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Catherine Gipe-Stewart takes Domex Superfresh Growers to new heights
As an avid hiker who is always on the search for the next mountain to climb, 29-year-old Catherine Gipe-Stewart is constantly soaring to new heights — both in her personal and professional life. “We’re in the wonderful Yakima Valley, which is right next to the Cascade Mountains,” Gipe-Stewart told The Produce News. “I try to get out to the mountains as much as possible, which is never as much as I want,” she laughed.Catherine Gipe-Stewart, with husband, John Stewart,... Read more
Longtime produce industry veteran retires from Duncan Family Farms
Duncan Family Farms, a grower of organic baby lettuces and greens, kales and herbs with operations in Arizona, California, Oregon and New York, has announced the retirement of Grower Relations Manager Jimmy Tadano. Tadano’s career in agriculture spans his entire adult life, and as an employee at Duncan Family Farms for more than a decade, he was highly respected by all who worked with him at the company. "In his time at Duncan Family Farms, Jimmy was unique in... Read more
Daily Harvest names chief marketing officer
Daily Harvest has hired Patrick Yee as its chief marketing officer. Yee was most recently the chief executive officer of Laird + Partners, a leading branding and creative agency in fashion, beauty and luxury. "Patrick has a proven ability to bring brands to life in innovative ways and build community in the process," said Rachel Drori, founder and chief executive officer of Daily Harvest. "We couldn't be more excited to have him join the Daily Harvest... Read more
NGA announces staff promotions and new hires
The National Grocers Association the national trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, announced key staff promotions and new additions to its team intended to help the organization expand its member benefits and advocate policies to better serve America’s independent grocers. “The grocery business is changing faster than ever and we’re devoting significantly more resources to ensure independent supermarket operators thrive in today’s... Read more
Moxxy Marketing names director of digital media
Moxxy Marketing, a leading full-service marketing agency in the agriculture and food and beverage industries, has named marketing veteran Roger Smith director of digital media. A member of the Moxxy team since 2014, Smith’s expertise in front- and back-end web development, and deep understanding of digital platforms, will enable him to enhance the firm’s digital media strategy offering. "Roger joined Moxxy three years ago as a web developer, and we thought we were... Read more
Elizabeth Smart joins Divine Flavor
After a decade of working with Divine Flavor from outside the company, Elizabeth Smart has joined the firm’s sales team, according to Carlos Bon Jr., Divine Flavor’s sales manager. Bon said that Smart “is an experienced lady. She was already selling produce. She joined us Jan. 8 and will help us in several ways.” Her primary responsibility will be melon sales, which has been her specialty. Beyond that, “she is very professional and very organized. She will help... Read more
Former Russ Davis Wholesale president dies at 81
Gary Davis, former president and owner of Russ Davis Wholesale in Wadena, MN, died Jan. 3 at his home after a long battle with cancer. Mr. Davis and his father, Russ, started selling fresh produce in 1957. Over the course of 50 years he leveraged a tremendous work ethic, significant smarts, a competitive nature, and plenty of attitude to build a business that became an industry leader in the upper Midwest. As a veteran of the industry, Mr. Davis was a respected... Read more
 Western Growers hires Devorah Allen
Western Growers recently hired Devorah Allen, who will join the human resources team as human resources and learning development consultant. In this role, Allen will be responsible for conducting training for Western Growers members and the agricultural community. Allen will be developing and implementing new training programs for Western Growers University, the association’s employee training program, to educate agriculture business owners and their workforce... Read more
L&M welcomes Jon Shriver to eastern veg team
L&M is excited to announce the addition of Jon Shriver to the L&M eastern veg team. Shriver has been in the produce industry for 14 years. He spent the first 11 years of his career working East Coast dry vegetables, specifically focusing on Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Michigan; working state to state as vegetables came into season. More recently, Jon has focused on business development and selling for Mexican vegetables, operating... Read more
Jeff Patterson joins Market Fresh Produce
Market Fresh Produce has added Jeff Patterson to its St. Louis, MO, campus. He will be working with the business development team, where he will report directly to Mike Kemp, vice president of strategy. Patterson will be responsible for generating new customers, building customer relationships and driving new business across all U.S. markets by leveraging our full suite of product services related to fresh produce. Patterson is an accomplished director of produce... Read more
