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United Fresh announces retirement of Claudia Wenzing

Claudia Wenzing, who is well known for her work in forging partnerships with produce companies at the United Fresh Produce Association and, before that, the Produce for Better Health Foundation, retired July 15.

Ms. Wenzing left her post after three years serving as United Fresh’s vice president of business development, and the association has yet to make a final decision on restaffing the position, said Ray Gilmer, United Fresh’s vice president of communications.

“She saw this as an opportunity to spend time with a new grandchild,” he said.

“In a very short period of time, Claudia has become a friend to everyone here, which those of us who have known her for many more years were certain to be the case,” United Fresh President Tom Stenzel said in a July 15 statement to members. “Her impact on our association and the produce industry overall will be long-lasting both for accomplishments raising funds for important efforts of PBH and the United Fresh Foundation, but also for the personal friendships and relationships established.”

Ms. Wenzing was in charge of business development and fostered partnerships with produce companies and firms outside the industry, Mr. Gilmer said.

For example, she played a key role in Bayer CropScience’s move to fund the Center for Global Produce Sustainability in 2009, he said.

“Her role was to find opportunities for synergy with other companies,” Mr. Gilmer explained.

Previously, she served as development director for the Produce for Better Health Foundation from 1996-2000, and then as vice president of development for the foundation until 2008. She was responsible for fund-raising campaigns and working with industry members to support the foundation.

United Fresh also announced the hiring of Shannon Young as education manager. She will work with Victoria Backer, senior vice president of member services, on the industry’s leadership program.

Ms. Young came to United from the Council on Social Work Education, where she worked on the group’s educational programs. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Radford University.