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PMA mourns the loss of Don Nucci

(Produce Marketing Association President Bryan Silbermann released the following statement Sept. 6.)

NEWARK, DE -- The produce industry lost a true leader and innovator with the sudden death of Don Nucci, co-chairman of Mann Packing.

PMA staff and volunteer leaders extend our sincere condolences to his wife, Joan, his three daughters -- Lorri, DeeDee and Gina -- his stepson, Nathan Jenkins, his daughter-in-law, Debbie Nucci, his grandchildren and the entire family of Mann Packing employees.

Don's leadership in the 1970s and 1980s played a crucial role in the development of our modern-day produce industry. As chairman of PMA's Nutrition Marketing Task Force, he pioneered and funded the very first, groundbreaking nutrition research that heralded the benefits of eating broccoli. This research, done in collaboration with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, paved the way for additional PMA nutrition research and led ultimately to the 5 A Day for Better Health program and the current produce nutrition database in use nationwide.

Don later served on the PMA board of directors and was among the pioneers who recognized early on the potential of the foodservice segment. His personal and professional legacy will be measured by innovation, an unwavering commitment to his colleagues and the produce industry and by the talented children who continue his tradition.

Some say Don was instrumental in making broccoli an integral part of the American meal. I will always remember him for his desire to make a difference without calling attention to himself, for his desire to have those closest to him share his passion for this produce business, and for his humility above all else.