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Energy & Ideas: From a young age Joel Crist has been involved in the family apple business
Fifth-generation Crist Bros. Orchards family member Joel Crist grew up on his family’s apple farm in Walden, NY. He joined the company full time in the summer of 2015. Crist brings an impressive agricultural education with him to the company. “I graduated from Cornell University in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in applied economics and management, specializing in ag business and strategy,” said Crist. “I then worked outside of the produce business for five years.” Joel... Read more
The Produce News makes changes to Floral, Northwest and Midwest divisions
ORADELL, NJ —  The Produce News has announced key changes to its Floral, Northwest and Midwest divisions. Cindy Hanauer, a well-known and respected leader in the floriculture industry, has been named floral editor and sales manager of The Produce News. Hanauer, who was born into a family lineage of traditional florists who immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1875, has worked for the largest companies in the world encompassing... Read more
Nick Fitzpatrick joins Apeel Sciences as VP of supplier relations
Nick Fitzpatrick, former global commercial sales manager at T&G Global, has joined Apeel Sciences as vice president of supplier relations — the company’s first sales leadership team hire. Fitzpatrick will be the key liaison between Apeel and the grower-supplier community and he will also lead the development and implementation of joint go-to-market strategies for Apeel and supply partners. He has over two decades of experience in horticulture across a broad... Read more
J. Miles Reiter returns as Driscoll's CEO
J. Miles Reiter has reassumed the position of chief executive officer for Driscoll’s as part of planned leadership restructuring aimed to supports the company’s mission to delight berry consumers through alignment of its customers and network of independent growers.   Family-owned-and-operated for more than 100 years, Driscoll’s is positioned for future global brand expansion with this organizational announcement. As a fourth-generation grower and the grandson... Read more
Carl Mastronardi wins Produce Person of the Year Award
During the annual Ontario Produce Marketing Association Gala Nov. 9, Carl Mastronardi, president of DelFrescoPure, was the recipient of the OPMA Cory Clack-Streef Produce Person of the Year Award. Mastronardi received this prestigious award for his diligence and dedication to the greenhouse strawberry program. “This is one of the most unforgettable events of my life. To be recognized by OPMA, my peers and the experts in the produce sector is a highlight that I... Read more
Idaho Potato Commission names new commissioners
During the Idaho Potato Commission’s October meeting two new commissioners were sworn in and one was reappointed. Shipper Todd Cornelison of High Country Potatoes in Rexburg and grower Brett Jensen in the Idaho Falls-Hamer area will each serve a three-year term. Dan Nakamura of Idahoan was reappointed and will serve a second three-year term.  Todd Cornelison, Dan Nakamura and Brett Jensen. “It’s a pleasure for me to welcome Todd and Brett, two well-respected... Read more
Joyner joins Florida Citrus Mutual as director of government relations
Florida Citrus Mutual has named Matt Joyner as its new director of government relations. In this role, Joyner will work on behalf of FCM's grower members and staff in Tallahassee and Washington, DC. Joyner previously served as deputy chief of staff for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services under Commissioner Adam Putnam providing a broad base of policy knowledge at both the state and federal levels. Joyner will officially join Mutual's team... Read more
Recognition: Patricia Rynn, fighting the industry’s legal battles
When Patricia Rynn and the late Lew Janowsky launched their agricultural law practice more than 30 years ago, they set up shop not too far from the Pacific Ocean. That might have been in response to Rynn’s upbringing in Southern California’s not overly picturesque Inland Empire. “My folks came to California from Toledo, OH. They stopped in San Bernardino and that’s where we were raised. We always figured they must have run out of gas,” quipped Rynn. “If they would... Read more
Heptinstall to retire from Polymer Logistics at end of year
Polymer Logistics, a global leader in reusable packaging and merchandising systems, announced that Fred Heptinstall will step down as chief executive officer of Polymer Logistics North America, effective Dec. 31. “Fred joined Polymer Logistics as CEO North America in July 2016 when the company was launching its new wood-look RPCs,” said Gideon Feiner, CEO Polymer Logistics. “Under his leadership, Polymer Logistics North America has grown its customer base, put... Read more
Frieda’s Alex Berkley tapped to head sales
Frieda’s announced the promotion of Alex Berkley to sales manager, responsible for the sales function of the specialty produce company. The eldest daughter of Frieda’s Specialty Produce Chief Executive Officer Karen Caplan, and the granddaughter of founder Frieda Rapoport Caplan, Berkley joined the company in 2011 after graduating from George Mason University, making Frieda’s a three-generation family-business success story. Berkley started in the Frieda’s marketing... Read more