Citrus veteran John Famini joins Interfresh
Interfresh Inc., a national marketer of fresh fruits and vegetables, announced that citrus industry veteran John Famini has joined the company in the role of national accounts manager for the citrus department. Famini, a graduate of California State University-Northridge, brings 23 years of citrus experience to Interfresh, all of it with Sunkist Growers. “John’s knowledge of the citrus industry and decades of experience will be a great asset to Interfresh,”... Read more
Produce veteran retires from Lucky Strike Farms
Longtime produce veteran Michael W. (Hoppy) Hopkins, retired as of the start of the year. He spent the last 25 years at Lucky Strike Farms as retail sales manager. Hopkins started in produce transportation in 1972 after a stint in the Air Force. Moving into marketing at Sahara Packing in 1982, he was eventually promoted to sales manager before joining the Lucky Strike team in 1992. In 2014, he opened a central valley office for Lucky Strike Farms in Valley... Read more
Organic Produce Summit names Susan Canales as president
Susan Canales has been named president of the Organic Produce Summit, the annual produce event dedicated exclusively to the $15 billion organic fresh produce industry. Canales who has served as director of operations for the past two years will be responsible for overseeing all exhibitor and sponsor activities, while supporting the various educational components associated with OPS, including a series of field tours with some of the world’s most prominent organic... Read more
Roland Paul Blaser, president of Moody Creek Produce, a potato grower in Sugar City, ID, died Nov. 6 at his home in Plano, ID. He was 87. Mr. Blaser was born Aug. 19, 1930, to Ernest and Margaret Grosnick Blaser. A lifelong resident of Plano, he attended school in Plano, graduating in 1948 as the last senior class from Edmunds High School. After serving a 36-month LDS mission to Switzerland and Austria from 1950 to 1953, Mr. Blaser married his high school sweetheart,... Read more
Recognition: Roger Schroeder retires from Stater Bros.
When Roger Schroeder began his produce industry career Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House, Chubby Checker had everyone twisting, a postage stamp cost 4 cents and Los Angeles County still had its fair share of agricultural fields. On Jan. 12, 2018, Schroeder is calling it quits after a 58-year career that took him from box boy to produce industry statesman, working for three of Southern California’s finest produce retailers along the way. Each of those other... Read more
Carolyn Chang to expand Interfresh berry program
Interfresh, Inc., a national marketer of fruits and vegetables, announced Dec. 11 that industry veteran Carolyn Chang has joined the company in the position of director of berry operations. Chang brings a wealth of industry experience to her role, including positions in the grower/shipper community, retail, and as a berry marketer. In the new position of director of berry operations, Carolyn will be tasked with expanding both the grower and customer base for the... Read more
Capespan North America creates general manager — USA position
Capespan North America has appointed Erin Meder to the newly-created position of general manager — USA. The new position is a senior executive post with general management responsibilities for all of Capespan North America’s U.S. sales and operations. Meder will report directly to the company president and continue to work out of the company’s Gloucester City, NJ, sales office. “Linking sales and operations through this new position and reporting structure represents... Read more
Four Seasons bidding farewell to two industry veterans
Four Seasons Produce, a full-service wholesale distributor of organic, local and conventional fresh fruits and vegetables based in Ephrata, PA, has announced that two longtime produce industry veterans, Wendell Hahn and Ray Taglialatela, will retire from the company at the end of 2017. Hahn started his career with Four Seasons Produce in 1992 following successful stretches in produce leadership at supermarket chains Grand Union and Food-a-Rama in the Baltimore-Washington,... Read more
Naturipe announces new division president
Naturipe Brands has announced the appointment of Chris Coffman as president, effective Nov. 13. In this newly created role, Coffman will report to the Naturipe Brands board of directors and be responsible for pursuing strategic partnerships, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, investment opportunities, licensing and brand extension opportunities. "I am humbled at the opportunity to join an organization with a remarkable business model, extended history of... Read more
Industry veteran RJ Deakins retires from Houweling’s
With 39 years of service to the fresh produce industry, Houweling’s Group is pleased to congratulate and announce the retirement of RJ Deakins after a long, accomplished produce career in sales management. An integral member of Houweling’s sales team since December 2011, Deakins’ history in the produce industry extends back to September of 1979 with Sunkist. Over the next 39 years his career saw him spend time at Perricone, Genova & Associates, Eco Farms, Oceanside... Read more