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Stacey Nelson steering Rosemont's marketing machine

With two degrees from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL " one in marketing and another in management " 25-year-old Stacey Nelson is leading the way in marketing for Boca Raton-based Rosemont Farms Corp.

As Rosemont?s marketing coordinator, Ms. Nelson has been handling and directing the company?s marketing efforts since she was hired in mid-April.

That includes "dealing with ads," attending trade shows such as the PMA Foodservice Conference, "product promotion ... [and] trying to get the brand recognition out there," she said.

Of the PMA Foodservice Conference held July 24-26, she said, "It was a great experience. It was a great chance to meet a lot of people. It brought it all together." She also noted her appreciation for Rosemont?s trust in her and her abilities. "They have the faith in me to already be sending me to the West Coast to represent the company."

She added, "When I first started, it took a little while to catch on? to the produce industry and the way it works. However, she grew up in the rural Florida community Okeechobee, where "a lot of my friends owned dairy farms and raised cattle." So agriculture was not entirely unfamiliar to Ms. Nelson.

As for the marketing aspect of her job, that did not take any getting used to. She had been doing "some marketing work for some other organizations? before joining Rosemont. She said that "finding a job [after graduation] was difficult. But as far as this company was concerned, not having any bad workplace habits ... or preconceived notions ... was good."

Ms. Nelson draws from a well of experience to do her job best. Her first employment was with a pharmacy. She earned her pharmacy technician certification, which she still holds and maintains with continuing education. That job from her youth taught her "how to work with people, how to handle problems on a case-by-case basis," as well as patience. Additionally, she said, "I enjoy being a consumer, so this is second nature for me."

Of Rosemont, she said that she was attracted to the company as "a group of people that I could relate to," and noted that there are "a lot of younger people in the industry." She also added that at Rosemont, "sometimes it doesn?t seem like work. The people here are great. It's like a family."

When not working on Rosemont?s marketing, Ms. Nelson enjoys traveling and sports. She attended the 2003 World Series and cheered her Florida Marlins to victory over the New York Yankees. She is also a "huge? fan of the Miami Dolphins as well as the Boston Red Sox.

A few days after The Produce News spoke with Ms. Nelson, she headed off for two weeks on a "great trip? to Costa Rica for a friend?s wedding. Other places to which she has traveled include trips for Rosemont to the PMA convention in Anaheim, CA, and to the organization?s foodservice show in Monterrey, CA. She has also visited Boston "in an attempt to flee the hurricanes? that devastated Florida last fall. Ms. Nelson also travels to New York City "a lot? to visit her family. "Since July, I have done a lot of traveling," she said.

Ms. Nelson has a boyfriend, and travel can be straining on a relationship. However, "He is really cool with it," she said, noting that he is very supportive. Being young and a woman in the produce industry sets Ms. Nelson apart somewhat.

?It actually gives me a leg up," she said. "Some people would be intimidated, but it doesn?t bother me."

She also noted that she fits in well, citing watching the New York Yankees battle the Boston Red Sox in a bar at the Anaheim PMA convention in October, cheering alongside mostly men. "I'm a huge baseball fan," she said.