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the appointment of 16 members to serve on the National Watermelon Promotion Board. The appointees will serve three-year terms from Jan. 1, 2019, to Dec. 31, 2021. Members appointed are: Dalton Willis Borders, Edinburg, TX Cody Buckley, San Antonio, TX Jordan Carter, Cordele, GA Richard Chastain, Alva, FL John Gee, Temecula, CA Jose F. Gomez Ph.D., El Paso, TX W. Rodney Jackson, Autryville, NC Michael J. Marks,... Read more
Western Growers mainstay Matthew McInerney to retire
Matt McInerney is clearly a throwback to a different era. He began his produce industry career where he is ending it — at Western Growers Association. He hardly missed a day of work in that 40-plus year career and his plow-horse work ethic is truly emblematic of the industry that he serves.Matthew McInerney After 43 years with the organization — the last 25 as the No. 2 person — McInerney is retiring from his senior executive vice president role in March of... Read more
London Fruit hires Tonya Hill
Tonya Hill has joined London Fruit Inc. as retail development manager in sales. A native Texan, Hill brings over 15 years of produce experience to its program.  The company said her previous roles as Texas regional manager, director of sales and transportation, category manager and director of new customer development have prepared her for her new retail position at London Fruit. Hill attended Texas A&M University and started her career in the accounting... Read more
John Vena Inc. taps industry veteran for sales leadership role
Specialty produce wholesale distributor John Vena Inc. has tapped produce industry veteran Joe Killian for a new role focused on business development. Prior to joining John Vena Inc., Killian worked as director of operations at a leading foodservice distributor in Philadelphia. In his role at John Vena Inc., Killian will be a driving force behind the company’s retail growth strategy and oversee business development efforts in the grocery sector with a focus on... Read more
The Sykes Co. names Lesley Sykes as EVP
The Sykes Co., based in Rio Rio, AZ, has hired Lesley Sykes as executive vice president. Sykes is responsible for identifying and executing growth opportunities by responding to the needs of the evolving industry landscape. She started at the company full-time ahead of the 2018-19 season that began in October and has hit the ground running with the development of the company’s very first organics line, which is set to debut later this month. Sykes has more than... Read more
IPC's Jamie Bowen elected to board of International Foodservice Editorial Council
Members of the International Foodservice Editorial Council recently elected Jamie Bowen, marketing manager for the Idaho Potato Commission, to serve on the board of directors at its 62nd annual conference in Raleigh, NC. Bowen will serve a two-year term on the IFEC Board. “There isn’t another organization where public relations/marketing professionals and editors come together to build professional and personal relationships," said Bowen. "Sure, we all discuss... Read more
Pasculli joins FreshXperts
FreshXperts has welcomed its newest team member, Nick Pasculli, to the group of expert produce industry consultants. Pasculli is well regarded in the fresh produce industry for his expertise in brand strategy, creativity, marketing, business development and leadership development. In addition to his long career in fresh foods, Pasculli has dozens of years of experience in commercial banking and finance. As a first-generation Italian-American born in Hoboken, NJ,... Read more
IFCO names new VP of operations
IFCO, the world’s leading supplier of reusable plastic containers for fresh food packaging, announced the appointment of Jon Heyler as vice president of operations for IFCO North America. “I am pleased Jon has agreed to rejoin the IFCO team,” said Dan Martin, president of IFCO North America. “A strong commitment to food safety and a culture of constant improvement are two of IFCO’s core operating principles, and Jon will provide the leadership, vision and superior... Read more
Zespri chairman announces retirement
Peter McBride, who has chaired the board of Zespri since 2013, will step down as chairman of Zespri in February 2019 and will retire as a director of Zespri at the company’s next Annual Meeting in July 2019. Deputy Chairman Bruce Cameron will become chairman in February 2019. Cameron is a long-time kiwifruit grower and has been a director of Zespri since 2010. The succession provides for continued strong leadership and experience on the board. McBride has been... Read more
Zach O’Keefe of NYAS to run in TCS New York City Marathon
Among the more than 50,000 runners who will take part in the TCS New York City Marathon will be Zach O’Keefe, logistics and production assistant at New York Apple Sales Inc., in Glenmont, NY. O’Keefe has been training for the marathon for a long time. “This is the third marathon I’ve run, and the first in the Big Apple,” said O’Keefe. “Since receiving a guaranteed entry from the New York Apple Association to participate in the race, I’ve been in training... Read more