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Fox Packaging adds business development manager
Fox Packaging, an industry leader in packaging innovation based in McAllen, TX, announced that it has hired Jasper Trujillo as business development manager. Trujillo joins the Fox Packaging team with a background in economics and business consulting where he helped to create standard operating procedures and measured competitive analyses for previous clients. In his new role, he will be responsible for the development of an effective marketing and sales strategy... Read more
New hire strengthens Seven Seas' California exports
Seven Seas, a grower, shipper and importer/exporter of a variety of produce grown in the United States, South America, South Africa, Mexico and the Caribbean, has added Steve Kim as an account manager in its Visalia, CA, office. Kim brings nine years of perishable logistics and Asia market trading experience to the Seven Seas team. Kim, born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in Salinas, CA, was first introduced to the produce industry during his time of service... Read more
Former Sysco exec named CEO of Brighter Bites
Brighter Bites, a nonprofit organization that is changing behavior among children and their families to prevent obesity and achieve long-term health, announced that Rich Dachman is the Houston, TX-based nonprofit’s new chief executive officer.   Dachman comes to Brighter Bites with more than 40 years of experience in the produce industry, 28 of them at Sysco, one of the world’s largest broadline food distributors. Dachman retired from Sysco last month as vice... Read more
River Fresh expansion continues as David Martinez joins leadership team
Veteran produce industry sales executive David Martinez has joined River Fresh Farms as senior vice president of business development. "I’ve known and admired Dave for most of the more than 25 years he’s been leading produce sales and executive teams in the Salinas Valley," said Vince Ballesteros, River Fresh chief executive officer and founder. "We’re thrilled to now have his experience, energy and customer relationship focus on the River Fresh team." Since 2011,... Read more
Ocean Mist's new organic product manager headed to OPS
Ocean Mist Farms, a sponsor of the Organic Produce Summit, will be in attendance at this year’s show with new Organic Product Manager Katie Tossie — in addition to showcasing Ocean Mist organic artichokes, Brussels sprouts, Romaine hearts, and Iceberg lettuce. Prior to her new role, Tossie was a sales representative with Ocean Mist Farms for over 15 years. As organic product manager she will manage daily harvests, set market pricing, manage budgeted volumes for... Read more
Jason Wolcott joins Fall Creek as commercial director
Jason Wolcott has joined Fall Creek Farm & Nursery Inc. as its commercial director, responsible for the company’s commercial strategy and execution, including planning and fulfillment of blueberry plants, customer service and technical support, and the development and administration of blueberry variety licensing platforms. He is based in Lowell, OR, and reports to President and Chief Operating Officer Oscar Verges. Wolcott has more than 20 years of leadership... Read more
In February Rivermaid Trading Co. welcomed Justin Bloss to its sales and marketing staff. “We were looking to add to our sales and marketing team prior to cherry season and I was looking for someone who had some experience in the produce business and agriculture,” said Kyle Persky, sales manager for the Lodi, CA-based company. “He was someone who had experience managing a family farm and direct store delivery sales and he had some background in retail as well.” Bloss... Read more
Ark Foods hires Lou Terrulli as director of sourcing and farmer development
Lou Terrulli has joined Ark Foods as director of sourcing and farmer development. Terrulli will support the company’s national and regional procurement sourcing initiatives along with aiding and assisting with Ark Foods logistical and product handling needs. Terrulli brings a rare combination of a wealth of product and market knowledge along with an understanding of what the customer needs. His produce career began working alongside his father, Lou Terrulli Sr.,... Read more
NWPB's Megan McKenna promoted, takes on additional responsibilities
National Watermelon Promotion Board’s Director of Foodservice Megan McKenna was recently promoted to senior director of marketing and foodservice. In this role, McKenna will perform various marketing duties for the foodservice program, including event activations, media relations and providing operators with assistance with ideation, usage ideas, education and promotion support, to name a few. McKenna will also serve as the primary point of contact for consumer,... Read more
Brent Portell joins Del Rey Avocado
With the expansion of Del Rey Avocado Co. Inc.'s new state-of-the-art facility in Vista, CA, the executive management team made a decisions to search for an individual who would fit in with the company culture and family environment, while at the same time have the talent and ability to help take the company to a new level. The several-month search lead to find a very capable and enthusiastic operations manager in Brent Portell, the company announced June 19. Portell... Read more
