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International Blueberry Organization announces new president
During the International Blueberry Organization Summit in Argentina and Uruguay the group announced Peter McPherson would take the reigns as the new president, succeeding Chilean Blueberry Committee president Andres Armstrong in the role. McPherson, who is general manager–berry international at Costa Group, one of Australia’s larger integrated fresh produce companies, said his election was unexpected but certainly an honor.Peter McPherson “I... Read more
Teri Miller joins The Fresh Market
Teri Miller joined The Fresh Market on Monday, Sept. 19, as senior category manager. She will be based in Greensboro, NC, the city where the company is headquartered. "I'm just getting my feet wet, but I am very excited to be here," Miller told The Produce News Tuesday, Sept. 20. "They've got a great reputation. I have a lot to learn here, but I [also] have a lot to contribute." The Fresh Market has 177 stores in 24 states around the country, primarily in Florida,... Read more
Alpine Fresh welcomes new food-safety director
Alpine Fresh Inc., grower, packer, and shipper of fresh fruits and vegetables headquartered in Doral, FL, has named Lilia Rivera as its new food-safety director. “We are very excited to have Lilia Rivera join our team,” Walter Yager, chief executive officer, said in a press release. With a degree in public health and having led the compliance department in a fresh-cut processing facility for the past five years, Rivera is well versed in all things... Read more
Recognition: Jim Allen, top advocate for the U.S. apple industry, set for retirement in January
Anyone who has called Jim Allen and reached his voice mailbox will recognize this: “Crunch, chew, slurp, swallow … Ah, excuse me. Hi, this is Jim Allen. I’m sorry. I just bit into a delicious New York state apple, and boy it’s good. Leave me a message and I’ll call you back. If I don’t call you right back it’s probably because I’m eating another apple. And you should too. Thanks for calling. Bye.” It’s... Read more
Vida Fresh welcomes new team members
Vida Fresh Inc., a grower-packer-shipper of fine culinary fresh herbs, both organic and conventional, and an extensive range of organic vegetables, expanded its sales desk in Morro Bay, CA, with the addition of three staff members. Alex Duvall has been on the sales team for eight months, offering great service to Vida Fresh’s customers. A business owner for 10 years and sales manager for five years, he brings an array of sales and business experience with... Read more
California Rep. Farr honored at United FreshPAC event
WASHINGTON — Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) called United Fresh Produce Association members “first responders” in the war on poverty in rural areas as he was honored by the group at the Sept. 13 FreshPAC reception. Farr, who is retiring after 23 years in Congress, has been one of the strongest voices on Capitol Hill for fresh produce and has been able to balance the needs of agriculture with the needs of people in the district, said Tom Stenzel, president... Read more
Produce packaging pioneer Jim Kelly Sr. dies at 86
James Patrick Kelly, a pioneer in the produce packaging industry who co-founded Emerald Packaging Inc., died Aug. 31 after a long battle with Melanoma. He was 86 and a resident of Orinda, CA.  Born in Brooklyn, NY, to native Irish parents. Mr. Kelly graduated from St. John’s University in 1952 following a stint in the U.S. Army. He went on to earn an MBA in 1955 from New York University, and then blazed a trail into the burgeoning plastics industry,... Read more
Category Partners, based in Aurora, CO, announced the promotion of Tom Barnes to the position of chief executive officer. He places Mac Johnson, the founding president and CEO, who is stepping back and refocusing his efforts on driving value and growth for our clients in the retail grocery channel. “As Category Partners has deepened its relationships with national and regional retailers, my focus, time and energy has evolved,” Johnson said in a statement.... Read more
Southern California produce veteran Jane Clark-Paino dies at 65
Longtime Southern California produce veteran Jane Clark-Paino died Aug. 19 at the age of 65. Born Aug. 11, 1951, Ms. Clark-Paino was the daughter and niece of the late Jim and Ed Miller, two produce brokers that worked for many years in Los Angeles. Janie, as she was called, first worked for her father’s firm, the Jim Miller Co., and then transitioned to the Ed Miller Co. when Jim retired from the industry. She eventually launched Clark Brokerage Co. and... Read more
The North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission announced that Jerome Langdon, husband of former Executive Director Sue Langdon and a farmer for the better part of six decades, died Tuesday, Aug. 30, at Liberty Commons Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Benson, NC. He was 72. Mr. Langdon was born in Harnett County on Nov. 5, 1943 to the late Norwood and Ruby Parrish Langdon. He graduated from Benson High School and has been a well-known Johnston County farmer... Read more
