The United Fresh Research & Education Foundation has named the four recipients of the 2009 Frieda Rapoport Caplan Family Business Scholarships. The 2009 scholarship recipients include: Megan Chedwick, Church Brothers, Salinas, Calif.; Julia Inestroza, Gourmet Trading Co., Los Angeles, Calif; Nicholas Mascari, Indianapolis Fruit Co., Indianapolis, Ind.; and David Scaroni, Valley Harvesting & Packing, Heber, Calif.

The scholarship program provides the opportunity for employees of family-owned businesses to attend the annual United Fresh Washington Public Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. The Scholarship Advisory Committee reviewed applications from many different geographic regions and industry segments, and winners were selected based on a number of criteria such as interest in advocacy work, commitment to the produce industry, and overall quality of the application.

"This program provides an important opportunity for members of family businesses to become personally involved in produce industry advocacy and deepen their knowledge of important policy issues," said advisory committee member Steve Ottum of Potandon Produce. "We received a record number of applications this year, which made for a difficult selection process. We extend our congratulations to this year's winners and thank everyone who applied this year."

Each scholarship recipient will receive complimentary airfare, hotel and registration to this year’s Washington Public Policy Conference, Sept.r 9-11, 2009 at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington.

"We greatly appreciate the ongoing support of the Caplan family, which makes this program possible," said Victoria Backer, senior vice president, member services, foundation. "This is a wonderful opportunity for family businesses to become more engaged in the political process and help shape the future of our industry."

Established in 2001, the scholarship program is made possible through a generous grant from Frieda’s, Inc. to the United Fresh Research & Education Foundation. The program was founded by Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins to expand opportunities for representatives from family businesses to attend the Washington Public Policy Conference and help make a positive difference for the produce industry. The Foundation accepts new applications for the program each summer.