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Pundit’s Mailbag — More Insights On OneHarvest’s Leaders

Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, May 17, 2007

Our piece Pundit’s Pulse Of The Industry — OneHarvest’s Rob Robson And His Food Safety Team brought forth praise of Rob Robson, Robin Poynton and of OneHarvest’s involvement with the industry.

This letter from Tom Stenzel of United Fresh emphasized the deep involvement of OneHarvest with U.S. produce associations:

Thanks for the great job sharing the perspectives and experience from Rob and his team. Rob also previously served on the International Fresh-cut Produce Association (IFPA) board for a full term before going on the PMA Board, and sending Robin our way. Robin is quite astute as you would expect from this world-class outfit.

— Tom Stenzel
President and CEO
United Fresh Produce Association
Washington, DC

World-class in more ways than one. As we mentioned in the article:

If you want a measure of how exceptional an organization OneHarvest is, think about this: The company does virtually no business with the United States, yet not only is Rob on the Executive Committee of PMA but his associate Robin Poynter, Chief Operating Officer, serves on the board of United Fresh.

How extraordinary. Many U.S. firms can’t be bothered to get involved with either association; OneHarvest is a company that so values intellectual property that it sends not one but two senior executives over 22 hours on airplanes from Brisbane to the east coast to participate in the intellectual life of the industry.

We also heard from Gene Harris at Denny’s, who has served on many boards with Rob Robson:

I have had the pleasure to get to know Rob through my service on various PMA Boards. I have been very impressed by his knowledge, boldness and business “sense”.

He is fun to be around, plays a mean guitar and is an excellent translator of Australian to English! His wife Pamela is a joy & their daughter Felicity has similar characteristics — the apple did not fall too far from the tree!

Thanks to some conversations with Rob over the last couple of years, I was aware of much that was discussed in the article, but I still learned even more!

It is obvious that we — the U.S. produce industry — have our work cut out for us. At least we have some examples we can learn from to make us all better and our food supply even safer.

Thanks for the additional insight!

— Gene Harris
Senior Purchasing Manager
Denny’s Corporation
Spartanburg, South Carolina

It is a funny thing about leadership; the really great leaders wear their burdens lightly. It is not that they are not serious — just the opposite — it is that being serious is not a burden to them.

It is also true that high achievers rarely do it alone. And a great staff isn’t enough. One only has to watch Pamela Robson as her husband picks up his guitar and in the glint of her eyes, you see a lifetime encapsulated. You know she is seeing the young boyfriend she found so long ago and marveling at the journey they’ve traveled in this life.

In this age in which divorce is so common, the Robson’s notions about commitment, to business, to family, to living life to its fullest — has doubtless set an example for Felicity and the whole Robson clan.

The Robson’s just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. That is an inspiration for us all.

Many thanks to Tom and Gene for sending us their thoughts.

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