18 of Our Favorite Moments from 2018

Every year, we take stock of the moments that made this year especially joyful. Some of our favorite moments include celebrating wins with our favorite people, while others include making a lasting impact within our industry. Either way, it’s especially rewarding to think of all that we experienced in 2018.

DMA’s Most Memorable Moments from 2018:

We hired 6 new team members.

Have you noticed new faces in our posts lately? That’s because we added six new, highly talented marketers to the team! If you haven’t already, get to know our newest team members and take a closer look:

Sarah Clinton, Senior Creative Copywriter

Mariah Demery, Social Media Specialist

Jessie Donlon, Social Media Specialist

Vanessa Jimenez, Marketing Specialist

Jessica Schneider, Public Relations Manager

Kelly Olivieri, Marketing Specialist

We promoted 4 of our team members.

One of our biggest joys is to advance our team members, and this year, the following DMAers were promoted after showcasing exemplary marketing execution and leadership growth:

Kendra Knieriem, Social Media Manager

Marissa Baurys, Marketing Manager

Leslie Loris, Senior Marketing Specialist

Lexi Cassidy, Communications Specialist


We completed our 12th consecutive year hosting internships and apprenticeships.

Our very own Jessie Donlon, now a full-time Social Media Specialist, started with us as a Communications Apprentice after graduating from TCU in May 2018. Also, Mackey Almy spent the summer as a Marketing Intern at DMA before starting her first year at NYU this fall.

We had our second annual company retreat.

This year, we spent 2 nights in historic Downtown Fort Worth focused on learning more about each of our teammates, cooking together at Sur La Table, and enjoying karaoke and libations. We started with a scavenger hunt around the city, followed by a deep dive into our Core Values and DISC profiles, and ended the event with a Willie Nelson concert. It was a Texas-based event complete with Texas-sized fun!

DMA Team Sur la Table

Mackenzie graduated from the Emerging Leaders Program by PMA’s Center for Growing Talent.

As a rising executive within DMA, Mackenzie Wortham graduated as our first ELP graduate this year after months of hard work. It was such a pleasure watching her grow and excel throughout the year as part of the program, and she’s brought a wealth of knowledge to the team as a result!

PMA ELP Graduation

We participated in our 5th consecutive Tour de Fresh and helped place 41 salad bars in schools.

One of our biggest passion projects is to serve the next generation by donating salad bars to schools, and this year we did so in the most DMA-appropriate way we could – by bringing karaoke to the fearless Tour de Fresh cyclists on their last night of the ride! Additionally, we were so proud to present the California Giant Foundation with 2 additional salad bars in memory of two fresh produce pace setters, Pat Riorden and Rick Antle.

Tour de Fresh Riders

We celebrated long-time friend and client, Cindy Jewell, as Produce Woman of the Year.

After several years nominating one of our favorite women in the industry, we were overjoyed to be able to celebrate Cindy Jewell during the United Fresh Convention as she received the well-earned honor of Produce Woman of the Year.

Cindy Jewell Produce Woman of the Year

We attended more than 15 industry and educational events.

With an expanded team and lots of opportunity to teach new people about fresh produce, we brought our biggest groups to industry shows this year. You may have seen us in our matching outfits or opportunity to sing a few Waylon, Willie and Dolly songs with us!  In addition, we attended multiple educational conferences to expand our marketing acumen to include: SXSW in Austin, PR Bootcamp in New York, Social Media Shake Up in Atlanta, multiple Cherry Bombe events and local leadership training seminars.

PMA Global Street Fair SXSW

We brought 9 Texas A&M students to Viva Fresh through the Aggies for Fresh program.

In our third year offering scholarships to Aggies for Fresh participants, we were able to bring 9 of the brightest new recruits to Viva Fresh to showcase all that our industry has to offer and help students connect with companies for internships and full-time employment.

Aggies for Fresh

Dan’l led an interactive discussion at Southern Innovations.

The SEPC Southern Roots committee approached us with a unique opportunity and challenge to lead a discussion with 100+ women at the Southern Innovations conference in September.  Opening with a short presentation on building and maintaining lasting relationships, a cornerstone of Dan’l’s success in this industry, ignited one of the most meaningful and inspiring interactive discussions that we have ever participated in.

Dan'l Mackey Almy Southern Innovations

We celebrated our 10th year of publishing The Core.

In 2008, when blogging was something very few companies were investing in, we saw a huge opportunity. We began blogging as a way to actively share our ideas, marketing tactics and strategies to help other fresh produce marketers within the industry. Today, The Core receives more than 2,000 visits each month and our free marketing resources were downloaded nearly 1,000 times in 2018!

We published 150 Core articles in 2018.

Longevity is, in itself, a marker of success, but committing to sharing our knowledge and experiences on a weekly basis is another promise we make to serve this industry and fulfill our purpose. We are challenged and inspired to publish posts three times a week based on what our readers in the fresh produce industry want hear and learn about. We invite you to tell us more about what you want to see on our blog in 2019 by taking this quick survey.  Thank you!

We took more than 15,000 photos throughout the year of the beautiful fresh produce our clients grow!

Each month, we have the pleasure of taking more than 1,000 photos to help our clients populate their social media pages, websites, and other digital assets. As our photography and visual assets portfolio expands, we’re proud to be a part of this industry’s visual storytelling.

DMA Solutions Photography

We earned 4,382 PR placements and 2.5 billion impressions for fresh produce brands.

We’ve more than quadrupled our public relations business since we went all-in in 2015, and increased impressions for fresh produce brands more than 15x this year! As placements increase for our industry, so does awareness and that’s something we’re always excited about.

We partnered with 40 influencers to help spread the message of “fresh.”

More than double our work with influencers last year, this year brought great success for our brand partners who invested in long-term ambassadors, registered dietitians, social influencers, and broadcast media influencers.

We managed 20+ consumer promotions to help increase demand of fresh produce.

As part of our mission to increase demand of fresh fruits and vegetables, we helped our brand partners launch and manage promotions that celebrated peak eating seasons and holidays throughout the year. As a result of these promotions, we helped the brands earn more than 200,000 combined new consumer contacts in which they earned permission to engage with on a regular basis.

We increased social media engagement for our brand partners by 270% from 2017.

While community size remains important, engagement is a deeper level of commitment and a signal that a brand is relevant and resonating with their audiences. That’s why, as a focus for us this year, we prioritized increasing engagement with fans on social media through strategic advertising, improved photography and content development, and deepened storytelling.

We helped our brand partners significantly expand their data library beyond POS.

We’re big believers in data and analytics here at DMA, and we want to help this industry maximize every type of data available to brands, including paid, borrowed, and owned data. Many brands rely solely on paid data that comes from IRI and Nielsen which tells us part of the story of today’s shopper. Companies seeking to understand shopper preference invest marketing dollars in earning and owning their own data. Thanks to the success of promotions and other marketing efforts, we collected an unpresented amount of insights and intel in 2018 that will help shape the marketing decisions in 2019 for the brands we work with. 

Types of Data Purchased Borrowed and Earned

We are thrilled about the possibilities we have before us in 2019 and look forward to our continued service to this amazing industry. Thank you for supporting our efforts that allow us to do such meaningful work which ultimately positively impacts society!

Keep an eye on what we’re up to in 2019 by following us on Instagram @dmasolutions.