The Council Connection January 2022


The Southeast Produce Council is preparing to celebrate the next generation of superheroes during Southern Exposure: The Marvel of Produce! This year’s event will take place March 3 – 5, 2022 at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida. Visit our Southern Exposure page to discover each of our mission assignments within the agenda, which superhero team to register as, hotel information, guest speakers, exhibitors, and more!

Join our produce universe today!

Keynote and Educational Session Speakers

Keynote Luncheon Speaker

Tim Tebow | Two-time National Champion | Heisman Trophy Winner

Southern Roots Luncheon Speaker

Heather Chauvin | Leadership Coach | Author and Host of the Mom Is In Control Podcast

SEPC University Educational Sessions

Educational Session I

Prepare for the Future: Building the Next Generation of Leaders

Kim Lear (Inlay Insights)

Educational Session II

Power of Produce 2022

Moderator: Rick Stein (FMI)
Moderator: Anne-Marie Roerink (210 Analytics)
Panelist: Jerry Callahan (Albertsons Companies)
Panelist: Robby Cruz (Target)
Panelist: Jim Hancock (Sam’s Club)

Want to know who’s already joined our produce universe? Check out our Southern Exposure 2022 Exhibitors!

The Southern Exposure Digital Toolkit is now available to add to your utility belt!

Email Signature: right click to download image
Facebook: right click to download image
Twitter: right click to download image
Linked In: right click to download image
Instagram: right click to download image


Bright Ideas Fresh Arrivals

The SEPC is excited to feature your new products within our Bright Ideas Fresh Arrivals showcase during Southern Exposure!

How to Submit Your Showcase Application

  • As you register for Southern Exposure, select Bright Ideas Fresh Arrivals as one of your sessions.
  • Once you register, you’ll receive an application link via email for your showcase.
  • Review the options below and submit your application by Friday, January 7, 2022. Cases are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis and space is limited.
  • You must include one (1) high-resolution image of your product as well as a detailed description (50 words or less) to be featured within our conference directory and app.

Showcase Information

  • Price: $400* (Please note: All shelves include lighting and cases will be locked.)
  • Case Dimensions: 37” W x 13” H x 25.5" D
  • Space is limited to one (1) case per member company (unless approved by the SEPC)

Eligibility Requirements

  • Your company must be a member of the Southeast Produce Council and in good standing
  • Your new products must have been submitted to market since March of 2021 or will be launched before July 2022

*An invoice will be sent upon registering as well as an application link. However, if your showcase is not approved, we will issue a refund.

Here is our Bright Ideas Fresh Arrivals showcase updated with this year's theme – The Marvel of Produce!


Innovation Stations

Our Innovation Stations are also back by popular demand in which one (1) of your team members may highlight a new product, product line, or service during our Southern Exposure Expo!

How to Submit Your Innovation Station Application

  • As you register for Southern Exposure, select Innovation Station as one of your sessions.
  • Once you register, you’ll be sent an application link via email for your Innovation Station.
  • Review the information below and submit your application by Friday, January 7, 2022. Stations are sold on a first-come, first-served basis and space is limited. Priority will be given to waitlisted companies who meet the criteria as well as companies who are interested in joining the SEPC.
  • You must include your logo, one (1) high-resolution image of your product (or product family), as well as a detailed description (50 words or less) to be featured within our conference directory and app.
  • Companies will be notified Friday, January 14, if the submission has been approved.

Price: $1499 (does not include individual/group registration fees)*

Eligibility Requirements

  • Company must be a member in good standing of Southeast Produce Council.
  • Company is not currently exhibiting at Southern Exposure (unless prior SEPC approval).
  • New product, product line, or family of items must not exceed 4 individual SKUs.
  • New product must have been presented to market since September of 2021 or will be launched before July of 2022. (Verification required)

Innovation Station Guidelines

  • Space is limited to one (1) Innovation Station per member company.
  • One company member allowed in station at a time. (Additional associates would need to purchase individual registrations or register as part of a group registration.)
  • No additional signage, banners, display racks, etc. will be allowed!
  • Sampling is permitted per convention center policies (see exhibitor kit).
  • One (1) stool will be provided at each station.
  • Storage space is available within the desk area of the station.

*An invoice will be sent via email upon registering as well as an application link. However, if your Innovation Station is not approved, we will issue a refund.

Here is our Innovation Station updated with this year’s theme – The Marvel of Produce! Your company logo will appear within the face area of the desk as shown in the example below.

Grab your capes, masks, and utility belts to compete in our Southern Exposure: The Marvel of Produce costume and booth decorating contests! We invite all attendees to participate for a chance to win CASH!

