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NEWARK, DE -- The Produce Marketing Association hired its first Central America representative, Felipe Perez, on Oct. 1. His addition to the PMA team reflects a growing membership base in Central America and the association's commitment to connecting the global produce and floral community.

In this role, Mr. Perez will assist in the development and implementation of PMA's strategic member activities and resources in the region including membership recruitment and retention, providing information about this market, training and marketing. He will attend PMA's 2010 Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition in Orlando, FL, where PMA members from around the world will have the chance to meet and talk with him.

"Felipe's broad experience and ample contacts will augment PMA's activities in the region," Nancy Tucker, PMA's vice president of global business development, said in an Oct. 11 press release. "PMA is committed at the highest level to increasing service to our members globally, and that starts with building connections and alliances in priority regions. Working with Felipe will help us better explore together how PMA can bring value to businesses in Central America."

Through his consulting activities and his part-time professorship at INCAE Business School, often called the Harvard Business School of Latin America, Mr. Perez has developed extensive networking and event expertise in the region. His connections with INCAE facilitated the compilation of valuable intelligence on the needs of each country in the region. He has solicited funding for activities through contacts in the finance and agricultural sectors, and has been responsible for promotion and communication aspects of various activities.

His notable consulting projects have included a hydroelectric project in Costa Rica, developing and marketing organic fertilizer, and modernizing the operations of coffee and meat producers. His focus on local development is evidenced by his work with the government in El Salvador in setting up projects to receive the first Millennium Challenge money in Central America. He has also led environmental evaluations of an extensive project regarding the expansion of the Panama Canal.

"Our relationship with Felipe will strengthen the solutions PMA offers businesses in the region," Ms. Tucker said in the release. "PMA provides a range of benefits including global connections, research and information, and other produce-specific business resources. In return, PMA and our membership learn and grow from our global members' expertise and perspective. Felipe will be an integral part of this link between PMA and its members in Central America."