PIECES OF THE PAST: Congratulations, Brenda!

Daniel CooperAwards, Pieces of the Past

Brenda Eubanks Burnette

For nearly a decade, Brenda Eubanks Burnette has filled Citrus Industry magazine’s Pieces of the Past column with wonderful stories that have preserved Florida’s citrus heritage. Because of her dedication to the industry, she has been selected as this year’s Citrus Achievement Award winner. So, this month we are using her column space to share a few well-deserved congratulatory remarks on her contributions to Florida citrus.

“It is fantastic when someone that has spent a career making other folks look great is finally recognized. As the executive director of the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame, Brenda has coordinated the annual induction luncheon, taken an active role in making sure all Florida Southern Fellowship students were involved in relevant activities, been the face of organization at industry events, brought back the Miss Florida Citrus pageant, edited three books (two with Jerry Chicone on crate labels and one on members of the Citrus Hall of Fame), helped establish the Citrus Crate Label Tour (now in several counties) and much more. At last, it is wonderful to see Brenda recognized for her hard work and huge impact on the Florida citrus industry.”
— John Jackson, Former Chairman, Florida Citrus Hall of Fame

“We often talk about Florida citrus being more than just a job, about it being a way of life steeped in heritage and tradition. I can think of very few people who have dedicated themselves and their time to preserving and honoring that heritage and tradition more than Brenda Eubanks Burnette. Between her work on the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame, the Citrus Archives and the Miss Florida Citrus Pageant, Brenda continues to promote our industry and our product every day. She truly is The Queen of Florida Citrus!”
— Matt Joyner, Executive Vice President and CEO, Florida Citrus Mutual

“I struggle to find enough superlative adjectives to describe this amazing woman’s contributions to the Florida citrus industry over the past 40 years. This amazing run started with Brenda being selected to represent the citrus industry as the Florida Citrus Queen in the early 1980s. She built on that resume by serving in many different capacities in her relentless dedication to the history preservation and promotion of the Florida citrus industry. Specifically, the success of the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame committee and the Miss Florida Citrus program are both a testament to her decades of hard work and leadership. I applaud her selection for the Citrus Achievement Award. It’s very deserving and long overdue.”
— Quentin Roe, 2005 Citrus Achievement Award Winner, WG Roe & Sons

“Congratulations, Brenda, for being chosen to receive the 2024 Citrus Achievement Award. It is certainly well deserved. Your many years of dedication to the Florida citrus industry are greatly appreciated, not only your preservation of citrus history but your ongoing promotion and focus on the industry as well. I know of no one in this industry that has not been touched in some way by your hard work and dedication. On behalf of the Florida citrus industry, we thank you.”
— Glenn Beck, 2023 Citrus Achievement Award Winner, Beck Bros. Citrus

“Brenda has continued to enthusiastically promote citrus with her leadership of the Florida Citrus Queen (now Miss Florida Citrus) program, while also serving as the executive director of the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame and an acting guardian angel of our industry’s history as told through the old-style graphic labels. She has always been and always will be a wonderful, enthusiastic promoter of Florida citrus.”
— George Hamner, Indian River Exchange Packers

“It has been a joy to work with Brenda through the years as Florida Southern College works to offer an exceptional educational program in citrus management. Brenda has been an influential advocate for the college’s program and encouraged many aspiring citrus leaders to study at Florida Southern. She is also an impressive ambassador for truly ‘all things citrus.’  Whenever we have a question about the citrus industry, she is always ready and willing to assist. I have also enjoyed working with her as she has worked tirelessly to plan excellent Citrus Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and the luncheon celebration. She has great ideas and passion for the citrus industry that is evidenced in all her work on its behalf. I appreciate her dedication, colleagueship and the joy she brings to her role. I hope that this recognition of her service will help her realize how much all of her efforts and successful programs have meant to this vital industry in the great state of Florida! She is truly ‘one in a million,’ and I appreciate and value being her colleague and friend.”
Anne B. Kerr, President, Florida Southern College

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