Business Development Manager
London Fruit, Inc.
Hometown: Mission, Texas
Hobbies: Painting with daughter, Hobby farming
Family/Community: Married, 1 daughter, Hope Church of Viburnum
Motto in life: The answer is always no unless you ask.
Horney’s fascination with the produce industry began at age 9, when she made her inaugural visit to London Fruit. Now, she boasts over 15 years of experience in the industry with a proven track record of success. Horney officially embarked on her produce journey in 2005 as an intern in the accounting department of London Fruit during her undergraduate studies. After graduating in 2008, she joined London full-time as the communications director. In 2009, she was assigned to the sales desk, where she managed and grew key accounts as well as designed and purchased $2.5 million in packaging material.
In 2011, she moved to Rio Queen Citrus to a position as the sales manager’s assistant. The following year, Paramount Citrus (now Wonderful Citrus) acquired Rio Queen and Horney became a customer service representative (CSR). Through dedication and hard work, she worked her way up to sales associate, then commodity manager, and eventually became a sales manager. During her tenure at Wonderful, she was the Mexican lemon commodity manager, leading a team through several successful seasons.
After a brief stint with United Fruit and Produce, in 2019, she found her way back to London Fruit and, in October of 2019, became the business development manager. She currently manages all key retail accounts at London Fruit and has doubled the company’s direct to retail presence within the last three years. She designed and executed a rebrand for London Fruit and has worked directly with growers to expand London Fruit’s product line to include lemons year-round. She is a member of the Texas International Produce Association Lime Committee and served on the board of the Texas Citrus Marketing Committee in 2014.
Q: How did you begin working in the produce industry?
Upon graduating with an undergraduate degree in communications and public relations, I eagerly seized the opportunity to enter the produce industry and collaborate with my father, Jerry Garcia. At that time, Mr. London and my dad were actively seeking fresh marketing strategies, and they needed someone capable of executing them. It was an exceptional opportunity for me to learn and grow alongside them.
Q: What aspect of the business challenged you the most early on?
Early on in my career, I faced the challenge of dealing with unethical individuals in the business world. Being young and eager to pursue sales, I encountered situations where some people sought to take advantage. This experience taught me to be cautious, not blindly trust others, and approach interactions with awareness and resilience.
Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career?
One accomplishment that fills me with immense pride is surpassing London Fruit’s all-time volume per year in 2022. Our continuous growth has been a testament to the hard work and dedication of our incredible team that I am very grateful to be part of.
Q: What do you see as a critical issue facing the industry in the next decade and why?
The introduction of AI will be a critical issue for the industry in the next decade, bringing both opportunities and challenges. While it offers improved efficiency and productivity, concerns about job displacement, ethics, and data security must be addressed to ensure responsible integration.