Bill Litvin, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Giorgio Fresh Co. in Temple, PA, said that with consumers doing their research prior to purchasing products at the grocery store, the current industry movements and trends have produced a positive impact on the specialty produce category. Much of the increase in demand is related to the high nutritional value of mushrooms.
Giorgio’s “D’Lightful” Portabella Caps and Portabella Sliced Vitamin D enhanced mushrooms are treated to artificial sunlight to enhance the already naturally occurring Vitamin D in mushrooms. With this treatment, Giorgio’s Vitamin D mushrooms provide 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance.
Giorgio Fresh is a grower and shipper of fresh mushrooms that distributes from Maine to Florida, west to Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri. It also has a joint venture in Mexico, which ships through Texas.
The company is dedicated to being on the forefront of practicing “green” protocols. Mr. Litvin said that one of the ways it supports environmental sustainability is with recycled polyethylene terephthalate, commonly called “RPET” packaging.
“Giorgio recently attended the NEPC [New England Produce Council] Expo and connected with industry professionals to discuss the latest products and services in a dynamic environment,” said Mr. Litvin. “We attend the NEPC Expo every year because it is a great opportunity to spend time with our valued customers and other leaders in the produce industry.”
The company’s dynamic sales staff — some of which are newly hired team members — include Jim Cline, vice president of Southwest sales. Mr. Cline has been in the food industry for the past 27 years.
“Jim’s passion for striving to help customers’ businesses grow is evident, and widely respected by his customers that have followed him from his days with Campbell’s/Vlasic Foods, for more than two decades ago to his new position with Giorgio,” said Mr. Litvin. “After coming over to Giorgio from Modern Mushrooms, Jim has been impressed with the organized infrastructure that handles operations and is eager to familiarize himself more with Giorgio. Self-described as determined, persistent and success-oriented, Jim enjoys gardening in his spare time at his home in Texas.”
Mark Leone, vice president of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic sales, has been in the mushroom business for 24 years. Prior to joining Giorgio in 2012, he worked for Campbell’s, Vlasic Foods International and Modern Mushroom.
“Mark’s duties include servicing and updating customers as well as finding certain products that are best sold in demographically appealing areas to match consumer trends,” Mr. Litvin noted. “By doing this successfully, Mark’s impressive knowledge has benefited his customers throughout his career in the mushroom industry. Since joining Giorgio, he has embraced the Kaizen philosophy, as well as the solid foundation of its organized operations facilities that help the employees stand behind their product and programs. He describes himself as determined, passionate and forthright, Mark prefers to spend time with his friends and family, and he enjoys being an active member in his local social organizations.”
Lucretia Parish, vice president of Southeast sales, has been servicing the Southeast territory in the mushroom business for almost 31 years.
“Since joining Giorgio, Lucretia calls on accounts in the Southeast that are in retail, foodservice and wholesale industries,” said Mr. Litvin. “She helps her customers in order to grow the category, as well as being available to ensure that orders are filled accordingly. She aids in troubleshooting, communicates with customers to advise on trucking situations, quality control and checking products upon receipt. And she helps educate produce managers and sales reps. Lucretia is enthusiastic about her new position in a company that offers the freshest, best quality products in the industry. She is enthusiastic, focused and urgent to get great products into the hands of consumers. Lucretia loves to garden and read in her spare time.”
Gregory Sagan is the senior vice president of sales and marketing for Giorgio. He began his career in the food industry over 30 years ago with Campbell Soup. Since then, Greg has held positions with Vlasic Foods International, Money’s Mushrooms in Canada, and most recently, Modern Mushrooms. These positions resulted in numerous achievements in sales, logistics and trade marketing. Greg is well known in the industry and has served two terms on the Mushroom Council. Since joining Giorgio in 2012, Greg’s strengths include growing Giorgio’s customer base and increasing day-to-day business with key accounts. He works with customers to develop strategies to reach their consumers and to further develop their mushroom category.
“Like other new additions to the company, Greg is eager to continue his career with Giorgio, which he believes is operationally the best mushroom company in the U.S.,” Mr. Litvin added. “Greg is known as a mentor and team player who achieve results. He enjoys skiing, sailing and playing golf.”