Nancy Johnston to succeed Debbie Vest at Renaissance Food Group
Nancy Johnston has joined Renaissance Food Group as vice president of produce procurement. In this role, Johnston will continue to drive the company’s procurement initiatives and lead all aspects of the corporate sourcing and regional procurement teams. Johnston brings to RFG a wealth of experience and knowledge from her past 30 years in the produce industry. She received her bachelor's degree in business administration from Wichita State University. Her background... Read more
NYAA welcomes new officers
The New York Apple Association board of directors met in Geneva, NY, June 11 to elect officers and welcome new members. Returning to the role of board chairwoman is Sarah Dressel Nikles of Dressel Farms in New Paltz. Robert Brown III of Orchard Dale Fruit Farm in Waterport was elected to return to the position of vice chair and Karla Bailey of KC Bailey Orchards in Williamson was elected secretary and treasurer. The board also welcomed four new board members who... Read more
NMB's Buchsbaum will lead retail outreach in the Northeast
The National Mango Board welcomed Meg Buchsbaum as its new retail account manager for the Northeast. Buchsbaum comes to the NMB with more than 20 years of strong retail, wholesale, produce buying and product development expertise. Buchsbaum will work with retailers in the Northeast of the U.S. to set strategic programs and help retailers grow their mango category and increase year-round mango sales.  Most recently, Buchsbaum served as the national produce... Read more
Kasey Cronquist named as president of national blueberry groups
After an exhaustive search process, the North American Blueberry Council and U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council have named Kasey Cronquist as its new president, effective July 29. The Council’s current executive director, Mark Villata, will retire at the end of the year. “After 25 exciting and rewarding years working for the NABC and USHBC, I’m pleased to be welcoming the next phase of leadership in Kasey,” said Mark Villata. “We’ve seen the blueberry industry grow... Read more
Pear industry elects new officers
The pear industry elected new officers during its annual meeting in Portland, OR. The newly elected officers to the Pear Bureau Northwest will lead the board, and the newly elected officers to the Fresh Pear Committee will lead the committee in accordance with Marketing Order 927: Pears Grown in Oregon and Washington. In the position of chair will be Mike Taylor of Wenatchee, WA, with Scott Martinez of Medford, OR, elected as first vice chair. In second and third... Read more
United Apple Sales opens West Coast division, hires industry veteran Frank Davis
United Apple Sales announced the opening of a new West Coast division based in Yakima, WA, and the hiring of Frank Davis as vice president of national business development.Frank Davis With more than 100 years as a grower-packer-shipper in upstate New York, United Apple has expanded its operations in Washington to help cover its growing national account customer base. Ward Dobbins, owner and chief executive officer, said its Washington presence began in 2016 with... Read more
Generation Next: For Grace Vilches, Internship leads to Produce for Kids position
Grace Vilches, a marketing coordinator for Florida-based Produce for Kids, is a living illustration that internships are a great way to introduce college students to the produce industry. Though Vilches has always felt an affinity for good food — she calls herself a “foodie” — and grew up in an agriculturally rich part of the country, she had no connection to the fresh produce industry until she took a random internship with her current employer in early 2016. ... Read more
Fall Creek Farm & Nursery hires Burgert Van Dyk
Burgert Van Dyk has joined Fall Creek Farm & Nursery Inc. as regional director for South Africa, responsible for building the Fall Creek business in the region.  Under his supervision, Fall Creek will establish a new nursery in South Africa and recruit staff necessary to operate it and develop strong relationships with the company’s blueberry nursery and genetics customers in the region. Van Dyk will oversee the implementation and administration of new... Read more
Kimberly A Kropf and Caleb J. Coulter attended their first Michigan Apple Committee meeting on June 4. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appointed them to the Michigan Apple Committee board of directors on April 12. “Kimberly and Caleb’s experiences and knowledge are great assets to our board,” said Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee. “I know they will succeed in representing their districts.” Whitmer appointed Kropf of Lowell to succeed Tony... Read more
Bob Whitaker to retire from PMA
Bob Whitaker, the Produce Marketing Association's chief science and technology officer, will retire from the association in January of 2020 after 11 years of dedication and diligence to bettering the produce industry and helping to grow a healthier world. "Bob has proven himself to be a true champion not only for our organization, but the industry at large," said Cathy Burns, chief executive officer of PMA. "His voice has been critical in times of challenge and... Read more