Bob Carey, 82, built produce marketing powerhouse

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bobcarey5_300Last week, the Produce Marketing Association and the industry lost a visionary leader as former president Bob Carey died at age 82 in Delaware.

Carey led PMA from 1958 to 1996, taking it from a near bankrupt organization with fewer than 100 members focused on produce packaging to a vertically integrated association of thousands focused on marketing. His vision of bringing buyers and sellers together positioned PMA to become the worldwide association, according to a release from the Newark-based trade organization.

I was privileged to work with Bob from the time he hired me in 1983 until his retirement in 1996. He was my mentor and my dear friend.” says Bryan Silbermann, PMA’s CEO. “His insights and advice when he was my boss and after he retired have been invaluable. Bob’s real genius was getting the best out of everyone around him – members and staff – and that’s become a core part of PMA’s culture.”

Bob’s leadership was the lynchpin for PMA’s growth and success, but it was his engaging personality, compassion, humor, and empathy that endeared him to all those around him.” Silbermann notes. “Always ready to have fun or sit and talk, Bob was an easy and dear friend to many.”

Silbermann offered a eulogy at Bob’s service on Dec. 3 in Bridgeville, Del.. His thoughts will be shared on a tribute page for Bob, along with information about his life and career.

In keeping with the Carey family’s wishes, memorial contributions can be made to Delmarva Teen Challenge.

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