CERRITOS, CA — The annual Southern California Fresh Produce & Floral Council membership luncheon featuring the City of Hope drew a huge audience of produce professionals to the Sheraton Cerritos Hotel here on Wednesday, Aug. 6. Through donations, rebate programs and raffle tickets, the Food Industries Circle produce and floral division raised more than $211,000 for the City of Hope, a world leader in the research and treatment of cancer and other serious diseases.
Umina Bros. Produce received the City of Hope Spirit Award for its tireless efforts. Dino Iacovino of Altar Produce gave an emotional speech about the City of Hope and how it was integral in his wife’s successful battle against cancer. He also described his own cancer journey and the modern technology that saved his life.
In addition, the City of Hope’s Dr. Raynald Samoa told the audience about the importance of nutrition and exercise, and how both are paramount in the prevention of cancer, diabetes and other diseases.
Andrea Santos and Lindsay Sweeney of Renaissance Food Group.
Cheryl Kennick of City of Hope, Kristyn Lawson of PSM and Tom Huls of Chosen Foods.
Ambar Rodriguez and Kori Martin of Oppy.
Jeff Fish of Western Mixers with Troy Le Cheminant of Westlake Produce Co.
Alis Ortiz of 99 Cent Store and Art Salazar of Valley Produce.
Jeff Yungfleisch and Matt Sturgeon of J.O. Yungfleisch Insurance.
LeighAnne Thomsen of Calavo Growers and Mark Munger of 4EARTH Farms.
Jeff Miller and Bill Brooks of Westlake Produce Co.
Brian Cook of Pete’s Living Greens and Dick Spezzano of Spezzano Consulting Services.
Rachelle Schulken of Renaissance Food Group and Connie Stukenberg of California Avocado Commission.
Paul Villa, Cheyenne Long and Randy Rettler of Great West Produce.
Rick Cruz of Pavilions and Armando Mendez of Impact Group.
Jack Gyben of Progressive Produce Co. and Chris Puentes of Interfresh.
Dan Kass and Bill Hammerstrom of AC Foods flank Jen Caesar and Larry Larson of Dimetri Gardikas Produce.
Zac Benedict, Angela Fraser and Stacia Kierulff of the California Avocado Commission.
Richard Flamminio (center) of Umina Bros. accepts the City of Hope Spirit Award on behalf of the company. Seen with him are Kent Kuwata of Smart & Final with Amber Flamminio, Melanie Flamminio and Zack Mahoney.
Dino Iacovino of Altar Produce detailed how the City of Hope helped save his wife’s life.
Kent Kuwata of Smart & Final and luncheon emcee presented a donation check to Cheryl Kennick and Dr. Raynold Samoa of City of Hope.
Mike Dittenber, Christina Dittenber and Phil Warren of Warren Packaging.
Rick Illig of Henry Avocado with Craig Smith and Brandon Gritter of Interfresh.
Connie Stukenberg of the California Avocado Commission, John Savidan of Gelson’s Markets, Amanda Grillo of CMC Sales & Marketing and Kellee Harris of The Giumarra Cos.
MaryAnn Gunther of Perimeter Sales & Merchandising with Tyson Billingsley of Del Monte Fresh.
Blair Butterworth of Grimmway Farms.
Fernando Azevedo of Gourmet Garden, Nancy Hamilton of Advantage Fresh, Sheryl Beecroft of Gourmet Garden and Bruce Flanigan of Advantage Fresh.