Peterson Farms

Success with The Center

PETERSON FARMS: Developing More Effective Leaders

We had a good experience and received all positive feedback from the participants involved in the leadership training with The Center-West. The training was very informative, structured and provided a good starting point for our existing leadership so they may pass this on to the teams and new hires.
-- Lisa Kulesza & Melissa Vazquez, Maintenance Department

Peterson Farms ( is a market leader of frozen fruits, single strength juices, juice concentrates and fresh-cut apples. They provide high-quality fruit products to the food industry throughout the U.S. and parts of the world. Peterson Farms produces more than 150 million finished pounds of frozen fruits and seven million gallons of single strength apple juice/cider and juice concentrates. They presently employ 750 at their Shelby, Mich., facility.


Due to recent promotions and new hires, Peterson Farms wanted the maintenance management team to establish one shared approach to leadership and staff development strategies. Lisa Kulesza and Melissa Vazquez, Maintenance Department, sought a training program to help center and focus their maintenance leaders. They needed a program that would provide payback through direct application of improvement, problem solving and exposure to leadership methods and tools. Additionally, they wanted leaders to gain a practical understanding of how to be more effective supervisors and lead people to improved organizational performance.


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Through their relationship with the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center-West (The Center-West), Peterson Farms’ leadership team was introduced to comprehensive and valuable Master Supervisor Training. The fundamentals of supervision and leadership were put into practical terms, applications and tools to provide the maintenance managers with a well-rounded understanding of how and when to use key tools and techniques. Special consideration was given to performance metrics, goal setting and performance management, or “how to help others succeed.” Through this training, attendees were able to improve communication within their teams and learn skills to effectively coach the unique personalities of all employees.


  • Cost Savings: $5,000
  • Workforce Investment: $2,500
  • Jobs Retained: 27
  • Jobs Added: 6