re looking to find the right talent and find people to fit our company,” Sheridan said.

This year’s pilot program does not cost anything for participating companies.

PMA FIT is also still heavy into its “Our Industry … Our People” campaign, which has a goal of raising $5 million. Seel said the company has raised $3.2 million so far. The campaign, which launched in June 2007, should run until April.

“That $5 million is set up to get us through, and by that time, we should have built programs to start getting us some revenue,” Seel said.

Seel said the foundation is also planning to unveil its strategic plan for the future at Fresh Summit.

“We’ve got so many programs we’re developing,” Seel said. “I think you’re going to hear more and more as we get our message out.”