Apr 27, 2020
‘In Bloom’ event scheduled in Texas to share pandemic support

The Texas International Produce Association “In Bloom” Women’s Committee is hosting a virtual experience on May 6, 2020 at 4 p.m. CST to offer stories and shared support for surviving and finding ways to thrive in difficult times.

According to a news release, in true In Bloom fashion (and a sign of the times), the committee is calling the event “Bloom Where You are Planted.” The event will feature short and topical personal testimonies on Resilience, Endurance, Boundaries, Intentional Living and Multi-tasking meant to highlight that we are all #inthistogether.

April Flowers, In Bloom Committee Chairperson and Marketing Director at Lone Star Citrus commented, “The weight of the last month has felt overwhelming at times as I’ve juggled all the tasks associated with this new normal, I suspected others felt the same.” Flowers continued. “As our committee got together and shared our concerns and personal stories, it was clear we were not alone, and it made us realize this is exactly what In Bloom was meant to do…offer a place where women can lift one another up and provide support when they need it most.”

In fact, In Bloom was conceived one year ago at the 2019 Viva Fresh and was built to be an organization to empower and advance women in produce through shared opportunities, networking, mentorship, advocacy, and professional development while also offering a supportive environment of women committed to helping each other.

Today, that supportive environment is critical as produce professionals are navigating uncertain times punctuated with frontline roles as essential workers and juggling variety of new work from home tasks. For many, their plates are full. Business as we know it has been radically changed with supply chain chaos and increased financial and health risks.

In Bloom committee members asked the compelling question: How do we stay positive and move forward in a changing marketplace while still focusing on the big picture that is being defined by a historical moment that will affect us forever in ways that are yet unknown? While In Bloom members did not presume to have the answers, they saw the value in addressing shared experiences with other women.

The In Bloom virtual event will hear from industry women ready to share the following ideas: 

  • Tonya Hill, TM Hill Produce – Resilience after starting a business days before the coronavirus lockdown
  • Cindy Swanberg Schwing, London Fruit – Endurance and the grit to navigate the unknown, perspective is key
  • Eleisha Ensign, Texas Citrus Mutual – Boundaries when it gets to be too much
  • Michelle Cortez, of Empacadora GAB – Multitasking & Making it Work when there are no other alternatives
  • April Flowers, Lone Star Citrus – Intentionality and the power of managing your thoughts and hopes in the midst of reality

All five women will share unique and relatable stories that are bound to resonate with the audience. This time will allow produce professionals to join together for some real talk and an opportunity to fill their mental tanks.

Schwing concluded by saying, “There’s real hope and real triumph here. It’s our chance to see obstacles as creative opportunities with the possibility for new positive outcomes.”

The event is free and open to all industry members, both men and women. Participants can tune in live on the Texas International Produce Association Facebook page or register and participate via Zoom at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_LEqT_PJFRVa2x_0TogOPlw

For more information, please contact April Flowers at [email protected] or Melinda Goodman at [email protected] .

The Viva Fresh Produce Expo was established in 2015 by the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) in order to create meaningful networking and educational opportunities for its members while shining a light on the importance of the Rio Grande Valley as an emerging trade corridor and production zone for healthy and nutritious fruits and vegetables available all year long. In just four years, the Viva Fresh Produce Expo has catered to sold out crowds and increased buyer attendance by over 110%. 

Founded in 1942, the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) promotes, advocates, educates and represents the more than $8 billion in fresh produce that is either grown in the state or calls Texas the first point of US-arrival for North American distribution. For more information, visit www.texipa.org or call 956-581-8632.



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