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Augie Consalo, N.J. produce veteran, dies at 81
Augustus (Augie) Consalo of Vineland, NJ, died Aug. 21 at Kennedy Stratford Hospital. He was 81. Mr. Consalo was former vice president of William Consalo & Sons Farms Inc. and past president of W.C.S. Trucking Inc. He was a member and former two-term president of the United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association for the state of New Jersey and a member of the Produce Marketing Association. Augustus (Augie) ConsaloIn 1995 he was named Produce Man of the... Read more
Former Fowler & Huntting owner dies at 71
William (Bill) Yandow, a former owner and executive of Fowler & Huntting in Hartford, CT, died May 25 at his home in Florida. He was 71 years old. William (Bill) YandowA long-time resident of Avon, FL, Mr. Yandow spent his entire produce career at Fowler & Huntting, a company that he and his brother acquired from their father in 1972, where he served as vice president and controller during his tenure. The brothers sold their business to their nephews Kenneth,... Read more
Vice president of Shipping Point Marketing dies at 54
Mark Dirrigl, vice president and partner of Shipping Point Marketing, Inc., passed away on Saturday, Aug. 16 after complications from surgery. He was at 54 years old. Originally from Rochester, NY, Mr. Dirrigl worked at Louis Fishgold, Inc. from the late 1970s to early 1980s. He later joined Louis J. Decarlo & Sons in Buffalo, NY. At Decarlo, Mr. Dirrigl became a partner and dramatically increased sales, especially with fresh strawberries and tomatoes. In... Read more
Cherie C. Watte named new chair at CA GROWN
Cherie C. Watte, executive director of the California Asparagus Commission, is the new chair at CA GROWN, a partnership between the California Department of Food & Agriculture and commodity groups representing the state’s agriculture industry. Watte follows former chair Kasey Cronquist, chief executive officer and ambassador for the California fresh-cut flower industry, who guided CA GROWN through a newly revamped promotions program and membership expansion. “We... Read more
Donald Slot joins The Oppenheimer Group
Donald Slot recently joined The Oppenheimer Group as it’s new Toronto-based sales representative where he will market the company’s full assortment to Eastern Canadian customers. With over a decade of fresh produce experience, Slot most recently worked for four years as a key account executive at Westrow Food Group, a leading Canadian food broker.  “Donald’s skills and experience are a great fit,” said Walt Breeden, director of sales for Canada at Oppy. “His... Read more
Irwindale, CA-based Ready Pac announced Robert Prystash as its new vice president of continuous improvement. In his new position, Prystash will lead transformation initiatives and continue to progress Ready Pac’s culture of continuous improvement. He will report directly to Peter Laport, chief supply chain officer at Ready Pac. “Robert’s true leadership and dynamic approach to obtaining results make him an ideal fit to innovate and lead continuous improvement... Read more
Associated Potato Growers Inc. announced the hiring of Matthew Kugler. Kugler, who was a longtime potato and onion buyer at Russ Davis Wholesale, joins Greg Holtman and Jeff Lazur on the sales desk at Associated. “Matthew comes to us with years of experience in the potato and onion business as a buyer for Russ Davis Wholesale,” Paul Dolan, general manager for Associated, said in a press release. “We are very excited that he has joined our staff. He has been... Read more
Retailers are encouraged to take advantage of a host of programs developed by the Pear Bureau Northwest designed to increase pear sales. “We have a robust promotion program planned for the upcoming season that incorporates successful tactics such as in-store radio and in-store sampling,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Moffitt. “We plan earlier sampling activities for Bartlett and Starkrimson pear varieties in order to get the momentum started for... Read more
Stephanie Santiago takes on new role at Ready Pac
Irwindale, CA-based Ready Pac announced Stephanie Santiago as its director of national accounts-Costco team lead. In her new role, Santiago will serve as the primary account contact for Costco. She will collaborate with internal resources to develop and guide the implementation of account-specific business plans that achieve profitability and sales targets, the company press release stated.  “With over 14 years of selling experience, Stephanie brings... Read more
Coastline Family Farms promotes Linda Kivlehan
Salinas, CA-based Coastline Family Farms recently announced the promotion of Linda Kivlehan from retail sales to sales manager. In her new role as sales manager, Kivlehan will be responsible for managing all day-to-day sales activities for the company, including directing sales, implementation and support activities using the tools, processes, procedures and infrastructure to ensure long-term growth, operational consistency, and enhanced customer experiences, according... Read more
