Jan Berk, chief operating officer of San Miguel Produce Inc., will be the honoree and featured speaker at the Women in Produce Breakfast General Session June 12 at the United Fresh 2019 Convention & Expo in Chicago as the traditional reception elevates to a breakfast, allowing more industry professionals to attend and be inspired.
The annual celebration of Women in Produce recognizes the contributions of all women working in the produce industry and selects one individual to share her personal experience of service. The featured speaker is selected from nominations submitted by United Fresh members across the industry. Nominations are evaluated by a committee of past honorees and United Fresh officers based on the candidate’s involvement in the industry, contributions to the industry and inspiration for others working in the industry.
“For more than 20 years, our Women in Produce honorees have always provided an inspiring look into successful pathways in our industry,” United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel said. “Jan has such a rich career and personal story to share with our attendees that I know she will inspire yet another generation of produce leaders.”
Berk joined San Miguel Produce full time in 2002 and initially focused much of her efforts on sales, marketing and rebranding San Miguel’s value-added product line, Cut ‘N Clean Greens. Nearly 25 years ago, San Miguel launched Cut ‘N Clean Greens as the first specialty dark leafy greens on the market. It has become one of the leading brands of specialty greens in North America, offering multiple varieties of organic and conventional bulk and fresh-cut greens.
Berk became a partner at San Miguel Produce in 2006 with founder Roy Nishimori and expanded her role to include oversight of company operations as COO. She and Nishimori have made it a priority to create and sustain a fully integrated food-safe and quality-of-life work culture at the growing family-owned company.
Berk has served on a variety of ag and community boards and organizations, including as chairwoman of United Fresh’s Fresh-Cut Board, a member of the United Fresh Executive Committee and Board of Directors and a Ventura County Farm Bureau board member. Berk serves on Farm Credit West’s Local Advisory Committee and as vice-chairwoman for the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement.
Berk will join a distinguished group of past honorees including:
- Dan’l Mackey Almy, DMA Solutions, Inc.
- Tonya Antle, Organic Produce Network
- Frieda Rapoport Caplan, Frieda’s Inc.
- Karen Caplan, Frieda’s Inc.
- Margaret D’Arrigo Martin, Margaret Inc.
- Jan DeLyser, California Avocado Commission
- Lorelei, DiSogra, United Fresh Produce Association
- Jan Fleming, Strube Celery & Vegetable Co.
- Janice Honigberg, Sun Belle Inc.
- Cindy Jewell, California Giant Berry Farms
- Lorri Koster, Koster Communications, Coastal Grower Magazine
- Julie Krivanek, Krivanek Consulting Inc.
- Kathleen Nave, California Table Grape Commission
- Lisa McNeece, Grimmway Enterprises Inc.
- Teri Miller, The Fresh Market
- Dr. Martha Rhodes-Roberts, Roberts Associates
- Steffanie Smith, Andrew Smith Co.
- Heather Shavey, Costco Wholesale
- Mayda Sotomayor-Kirk, Seald Sweet International/Greenyard USA
- Rosemary Talley, Talley Farms
- Jenney Tenney, The Kroger Co.