Peter Quiring, our President and CEO, is known for growing both produce and people. Peter has been a greenhouse owner for almost 20 years, but he has also been actively involved in building up the Leamington, ON and Delta, OH communities to help them thrive.
We sat down with Peter to ask him about why community involvement is so important to him and discuss some of his favorite community moments – read what he had to say below!
Peter Quiring Talks Community
What are your core values?
“I am a firm believer in helping people to better themselves and being judgement-free.”
“Everyone has their own individual pain points, myself included, and not everyone is at the same place in life. I know this from experience – at one point in my life, I was poor and uneducated. I can identify with these struggles, which is why I believe it’s important to offer everyone opportunities to better themselves. Whether that is by offering educational opportunities, mentorship, or by allowing hard workers to earn a greater income, I believe it is important to help people to realize their potential.
I also believe that I have no room to judge anyone, no matter who they are. Treat other people the way you would want to be treated and have respect for everyone – those are two key mottos to live by. Whether it’s the CEO of a big company, or an entry-level worker, or a 16-year-old starting their first job – having respect for anyone and everyone is something I truly believe in.”
Why is being involved in your community important to you?
“I often ask myself this question: ‘What kind of world do I want to live in – a world where everyone takes, or a world where everyone gives?’”
“Giving can take on so many different forms – you can give time, skills, advice or mentorship, money, really anything that you think can make a positive difference in someone’s life.
Everyone can give something – often the poorest people are the ones who give the most! I was blessed with the financial resources to give, so that is what I try to do whenever I can. I also believe that everyone can give just a little bit more than they think is necessary – and that little bit more could make a huge difference.”
What types of community initiatives have you led or been a part of?
“I have been involved with a lot of different community-based initiatives and organizations, and there are a lot of causes that I support on a regular basis through private donations or donations from South Essex Fabricating or NatureFresh™ Farms. To name a few, I regularly support:
- Southwestern Ontario Gleaners in Leamington,
- The Downtown Mission in Windsor,
- The Bridge Youth Resource Centre in Leamington, and
- A support center for troubled indigenous youth.
Through my community involvement, I also try to promote making healthy lifestyle choices. That’s why, in addition to sponsoring many local sports teams over the years, we are also in the process of constructing NatureFresh™ Field, a community centerpiece for Leamington athletics that is set to be complete in 2019. We were also able to take part in revitalizing the Leamington Marina by installing brand-new railings along the docks this summer – this allowed the Municipality of Leamington to reopen the Pier to pedestrian traffic, encouraging people to get active within our community.
I have also been heavily involved with the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) association as a member of their Board of Directors – this position has allowed me to give back to the greenhouse industry in a meaningful way, as well.”
What was your most impactful moment spent in the community?
“Walking into The Downtown Mission in Windsor for the first time had a really profound impact on me. I saw a lot of people that were in a bad state or bad situation, and it brought some very real emotions to the surface. The Downtown Mission does some incredible work to help people in need, and if they aren’t supported, the people in our communities who desperately need essential services would have even fewer places to go to for help.”
“‘There but for the grace of God, go I.’”
“I know that I am very lucky to be where I am today. I also know that everyone, including myself, could be just one or two bad decisions away from a difficult situation. Supporting the Downtown Mission reminds me that I am incredibly fortunate, and it’s a requirement for me to use my own resources to help those in need.”
Have you inspired your kids or members of your team to get involved in the community?
“My family has very similar core values to myself – they know that it feels right to do good for other people.
The people that I work with – some of the most energetic and enthusiastic people I know, I might add – have also really embraced the idea of giving back to the community. But I think that it is the culture we have created at NatureFresh™ that really encourages our team to support the communities we grow in.
We’ve seen a lot of great community initiatives driven by NatureFresh™ employees – this year’s food drive and the Fulton County Sweepstakes are just a couple great examples of employee-driven projects.”