Marty Craner on the Joys & Benefits of Volunteering
Marty started in the business in 1980 and launched B&C Fresh Sales in 1988 as a brokerage and marketing agent for Pictsweet Mushroom Co. As a woman running a small business, professional life can sometimes be a bit isolated. And volunteering, Marty says, helps keep her connected with people throughout the industry.
She cites her work as a Career Ambassador for our Career Pathways as some of her most gratifying volunteer experience. “I’ve been able to moderate several panel discussions at those events, and it’s really fun,” Marty says. “These students see the passion we have for the industry and how much of our business comes from our hearts and our guts. They’re always amazed to see the collaboration and cooperation; we can sit in a room with our competitors and all hold hands when it comes to elevating the industry.”
Marty also participates in our mentoring initiative and mentors young women in the business. She acknowledges it’s valuable for them to see another female leader who’s enjoyed 35 years of success. “It’s important that they can see the longevity in the industry; they can see those of us who’ve been around and see that we’ve stuck it out and found the payoffs. There isn’t a template for success as a woman; you can be yourself and find yourself, which is an evolving thing.” As a mentor, she says, “It’s fun to watch them make smart decisions in their careers.”
As CGT’s incoming board chair, Marty looks forward to encouraging more companies in the field to engage the organization’s programs to attract and develop talent. And she hopes to recruit more busy professionals to make time to volunteer with CGT. “If you’re committed to the industry and you want to flourish, dip your toe in the water,” she continues. “There are so many opportunities to get new people involved in the fresh produce and floral industry, and that’s what Center for Growing Talent is all about.”