John Vena Inc. recently announced James Collins as its new packingroom supervisor. In this newly created role, Collins will be in charge of all packingroom processes. Collins has a bachelor’s degree in networking and communications management, as well as experience in production processes. He has spent the majority of his career working in operations, which has allowed him to develop his skills in process technology and lean manufacturing. To announce personnel... Read more
Riveridge Produce adds new staff
Sparta, MI-based Riveridge Produce recently added new staff members to its team as part of its expansion plans. MITCH BRINKS joined the staff as an account manager, effective Aug. 4. Mitch Brinks Brinks has had a long career in the produce industry, including the last 11 years as a sales manager at Jack Brown Produce, also based in Sparta. Before that, he worked for the Kroger Co., traveling and sourcing fruits and vegetables primarily in the Eastern United States.... Read more
Food Safety Net Services Certification & Audit, based in San Antonio, TX, recently appointed Lori Ernst as its vice president of audit services. In her new position, Ernst will be responsible for maintaining the integrity of FSNS C&A audit and certification programs, including training of new employees. In addition, she will develop and maintain new programs as well as oversee the FSNS C&A certification body. To announce personnel changes at your company,... Read more
Ed Baloian of Baloian Farms dies at 92
Ed Baloian, patriarch of Baloian Farms died surrounded by family Aug. 2. He was 92, and despite health problems over the last few years, Mr. Baloian was a constant presence at the office every day until the last few weeks. A second-generation farmer and the son of an Armenian immigrant, Mr. Baloian understood the value of hard work from an early age when he worked side-by-side with his father growing and distributing fruit and vegetables throughout the Fresno,... Read more
Christine Fries joins the Jersey Fresh team
The New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s marketing and development division announced that Christine Fries has joined the team as an agricultural marketing specialist. In this role, Fries will support the Department of Agriculture and "Jersey Fresh" brand by providing marketing advice and assistance, supporting market expansion and development programs and participating in the design and implementation of promotional and educational materials and activities.... Read more
O'Brien to retire from Schnuck Markets, but open to new opportunities
After 42 years with one of the Midwest's most well-known retailers, Michael O'Brien is planning to retire from Schnuck Markets Inc. at the end of October, but he is planning to pursue other opportunities within the produce sector. The 61-year-old vice president of produce and floral told The Produce News Aug. 4 that the plan for retirement from this phase in his career has been in the works for a while. Michael O'Brien"The timing was right" to take his career... Read more
Bob Antle, industry pioneer and a founding member of Tanimura & Antle, dies at 78
Robert Victor Antle, an industry pioneer who was the patriarch of the Antle family and a founding member of Tanimura & Antle Inc., died Aug. 3 at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital with his family at his side. He was 78. Mr. Antle was born Nov. 10, 1935, in Watsonville, CA, to Lester (Bud) and Delores (Polly) Antle. While a student in 1949, he joined his father, Bud Antle, and grandfather, Lester Antle, at the family's lettuce harvest operation.Robert Victor... Read more
Idaho Falls, ID-based Kingston Cross Dock & Cold Storage announced Brian Osborne as its new warehouse and operations manager on July 1. Osborne brings over 30 years of experience in cold storage, operations, and logistics to his new position, where he will focus on daily operations and adding to the level of customer service offered to KCD’s growing customer list. “Kingston’s strong reputation in the produce and storage industries for both product quality... Read more
Marshall Sherman rejoins WP Rawl
WP Rawl, a grower, shipper and processor of leafy greens in the United States, announced Marshall Sherman as its new director of food safety and quality assurance on July 7. Sherman has an extensive background in produce distribution and farming operations, as well as plant and operations management. He previously worked for WP Rawl as general manager from 2001 to 2008. Most recently, he was the director of operations at a Jacksonville, FL, produce distribution... Read more
Pacific Organic Produce, based in San Francisco recently announced Allen Bernklau as senior commodity development and sales specialist. Bernklau has been working in the organic industry for over 30 years. He has experience in all areas of the industry, including retail, wholesale, mail order, and working directly with growers. Prior to joining Pacific Organic Produce, Bernklau led the sales team at Del Cabo for the past 11 years, helping them to develop into one... Read more