How 2020 should inform your strategy and goals for 2021 and beyond

How 2020 should inform your strategy and goals for 2021 and beyond

Five produce industry veterans who now specialize in consulting will discuss at the online West Coast Produce Expo how company leaders should adapt their business models, strategies and goals for 2021 and beyond in the wake of massive disruption this year.


This keynote session will open the event, debuting at 11 a.m. CST Nov. 10. The speakers on the panel will be:

  • Cindy Jewell, Jewell Marketing
  • Julie Krivanek, Krivanek Consulting
  • Mike O’Brien, O’Brien Innovations
  • Bruce Peterson, Peterson Insights
  • Dick Spezzano, Spezzano Consulting Service

Peterson is a 48-year veteran of the produce industry, best known for his tenure as Walmart’s senior vice president of perishables. After retiring from Walmart in 2007, Peterson served as CEO of Naturipe Farms and later as CEO of Bland Farms. The Packer honored Peterson in 1997 as its Produce Marketer of the Year, and he served as the chairman of the Produce Marketing Association in 2002. He has also served on the board of the United Fresh Produce Association.

Jewell has been in the industry for more than 25 years. Before starting her own business in 2020, she held roles including vice president of marketing for California Giant Berry Farms and executive vice president of the California Strawberry Commission. Jewell has also served in myriad volunteer leadership roles for the industry, including as the chairwoman of the board of United Fresh for 2018-2019. She has also been a board member for the Alliance for Food & Farming and for the Salinas Grower-Shipper Association. Jewell was also the co-founder and director of the Tour de Fresh, an industry event that has raised nearly $1 million for Salad Bars to Schools. Jewell is also a recipient of the Women in Produce award from United Fresh.

Spezzano’s tenure as a consultant began in the late 1990s following a long career in produce retail, including more than a decade as an executive for Vons. Spezzano was named Produce Marketer of the Year in 1993 and served as chairman of PMA in 1995. PMA awarded Spezzano the Robert L. Carey Leadership Award in 2014.

Krivanek’s company, which has been advising clients in the fresh produce industry for more than 25 years, offers services including board of directors engagements; board and executive team strategy retreats; mergers and acquisitions strategy and integration; and strategic plan development. Other specialties of the firm include business model transformation, marketplace analysis and executive leadership. Krivanek received the Women in Produce award from United Fresh in 2016.

O’Brien worked at Schnuck Markets for more than 40 years, including as vice president of produce and floral. PMG (formerly Produce Retailer) recognized O’Brien as Produce Retailer of the Year in 2004, and The Packer named him Produce Marketer of the Year in 2009. Following his retirement from Schnucks in 2014, O’Brien served as vice president of sales and marketing for Monterey Mushrooms. He also served as chairman of PMA’s board of directors in 2011. PMA awarded O’Brien the Robert L. Carey Leadership Award in 2012.

Register here for free attendance to The Packer's West Coast Produce Expo.