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People, week of September 12, 2011

Steve Burnham

United Fresh Produce Association Chairman of the Board Reggie Griffin of the Kroger Co. has appointed STEVE BURNHAM, senior vice president of produce, floral and bakery for Safeway Inc., to the United Fresh board of directors. Mr. Burnham replaced Geoff White of Safeway, who recently took a new position within the company.

“Steve is a respected leader in the produce industry and a valued voice on produce issues. We’re proud to welcome him to the United Fresh Board,” Mr. Griffin said in an Aug. 31 press release. “Our association and the produce industry as a whole will benefit greatly from his ideas and his leadership.”

Mr. Burnham joined Safeway in 1989 and worked his way through the company’s meat unit at the store, district, division and national levels, eventually being appointed group director for the company’s corporate meat business unit in 2003. In 2007, he left the meat and seafood world and was appointed vice president of marketing planning. Mr. Burnham was promoted to vice president of produce in 2008, and senior vice president of produce earlier this year. He and his wife, Laura, have three sons and live in Livermore, CA.

“United Fresh works hard to create an environment in which the entire produce industry, from grower to retailer, can succeed together. I am both honored and excited about this new opportunity to serve United Fresh and the entire produce industry,” Mr. Burnham said in the release.


McAllen, TX-based Coast Tropical has added PEDRO ZAMUDIO and ROY DULEBA to its staff.

At the beginning of August, Mr. Zamudio was transferred to Coast Tropical from Roberto’s Mangos, where he had been working for the past 12 years. Prior to that, he was employed by CC Tropicales. Mr. Zamudio was the operations manager for both companies, but currently deals with the procurement of Mexico produce for Coast Tropical.

In his 20 years of experience in the produce industry, he was also the owner of Chilpi Mangos.

Mr. Zamudio enjoys biking and watching baseball in his free time.

Mr. Duleba began working for Coast Tropical in June. He is a 25-year veteran of the industry and is currently a salesperson handling a full line.

Before taking his current position, Mr. Duleba handled Mexican avocados for Agroexport LLC in Pharr, TX. He was also an owner of Hidalgo, TX-based GM Produce Sales LLC.


Ashley Perryman

Dade Service Corp., which provides design-build ripening and cold-storage services for the produce industry, announced that ASHLEY PERRYMAN will be joining the company.

Ms. Perryman, the new marketing and sales coordinator, represents the fourth generation at Dade Service Corp., a family-owned business with 58 years of industry experience.

She is enthusiastic about bringing fresh insight to the company, focusing her efforts on effectively marketing the value-added benefits that state-of-the-art controlled-atmosphere environments bring to the produce industry. As a member of the Dade team, she will be responsible for directing marketing initiatives, supporting project coordination and will be shadowing O.J. Perryman, Dade’s top sales engineer.

Ms. Perryman graduated from Stetson University with majors in family business, management and marketing. She also earned her master’s degree in business administration.

In her free time, she enjoys yoga, watching sports, fishing and other outdoor activities.


Gabriela D'Arrigo

On Aug. 8, GABRIELA D’ARRIGO joined D’Arrigo Bros. Co. in Salinas, CA. Ms. D’Arrigo is currently an assistant for the sales and marketing departments. “I am responsible for data entry on orders that come in and are taken by commodity managers,” she said. Ms. D’Arrigo also assists Claudia Villalobos and Margaret D’Arrigo in marketing, and takes orders and answers questions for customers — “at least the ones I am able to answer,” she added.

Just three months out of college and one month into her career in produce, Ms. D’Arrigo is learning everything she can about the industry.

Before taking her current position, she held a number of jobs, ranging “from demolition construction in Alaska to bartending. All through college, I was a waitress and a bartender at Monsoon’s Downtown in Flagstaff, Arizona, where I also went to school,” she said.

She earned her degree from Northern Arizona University in both public relations and advertising. She spent four months publicizing events as part of an internship with the Willow Bend Environmental Education Center, a nonprofit Flagstaff-based organization.

Ms. D’Arrigo currently lives in Salinas with Carmela D’Arrigo, her older sister, who joined D’Arrigo Bros. Co. June 27.

As she adjusts to the industry, Ms. D’Arrigo tries to make sure that she is rested and prepared for each day of work.


DEWAYNE HARRELL is the newest member of the Oxnard, CA-based Boskovich Farms Inc. sales staff. His first day with Boskovich was Aug. 29. While he is new to the company, Mr. Harrell is no stranger to the industry.

For the past four years, he was an account coordinator and sales specialist for L&M Cos. Inc. in Raleigh, NC. He also was Santa Maria, CA-based Bonipak Produce Co.’s commodity and account manager for five years. Mr. Harrell’s 11 years in the produce industry are rounded out with the time he spent with Daro Commodities in Tulare, CA.


Dennis Schwakopf

Renaissance Food Group, a fresh-food company that creates, markets and distributes a portfolio of healthy, high-quality-lifestyle food products, recently hired DENNIS SCHWAKOPF as vice president of innovation, according to a Sept. 6 press release. In the new position, Mr. Schwakopf will manage all product innovation for the company.

He previously worked in new product development for Taylor Farms and Tyson Foods. His focus at Renaissance Food Group will be developing innovative, healthy eating solutions and managing sustainable packaging options.


To announce personnel changes at your company, please contact Assistant Editor Ryan Beckman at 201/986-7990, ext. 109, or Photos are encouraged.