David Sherrod, a well-known member of the produce industry both for his many years with Apio Inc. and for his work with the Southeast Produce Council, is making some important changes in his professional career and taking on some bold, new challenges in the next couple of weeks.
Sherrod will be resigning from Guadalupe, CA-based Apio Inc. on Friday, June 13, after a career of 14 and a half years.He said Thursday afternoon, June 5, that he has "strong emotions" as he prepares to leave Apio, where he fully enjoyed serving as Southeast regional business manager from his base in Georgia.
"I have been blessed to work with some of the greatest people in the produce business the last 14 and a half years," he said. "I owe a lot to Mike Casazza and all my fellow co-workers for preparing me for this next chapter in my life."
David Sherrod is leaving Apio for important reasons.
On Monday, June 16, he begins new responsibilities with the Southeast Produce Council as assistant executive director, a new position. On Wednesday, June 18, during the SPC board of directors' summer meetings in Braselton, GA, he will officially resign as first vice president of the council.
Sherrod's position as first vice president will remain vacant until the council's annual fall conference, scheduled for Sept. 25-27 at the Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris, GA, according to SPC President Andrew Scott, who is also director of sales and marketing for Coosemans Worldwide. The council traditionally utilizes the fall conference to elects its officers, who serve two-year terms.
Sherrod is beginning his new role of assistant executive director as Terry Vorhees, the council's longtime executive director, continues to deal with some health issues.
Vorhees, 64, was one of six individuals who back in 1999 helped to create what became the Southeast Produce Council. He has been the only executive director that the council has ever had, and he has been instrumental in the extraordinary growth that the council has experienced since its founding.
"Actually about two to three years ago, we had asked Terry to come up with a successor plan" for the day when Vorhees "would eventually step down," Sherrod and Scott told The Produce News Thursday afternoon, June 5. "Of course, we hoped that the day would be at least four or five years from now."
As it currently stands, Vorhees will continue to serve as executive director until May 2015, when he will step down from that post in which he has served with such distinction. He will continue to work with the council after that date as a consultant, they said.
"It's been an honor to work closely with Terry and David over the last 12-plus years as the council has experienced tremendous growth," said Scott. "Terry built this council to where we are today, and I have 100 percent confidence that David will continue this success once Terry retires next year."
"I am truly honored to have this tremendous opportunity to work with Terry for the next year as we go forward with this great council," said Sherrod. "The Southeast Produce Council has been his life's work, and I intend to direct my efforts to learn all I can from Terry to make sure his vision of the SPC will continue the traditions and principles that the SPC was built upon."
He added, "I would also ask that we all keep Terry in our thoughts and prayers. The Southeast Produce Council is a family, and we all love Terry and pray for his speedy recovery."
Reached Friday morning, June 6, at his home in Tampa, FL, Vorhees told The Produce News, "I have known David almost since the council was formed. He and I have talked over the last few years about him possibly taking over for me when I retire. Knowing David the way I do, I know that he will never abandon the core principles of the Southeast Produce Council. It makes me very proud that he has agreed to lead the council in the years ahead as it continues to grow and prosper."