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PMA taps 30-year retail veteran as president

Cathy Green Burns will join the Produce Marketing Association as president, effective Dec. 1, as part of its continuing restructure of the senior leadership team. In this new role, which further strengthens the staff’s blend of association management and industry expertise, Green Burns will focus initially on leading board and staff team development as well as lending her insight to business development activities. She will report to PMA Chief Executive Officer Bryan Silbermann, greenbCathy Green Burnswho previously held both president and CEO positions.

“Cathy brings to PMA an unparalleled level of leadership skills and industry knowledge that are vital as we continue growing the value we provide our members,” Silbermann said in a press release. “She’ll play a crucial role supporting the rollout of our new strategic plan, especially in helping members grow in the midst of so much change in our consumer and trade marketplaces. I’ve known Cathy for more than a decade and have especially admired her leadership presence and consensus-building skills. The talent she’s honed in running Food Lion will take us to even greater heights in the years ahead.”

"I am honored to be joining the PMA team,” Green Burns said in the release. "I look forward to working with PMA's board, members and associates to pursue issues of importance to the produce industry and to fulfill the noble mission of this great organization. With strong core values as a foundation, I am excited to be a part of an organization that is making a difference to inspire healthy eating across the world."

“The officers and staff of PMA have met Cathy and we are thrilled with the talent and expertise she brings to the organization and our members," Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing for the California Avocado Commission and chairman of PMA’s board of directors, added in the release. "She is held in the highest regard with a depth of experience and perspective that will contribute greatly to PMA’s future growth. She is the perfect addition, the epitome of a principled, courageous leader, qualities that match PMA’s core values and blend very well with Bryan and the rest of our senior management team. We also are thrilled that Cathy will be joining us onsite at PMA’s annual Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition, in New Orleans this October prior to her official start in December.”

Green Burns is a 30-year supermarket industry veteran, during which time she’s held a host of senior-level positions starting with Hannaford Brothers and then Food Lion. Until December 2012, she most recently served as president of the Food Lion banner with its 1,200 retail stores where she was responsible for overall operations, including financial performance, brand strategy, merchandising, marketing, communications and customer service. She earned a bachelor’s degree in management and marketing from the University of Maine and completed coursework in strategic retail management at the College of William & Mary. Green Burns served as chair of the Produce Traceability Initiative’s leadership council and also chaired the Coca-Cola research council. She is also a past board member of the Network of Executive Women and serves as the current chair of the board of governors of Children’s Miracle Hospital Network as well as the board of Duke Children’s Hospital.