A former sourcing manager for Walmart is coming out of retirement to join the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA). The organization has appointed Deborah Zoellick its new director of floral programs. Zoellick will bring almost two decades of floral expertise to the association. She succeeds long-time IFPA staffer Becky Roberts, who retires in March 2023.
“I am beyond excited that IFPA’s floral community will have a new staff leader who matches Becky’s enthusiasm for, and understanding of, the nuances and intricacies of the cut-flower and plant supply chain,” said Cathy Burns, CEO of Washington D.C.-based IFPA. “Deb will provide valuable line of sight to the issues facing floral today and leverage an established worldwide network of connections to bring more value to our floral membership.”
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“It’s always been said that, once you’re in the produce and floral community, it’s hard to truly say goodbye. While I’ve enjoyed the last six months of retirement, I felt floral calling my name and wanted to find an opportunity to give back,” Zoellick said. “I’ve known Becky for years and appreciate and respect the commitment IFPA (and legacy PMA) made to floral. Now I have a platform to further enhance that commitment and help grow opportunities and connections for the global floral industry.”
“The floral industry is a key component of the fresh supply chain, and the community and our members are an integral part of the IFPA,” added IFPA Chief Membership Officer Miriam Wolk. “We are excited about Deb’s experience and passion for the floral sector and look forward to working with her to build value for the community. We’re also grateful to Becky for her many years of service and leadership.”
IFPA represents companies from every segment of the global fresh produce and floral supply chain, integrating world-facing advocacy and industry-facing support. The association has prepared several upcoming programs over the next few months to give its floral members resources to grow their businesses. These include the March 7 Floral Conference, in Anaheim, Calif., which Zoellick will attend, and the Floral Conference, in Miami on May 23.
Each week, approximately 230 million customers and members visit Walmart’s more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.