Want to groom a rising star employee to help lead your company into tomorrow? Then have them apply today to participate in Center for Growing Talent Emerging Leaders Program, which will get under way in March. CGT will once again partner with University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management to conduct this eight-month program only for the fresh produce and floral industry. Apply before the Feb. 1 deadline, as this program typically sells out.
“Our companies and our industry are facing a massive talent challenge, worse than many other industries. To attract, develop and retain the talent your company needs to succeed, make leadership development a priority,” said CGT Board of Directors Chair Marty Craner, president of B&C Sales.
The Emerging Leaders Program is designed specifically to groom young industry professionals who have exceptional potential. This rigorous, multifaceted program equips these promising leaders with both a big picture business framework and the hands-on, real world techniques they will need to work with and lead others to drive your organization’s — and our industry’s — future success. By the end of the program, participants will have honed their leadership competencies in core business functional areas, and be ready to address industry issues.
The program begins with an intensive, four-and-a-half-day session to be held March 10-14 on campus at the University of Arizona. It then continues with ongoing online learning and a professional coaching session, then concludes with a capstone course held in conjunction with PMA’s Fresh Summit in October. This particular CGT program uses a combination of cutting-edge educational techniques, including classroom and online instruction, simulations, case studies, and group exercises and discussions. Teachers include Eller College of Management professors as well as industry leaders.
Who should apply
The ideal participant for the Emerging Leaders Program is aged 27-35, and has five to 10 years of work experience. Center for Growing Talent looks for emerging leaders who have backgrounds that cross business functions, and who hail from across the fresh produce and floral supply chain from farm to point of sale.
“We want those young professionals who are already thinking beyond their current job description,” said CGT Vice President of Talent Portfolio Alicia Calhoun. “Senior management shouldn’t wait for a volunteer to step forward, they should proactively identify candidates to send to this training.”
Employers cite real business value
The Emerging Leaders Program offers real value to both participants and the companies they work for.
Domex Superfresh Growers President Robert Kershaw regularly sends employees to participate in the program, and likens it to getting a master’s degree — at a much better value. “It’s made them better team members. Most of our participants have moved up in the company,” said Kershaw.
Wonderful Sales President Kurt Vetter notes the program increases participants’ industry awareness. “Enhancing their skill level and connection to the industry is a super valuable investment,” he said.
Kingdom Fresh Produce Jaime Garcia says his company was able to turn around a company exodus partly by sending employees to CGT’s Emerging Leaders Program. He notes that learning from other companies’ experiences and best practices has “a big return on investment.”
Participants see a range of benefits
Alumni of the Emerging Leaders Program say they receive a broad range of benefits from their participation. They acquire the knowledge outside of their immediate discipline that they need to advance and lead, and they build professional networks that will serve them for their entire careers.
2017 program alumna Sandra White with Titan Farms Sales reports, “I gained the ability to see more angles and considerations [across our entire business], which has helped me make better decisions… The program also reinforced my people and sales skills.”
2015 program alumnus Joe Klick credits the program for helping him to reach the next level of his potential. “Because of all I experienced through the program, I’ve been able to show leadership in my company. It’s helped me to continue to grow in my career.” He has moved from assistant to senior product manager for Naturipe.
2016 program alumnus Jacob Krempel calls the opportunity to build a network across the supply chain “invaluable.” “Even though I grew up the industry, I didn’t truly understand the value of building connections until I went through the program.” He says what he learned helped him to make a seamless transition from a retail job to a new position as director of procurement for Hello Fresh.
Register early to avoid missing out
Applications for the 2019 Emerging Leaders Program are due by Feb. 1. Interested persons are urged to apply early, as the 2019 program is capped at 40 participants, and the program has sold out for the last eight of its nine years.
For more information and to apply, visit www.centerforgrowingtalent.org/programs-and-events/emerging-leaders-program. The program fee of $7,200 for PMA members and $14,400 for non-members includes hotel and lodging for the on-campus portion in Arizona, as well as an All Access Pass to PMA’s Fresh Summit.
CGT leadership offerings for all career stages
The Emerging Leaders Program is just one leadership development offering from Center for Growing Talent, which has other events and programs for all career stages from young professionals and mid-level managers, to senior executives and women. To learn more about all of CGT’s offerings, visit www.centerforgrowingtalent.org.
Center for Growing Talent is a charitable nonprofit organization. CGT’s work is made possible by generous donations from visionary industry leaders who want to show their commitment to industry talent and to give back to their industry. To learn more, visit www.CenterforGrowingTalent.org.
This article was originally posted by The Produce News and can be found by clicking here.