MEET THE PARTICIPANTS
This challenge is not a contest among the participants; instead, each has agreed to embrace their own personal challenge to become healthier through a clean eating program that includes more fruits and vegetables. They have committed to working closely with Dr. Ian Smith, celebrity physician, TV personality and best-selling author who will customize a program for each of them based on their goals and the results of their physicals.
Jed Murray is a Partner of MO Produce/Tenaza Organics. He relocated to South Texas from California in 2006 to open up production in Mexico and ship through Texas. While living in Texas he realized the tremendous opportunity to produce in the state. He believes that Texas should be an integral part in the local supply movement.
He and two partners started MO Produce/Tenaza Organics and now provide a critical piece of wet vegetables to Texas retailers allowing them to shift some risk in the winter months.
Jed is the past president of the Texas Vegetable Association and is currently on the Texas International Produce Association executive board. His health goals are to lose weight, get off blood pressure medicine and get a good night sleep.
Michelle Cortez is the Sales Manager of Empacadora GAB (Mr. Lucky), she has been with the company for eight years. Michelle is active in the produce industry serving on two Texas International Produce Association boards, and a national board for United Fresh. Voted top 40 under 40 for Produce Business Magazine in 2018, she has dedicated herself to advocating for Texas and Mexican supplied produce. Outside of work she is involved with Autism Awareness.
Once an avid weight trainer, she was injured in 2017, which led to a major weight gain. Over the last year she has been making strides to get down to a healthy weight. With over 50 lbs. lost Michelle is excited and determined to get back to her peak physical ability.
Tommy Wilkins is currently Director of Sales Grow Farms Texas. Spending the past 44 years in the produce industry is something he is very proud of. He has been fortunate to serve on various boards including the Texas International Produce Association, The Southeast Produce Council, and The United Fresh Produce Association. In addition, the past two years he has served on the Fruit and Vegetable Advisory Committee for Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. Outside the produce industry, he has served as President of the Frenship School Board, Make a Wish and Homes for Hero’s.
He feels he has had a wonderful ride in this business but as many do, has not personally taken care of his health. Battling Weight Stress and Diet, he is currently on four medications and has become quite physically inactive and is battling lack of energy.
But his life changed on October 3rd of this year, with the birth of his first grandson. The opportunity to correct this path personally is a blessing and one he has committed to whole heartily. He looks forward to the journey ahead and cannot wait to see the results with the direction from Dr Smith.
Ed Bertaud is the Director, Retail Sales-IFCO RPC North America. He has served the industry for 25 years, beginning in 1994 when he worked for Pallet Recycling Associates of North America. A company later acquired by IFCO.
A current member of the Viva Fresh Expo Steering Committee, he is also on the board of the Texas International Produce Association and previously served as chairman, vice chairman, secretary treasurer, and director-at-large for the same organization. Additionally, he has served as a member of the United Fresh Logistics & Supply Chain Council, the United Fresh North American Transportation Working Group and the United Fresh Grower Shipper Board.
In his community, Bertaud has donated his time to local food banks including America’s Second Harvest, Feeding America, San Antonio Food Bank & Houston Food Bank. He also supports the Ryan Palmer Foundation, benefitting children’s medical and dental care.
Having been overweight as a child, Ed has battled weight his entire life. Playing various sports through high school and college, he never felt like he was truly fit. His goal is to lose weight, become physically fit and be in the best shape as possible. At this stage of his life, he wants to choose how to fully live life as opposed to life choosing it for him.