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Chiquita Brands International Inc. announced the appointment of Craig Stephen as senior vice oresident of sales and marketing for Fresh Express. Stephen will have responsibility for Fresh Express sales, marketing and customer service operations, as the company continues to provide expanded category offerings in retail value-added and private label salads. “Craig is highly regarded and respected by all stakeholders across the fresh produce industry,” Brian W. Kocher,... Read more
Delhaize Group announced that Maura Abeln Smith, executive vice president, general counsel and general secretary, will leave the company effective Nov. 1. "I am grateful for Maura's service," Frans Muller, president and chief executive officer of Delhaize Group, said in a press release. "She came to Delhaize Group at a time of transition in leadership. She was committed, worked diligently, and made significant contributions and we wish her well in her future... Read more
Oppy’s Anderson honored with BC CEO Award
When the third annual BC CEO Awards were announced last week, Oppy’s John Anderson was chosen as a recipient. Anderson was selected as the 2014 honoree in the major private company category, with award sponsors Business in Vancouver magazine, Deloitte and MacKay CEO Forums naming him among British Columbia’s highly esteemed company leaders. John AndersonThe BC CEO Award is the latest of many industry and business community honors earned by The Oppenheimer Group’s... Read more
Kingston Fresh hires Sandy Gatanio
Sandy Gatanio has joined the Kingston Fresh team as product manager for specialty vegetables and berries, a new position. With over 35 years experience in fresh produce sales and marketing, his immediate focus will be on establishing these new categories and markets to add to Kingston’s expanding product lines. Gatanio previously held key sales and product management roles at other major produce firms in South Florida, including Fru-Veg Marketing, Southern Specialties... Read more
Market Fresh promotes Shanan Cox to senior director of brand strategy
Nixa, MO-based Market Fresh announced the promotion of Shanan Cox to senior director of brand strategy. In her new position, Cox will be responsible for overseeing all procurement and sourcing activities. She will develop and execute strategies to improve best-in-class procurement outcomes throughout the supply chain. In addition, she will also be responsible for all customer service entities regarding designated national accounts and will implement a consistent... Read more
Holtzinger hires new sales manager
Yakima, WA-based Holtzinger Fruit Co. has hired Paul Montmeny, a retail and produce sales veteran, as its sales manager. Montmeny comes to Holtzinger with more than 25 years in the apple and berry industries. "Paul approaches the marketing of Washington state apples with a sense of urgency and intensity that is unmatched and has an exceptional perspective and understanding on meeting the needs of customers and the requirements of growers," Steve Black, Holtzinger... Read more
Andrea Allen joins Monterey Mushrooms
Watsonville, CA-based Monterey Mushrooms announced the hire of Andrea Allen as Southeast regional sales manager. In her new position, Allen will be responsible for managing fresh mushroom sales with both retail and foodservice customers in the seven states surrounding the mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions. Allen has extensive sales experience and has previously represented produce companies such as Paramount Citrus, Paramount Farms and POM Wonderful. Before joining... Read more
Deardorff Family Farms, based in Oxnard, CA, recently hired Tyler Clear to work alongside Luke Patruno in organic sales. “Our focus for the past two years was on building programs that ensure Deardorff Organics has the highest quality organic vegetables every day,” Patruno said in a press release. “With that now in place, we are scaling our programs to meet our customers’ demand for additional supplies of Deardorff Organics.” Clear is a 2007 graduate of Cal Poly-San... Read more
Generation Next: Ark Foods founder unafraid  to break the mold, pursue his dreams
Always exploring. Constantly curious. These are words to live by for Noah Robbins, a self-described “still 26” year-old with a clear vision about his world. Robbins is the founder, chief executive officer and sole proprietor of Ark Foods, a company that was only a concept just four short years ago. The company’s website is a direct reflection of Robbins’ own epicurious style of life. “Ark Foods grows vegetables that make you take a second look. Produce that makes... Read more
SunFed continues to expand sales force
As SunFed gears up for the 2014 season, it continues to add to its sales staff. Kevin Partida joined the team Aug. 25, giving Sunfed its first California office. Partida brings close to 20 years of experience to the team. The SoCal location will allow him to work closely with West Coast retailers, wholesalers and food service operators.  “As Sunfed continues to add new acreage and expand its lineup of Perfect Produce we need two things: to find stellar,... Read more
