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Okanagan Specialty Fruits bolsters staff to support Arctic apple launch

In preparation for the fall 2017 commercial launch of nonbrowning Arctic apples, Okanagan Specialty Fruits has added produce industry veteran Jeanette De-Coninck-Hertzler as sales manager and Denise Everett as communications specialist.

“With the commercial launch of nonbrowning Arctic apples coming this fall, it is the perfect time to add highly skilled individuals to our hard-working, innovative team,” according to OSF President Neal Carter, who projects OSF’s team will continue to rapidly grow over the coming years.

De-Coninck-Hertzler, who started with OSF April 3, brings to OSF more than 30 years of produce sales experience. After obtaining a bachelor's degree in agricultural business management, from California Polytechnic State University, De-Coninck-Hertzler began her career as a sales representative with Frieda’s Inc. in 1985, where she worked for nearly 20 years before joining MCL Distributing, since re-named to 4Earth Farms, as a senior account manager.

De-Coninck-Hertzler has since worked in various roles with Shamrock Foods Co., Greengate Fresh LLLP, and Index Fresh Inc. As sales manager, she will serve as OSF’s sales contact for Arctic apples, which are being launched this fall in select U.S. retail locations as fresh, preservative-free Arctic Golden slices.

“Jeanette has a proven track record of sales in the produce industry, strong agricultural roots and a passionate personality," Jennifer Armen, OSF’s director of business development and marketing, said in a press release. "We look forward to her added experience as we introduce Arctic apples to consumers.”

Everett will join the company May 8 and will be leading the company’s media relations, serving as OSF’s primary contact for interviews and executing on the company’s social media strategy. She has more than 15 years of experience as a communications professional, and began her career in the journalism sector in British Columbia.

Also in May, OSF will welcome three new members to its research and development team, who will be working to improve additional apple varieties, as well as other tree fruits. Additionally, Jenavive Holmes joined OSF on March 27 as an administrative specialist.

OSF is also implementing role changes of current team members to further boost the scope of the team’s activities. Joel Brooks has transitioned from brand manager to brand marketing manager, and Jessica Brady has transitioned from marketing and communications specialist to stakeholder outreach and education.

In their new positions, Brooks will take a lead role in OSF’s branding, marketing and communications activities, and Brady will focus on outreach and relationship development with key influencer groups and organizations.

“It’s an exciting time for us here at OSF," Carter said in the release. "With so many strong additions to our team to help bring Arctic apples to eager consumers, we look forward to continued team growth and the introduction of additional wholesome and delicious apple varieties.”