Oppy promotes greenhouse veteran Winford
In a move that further strengthens Oppy’s marketing partnership with SunSelect Produce, Craig Winford has been elevated to greenhouse category manager and business development representative for the leading fresh produce sales, marketing and distribution company. Winford brings 13 years of greenhouse expertise — including more than a decade at Oppy — into the role. His most recent position was greenhouse specialist, managing Oppy’s British... Read more
SpartanNash announced that Dave Staples has been appointed president; he will continue as chief operating officer. Staples will continue to report directly to Dennis Eidson, who continues his responsibilities as chairman and chief executive officer. As president and COO Staples will lead the company's overall strategy implementation and execution, and direct all operating aspects of the retail, wholesale and military distribution business segments. This move will... Read more
Rep. Sam Farr to be honored during United Fresh Washington Conference
United Fresh will recognize Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) for his service in Congress on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at the United Fresh Washington Conference Presidential Election Party. After 12 terms in the House of Representatives, Farr will retire in January 2017.Sam Farr During his 23 years representing California’s Central Coast, Farr has been a constant advocate for the fresh produce industry, using his leadership positions over the years on the Agriculture Committee,... Read more
Former PMA board president John Martin dies at 94
John W. Martin, former board president of the Produce Marketing Association, died Tuesday, Aug. 23. He was 94 years old. Mr. Martin led the association in 1966 and was instrumental in broadening the scope of the Produce Packaging Association during his tenure, helping to guide strategic discussions for the rebranding of the PPA into what would eventually become the Produce Marketing Association.John W. Martin Mr. Martin and his wife Mary Ann (Nan) Martin had a... Read more
SpartanNash announced today that Tammy Hurley, SpartanNash vice president of finance, has been named chief accounting officer. The board of directors approved this appointment at its quarterly meeting. Hurley joined SpartanNash in 2001 as controller, and was promoted in 2002 to director of finance. Since then she has held finance roles of increasing responsibility and broadened her responsibilities to include business segment accounting and corporate financial... Read more
Mann Packing hires director of food safety and product quality
Mann Packing announced the hiring of Greg Komar to the position of director of food safety and product quality. Komar will be responsible for all food-safety and product quality systems for the company. “His work experience in dealing with our produce food-safety and quality requirements in this ever-changing regulatory environment makes him a very welcome addition to the Mann’s team,” Lorri Koster, chairman and chief executive officer, said in... Read more
PRO*ACT names new VP of client development
PRO*ACT has announced that Kristie Waters joined the company as vice president of client development. Waters is a produce industry veteran with experience in sales, marketing and business development. She will work with the client development team to achieve its goal of ensuring awareness of the benefits of PRO*ACT and strengthen strategic relationships with existing and prospective clients.Kristie Waters “We needed someone to fill this role who understands... Read more
Bedwell takes reins at California Agricultural Leadership Foundation
Barry Bedwell, former president of the California Fresh Fruit Association, moved into the position of president of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation, effective Aug. 1. Bedwell told The Produce News there are challenges in store, and he looks forward to rising to the occasion.Barry Bedwell The nonprofit association, headquartered in Salinas, CA, is considered to be one of the premier leadership development programs in the United States. Since it... Read more
West Pak Avocado adds two to sales team
Two produce industry sales veterans were recently added to the sales desk of West Pak Avocado Inc., signaling that company’s continued volume growth in the avocado sector. Susie Rea, who was previously with Ayco Farms, and Marlon Abarca, who came over from The Giumarra Cos. berry division, have joined the avocado company’s sales team. West Pak Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing Doug Meyer said the two hires will both be involved in sales... Read more
Hy-Vee promotes two EVPs
Hy-Vee Inc. has promoted two senior leaders — Jeremy Gosch and Donna Tweeten — to the title of executive vice president, and they join only six others selected to help guide the regional supermarket chain. Gosch, formerly senior vice president and chief merchandising officer, was named executive vice president strategy and chief merchandising officer. Tweeten, formerly senior vice president and chief marketing officer, was promoted to executive vice... Read more