Frieda's Leaders Receive Trio of Honors

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Frieda's Leaders Receive Trio of Honors


Three generations of the Frieda’s Specialty Produce family were recognized for their accomplishments in June.

In honor of her achievements as one of the nation’s most successful female entrepreneurs, founder Frieda Rapoport Caplan was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters on June 14 during Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s commencement ceremony.

Caplan’s daughter, Frieda’s VP/COO Jackie Caplan Wiggins, was on hand at the commencement ceremony, missing the announcement of her own award at the United Fresh Produce Industry Leadership Program Alumni Reunion dinner in Chicago, which took place the same weekend. Wiggins was named the recipient of the “Timothy Vaux Outstanding Alumni Leadership Award” by her fellow graduates of the leadership program.

“Jackie is the embodiment of exceptional leadership, passion, and dedication,” said Victoria Backer, United’s SVP of Member Services. “She is the type of person you depend on. She doesn’t take on responsibilities unless she knows she can come through, and when she does, she does it whole-heartedly.”

As a member of the very first class of United Fresh Leadership Program participants in 2005, Wiggins will be honored during the Leadership Alumni Dinner at the Washington conference in September.

Meanwhile, her legacy continues as her niece, Alex Jackson, sales account manager and daughter of Karen Caplan, president and CEO of Frieda’s, joins 12 other members of United Fresh Leadership Class #20 in July.

As one of the most prestigious leadership programs in the produce industry, the United Fresh program is designed for produce industry professionals ready to take the next step in their leadership journey, focusing on developing four core areas: leadership development, business relationships, government and public affairs, and media and public communication.

“The part I am most excited about is becoming more involved with United Fresh after Class 20 graduates, especially in increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables in children’s diets, which I am extremely passionate about,” said Jackson. “I am also honored to have been selected for this program as a second-generation class member.”