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Sunkist grows fresh fruit sales force

Sunkist Growers is ready for citrus season and made some sales team changes to grow its service to customers. Jeff Gaston has been promoted to managing director of North American sales, while Brian Slagel will take on the new role of director of southeastern sales. Additionally, Timothy Forseth will be joining the sales team as director of western sales.sunkist

“Sunkist is a name that means great quality citrus to so many people around the world,” said Christian Harris, chief operations officer at Sunkist Growers.  “As the longest-standing cooperative in the nation, we strive to deliver innovation and provide strategic solutions to our customer, all while offering the highest quality of fruit to their customers and driving consumption of citrus. Our people are one of our greatest assets in being able to support that every day.”

In this new role, Gaston will oversee domestic sales, growing the Sunkist business and strengthening existing relations with key customers, while identifying new opportunities across the cooperative. Gaston got his start at Sunkist as a sales representative in Vancouver in 1999, and prior to his new position, he served in a leadership role as the director of western sales.

Forseth will step into Gaston’s previous position as director of western sales effective Oct. 14. Prior to joining the Sunkist team, Forseth served as a key account manager at Robinson Fresh, where he oversaw medium and large accounts.  In addition, he was on the board of directors for the Southeast Produce Council between 2013 and 2017.

“Tim brings great energy to the Sunkist sales team, along with two decades of produce sales experience,” said Gaston. “We take pride in our high-quality service to our customers, and Tim gets it. He has developed strong customer relationships and understands the sales process. We know Tim will add some new perspectives and skills to our sales team.”

In the center of the Sunkist sales revitalization is the promotion of Slagel to director of southeast and Canada sales. He has been an integral part of the Sunkist team for more than 25 years and has shaped much of the way Sunkist plans to grow by developing the approach to bring sales, retail marketing and category management together to maximize customer success.

Harris added, “Sunkist remains a dominant provider of citrus, and we have the opportunity to double down on our marketing and category management support. We continue to invest in our talent and put additional resources in place to support our customers in all areas of our business.”