Benny’s Farm Fresh Distributing hires Brian Weiner
Brian Weiner joined the sales and procurement team at Benny’s Farm Fresh Distributing Co. He will be handling a full-line of commodities for the Chicago-based company. Prior to joining Benny’s, Weiner worked for Get Fresh Produce in Bartlett, IL, for a little over a year. He has been working in the produce industry for 20 years. Weiner resides in the Chicago area with his wife and two daughters, ages 8 and 10. To announce personnel changes at your company, please... Read more
Schnucks taps Steven Mayer to oversee produce and floral
Steven Mayer has joined Schnuck Markets Inc. as vice president of produce and floral reporting to Chief Merchant Steve Harper. Mayer was formerly president of Flavor 1st, a large produce operation spanning 20,000 acers of farmland across North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, and specializing in growing and packing produce for sale to grocery store chains, wholesalers and farmers markets.Steven Mayer Mayer worked directly with growers and supported... Read more
Albert Ramirez joins New Limeco as director of sales
Albert Ramirez has been named New Limeco's director of sales. He joins the company with more 25 years of produce experience already under his belt. "He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our New Limeco team and we are excited to have him here," the company said in a press release.Albert Ramirez After college Ramirez worked for the family business as a grocery wholesaler in Chicago and Miami. He then went on to work as an inside sales coordinator... Read more
Stemilt promotes Mathison, Howell to director positions
Stemilt Growers has promoted Tate Mathison to director of sales and Dennis Howell to director of planning. The newly created positions are a continuation of the company’s strategic goals centered on sales planning and process development. “Tate has shown an ability to excel and lead," Mike Taylor, Stemilt’s vice president of sales and marketing, said in a press release.Tate Mathison "His incredible people skills and passion for this business will serve him well... Read more
Generation Next: Ruiz Sales’ Rick Salinas strives  to provide top-notch service
As the grandson of a farmer and son of two teachers, a strong sense of service was instilled in 25-year-old Ricardo (Rick) Salinas at a very young age — and it’s a quality he brings with him to the workplace every day. Although Salinas admits he “accidentally” fell into the produce industry, he is certainly thankful he did. As the food-safety and technical coordinator at Pharr, TX-based Ruiz Sales, Salinas has found his passion and purpose through providing customers... Read more
Earlier this month, the National Mango Board named Manuel Michel to be the next executive director of the marketing and research commodity group. By any measure, he has big shoes to fill. Michel, who most recently provided regulatory oversight to several federal government commodity programs as a marketing order specialist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Marketing Order & Agreement Division, will become the board’s second executive director, replacing... Read more
C.H. Robinson recently announced the opening of a new office in Hamburg, Germany, as well as the promotion of two office managers. Oliver Schmidt, who joined C.H. Robinson in April 2014, will now manage the new road transportation office in Hamburg, which focuses on new customer sales and executing road transport services. Schmidt has been working in the produce industry since 1994, developing a comprehensive background in road transport, air, ocean, project cargo,... Read more
Tribute: Remembering what Terry Vorhees  meant to the Southeast Produce Council
The Southeast Produce Council will hold its annual fall conference Sept. 25-27 at Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa in Young Harris, GA, a beautiful venue located in the north Georgia mountains. As always at the fall conference, attendees will enjoy delicious food, lively receptions, thought-provoking workshops on timely topics, high-profile speakers, the State-of-the-Council address, the President’s Dinner Dance and the annual Ken Lanhardt Memorial Golf Tournament,... Read more
L&M’s Washington state team announced the hire of Craig Barnes as sales specialist and the promotion of Donna Feltrup to the position of sales manager on Sept. 9. Barnes brings experience in wholesale and domestic retail sales, along with specific expertise in export sales to the L&M team. He was previously with Rainier Fruit and has been in the produce industry since 2010. Feltrup has been with L&M for 10 years and has helped expand the company’s... Read more
Molly Briseño joins Moxxy Marketing
Moxxy Marketing, based in Salinas, CA, announced the hire of Molly Briseño as director of client services on Sept. 16. In her new senior-level leadership position, Briseño will be responsible for managing client relationships, overseeing projects, including branding, graphic design, website/new media, video, trade show and others, and ensuring clients always receive exemplary service and project quality. Prior to joining Moxxy, Briseño worked at Full Steam Marketing... Read more