Mann Packing Company, one of North America’s leading suppliers of fresh vegetables and fresh-cut vegetables received certification as a Women Business Enterprise through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the nation’s largest third party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women in the United States.
“We are honored to receive this world-class certification from WBENC,” says Lorri Koster, Mann Packing Company board chairman and CEO. “This certification is nationally accepted by major corporations and select government entities. The process was rigorous, multi-faceted and thorough to say the least.”
WBENC Certification ensures that applicants are 51% owned, operated and controlled by a woman or group of women.
“After being in business for 73 years and through three generations, we found a clear majority of our shareholders to be women,” Koster said. “That, coupled with our board of directors and executive leadership demographics, helped us recognize we are a Women Business Enterprise.”
As part of the qualification process this year, Mann expanded its board of directors to include two female non-family members. Elin Dowd, the former president of Monrovia Nurseries, and Betsy Sanders, former vice president at Nordstrom. Sanders previously served on the boards of Walmart, Von’s Supermarkets, Sports Chalet and Denny’s.
Koster said, “We are honored to have the caliber of executives such as Elin and Betsy serving on our board. They are a great resource and strong cultural fit.”
More than 700 companies and government agencies rely on WBENC-certified companies as an integral part of their supplier diversity programs.
Karen Caplan, president and CEO of Frieda’s, Inc., one of the first certified women-owned businesses in the produce industry, says, “Congratulations to Mann Packing on receiving this important business designation. As a fellow women business enterprise in the produce industry, I can affirm the additional value a supplier with such designation can bring to retailers and foodservice companies.”
Founded in 1939 by H.W. “Cy” Mann, today Mann Packing is owned by the Nucci and Ramsey families; 65% of the shareholders are women.
Koster said, “We recognize the commitment to supplier diversity that is embraced by corporations and government agencies today; we are proud to not only offer top quality products and service—but now we can also add diversity to our customers’ supply chains. A win-win just became a win-win-win.”