Costume Contest

Come to our Opening Gala on Friday night, March 4th in Marvel-themed, family-friendly attire to compete in our costume contest for a chance to win one of these AMEX gift cards:

  • 1st place: $200
  • 2nd place: $150
  • 3rd place: $100
  • Best Group: $300

Booth Decorating Contest

Have a booth idea that packs a punch? Decorate your booth with superhero flair on Saturday at the expo for our booth decorating contest! Three of the best decorated booths will receive a prize of one of the following AMEX gift cards:

  • 1st place: $1,000
  • 2nd place: $500
  • 3rd place: $250

Cultivating Ideas – Growing Relationships – Producing Results

Each year, the SEPC strives to curate an impactful series of industry programs and networking events for our members. The SEPC Virtual Garden is our newest platform through which we will continue to keep members abreast of the latest developments in produce—whether those are happening in the soil, in the cloud, or anywhere in between.

Through the SEPC Virtual Garden, we have begun planting the seeds from our founding pillars – Networking, Innovation, Community, and Education – so that our members will reap the benefits of harvesting quality experiences guaranteed to increase the value of their membership.

In case you missed them, several sessions are already available on demand!

The key to the success of our SEPC Virtual Garden is the community who tends it, and we are eager to serve alongside our SEPC family to see what we can grow together!

Southern Exposure 2022 LINKS Reservation Options for SEPC Retail/Foodservice members*

LINKS Meeting Platform Options

  • Onsite LINKS Meeting
  • Virtual LINKS Meeting within the SEPC Virtual Garden (available upon request)

LINKS Meeting Description Options

  • LINKS Meeting(s) with Grower/Shipper Companies
  • Internal Company Meeting

A La Carte Menu

  • A/V options (Projector/Screen & PA System)
  • Food & Beverage Service (at reserving company's expense)

Please submit your LINKS meeting request by February 4, 2022 to ensure we have ample time to accommodate.


Community Updates

Our featured charitable partner for January is Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children where children’s health and well-being are at the heart of what they do every day.

For more than 30 years, families have been able to find an environment where healing and hope are inspired by the fearless spirits of the kids they treat; where you’ll enjoy the most advanced technology, Central Florida’s only pediatric Level One Trauma Center and ED, and compassionate doctors, nurses, and staff who have your child’s health as their top priority.

We are honored to partner with them in many ways, including their annual Walk For Winnie fundraising event.


Wondering What's New?

Check out this fresh snippet, hosted by SEPC Board Member and Education Chair Kristin Yerecic Scott of Yerecic Label, as Anne-Marie Roerink of 210 Analytics discusses "What's New with Sustainability?" with SEPC Board Member Clark Roper!

The Vorhees Vision Scholarship was created to reward the achievements of young individuals who demonstrate a true entrepreneurial spirit in their lives as they pursue their educational goals. This scholarship is named in honor of the late Terry L. Vorhees, founder and first Executive Director of the Southeast Produce Council. Because of his vision and efforts, the Southeast Produce Council became and remains one of the best resources in the produce industry today.

Scholarship Details

One college-aged student (graduating high school senior or current college student) will receive a one-time scholarship of $7,500 to their enrolling college/university.

The application can only be submitted online through our link which was provided November 29, 2021.

The application deadline is January 14, 2022 at 5pm EST.

Visit our website for more scholarship information!

2021-2022 SEPC Annual Membership

Join the SEPC Today and Thrive

As an SEPC member, you’ll join a diverse group of like-minded produce professionals, from farmers to distributors and retailers to chefs. It’s about growing your knowledge, sharpening your skills, sharing your passion with others, and enjoying what makes this corner of the country extra special: its long tradition of bringing people together through food that is grown, distributed, and cooked with love.

Please review the membership information on our website and select which annual membership* best suits your company's needs.

*Please note that our annual membership period runs June through May of the following year. We do not prorate our membership fees.

**All conference attendees are required to be SEPC members in order to attend any events. Exhibitors are required to maintain a corporate membership.**

Our Sponsors

SEPC sponsors are a vital part of our existence. Simply put, sponsor contributions help us bring more to the table for everyone. Like better networking and education events, fresh talent, and a broader awareness of best practices throughout our industry. And of course, when you help us promote produce, your organization will gain crucial exposure at our events and engagements throughout the year.

Interested in becoming an SEPC Sponsor?

We thank you for your support and look forward to boosting your business in return.

Check out this month’s Sponsor Spotlights on our social media platforms to learn more about each of our SEPC Level Sponsors!


Congratulations to Harold Paivarinta of Red Sun Farms for being the first to answer our December SEPC Fruit & Veggie Trivia Question correctly!

January Trivia Question


Many eat certain foods either on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day to bring good luck. If you’re from the Southeast, you should be familiar with this traditional dish for prosperity, made primarily of pork and black-eyed peas. Not only do the “eyes” on the peas resemble a circle for the completed year, but they also represent abundance. The pig’s plumpness suggests plenty, and pigs also dig with their snout in a forward motion; people like the idea of moving forward into the New Year. (Our family always accompanies ours with collards and corn bread for even more good luck 😉)

Can you name this Southern dish?

Contact us

Please note that our mailing address has changed! See our new mailing address below in the contact information.

242 North Masonic St. | Millen, GA 30442 | 877.720.SEPC (7372) | info@seproducecouncil.com