Elizabeth Pivonka, president and CEO of Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), will retire on Feb. 28, 2017. Pivonka has been on PBH’s staff since the foundation began in 1991, and was appointed president 20 years ago. A prominent produce industry figure, she was in the first class of Progressive Grocer’s Top Women in Grocery, in 2007.
“This was a difficult decision, but my youngest is finishing college after winter session in February, and I’d like to spend more time with her before she starts her first job on June 1,” said Pivonka. “Having worked and traveled since she was 7 weeks old, this is an opportunity I didn’t want to miss.”
Scott Owens, PBH chairman of the board, and VP of sales for Los Angeles-based Wonderful Citrus, said that the Hockessin, Del.-based organization is “grateful for the years of dedication and hard work Elizabeth has given to the industry. We are all well aware of the sacrifices that are made because of work, and are happy that Elizabeth has this opportunity.”
The PBH executive committee has named COO Kristen Stevens acting president, effective immediately, while Pivonka will continue as CEO until her departure. “Kristen has worked closely with Elizabeth and PBH’s board of trustees for more than 10 years,” added Owens. “Her knowledge of the industry, coupled with her deep understanding of PBH’s business and strategic plans and direction, made for an easy decision to name Kristen as acting president.”
Pivonka will spend her remaining time at PBH completing key projects and transitioning items to Stevens and the rest of the staff as appropriate.
PBH is a nonprofit education foundation that works to motivate people to eat more fruits and vegetables to improve public health.