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The 2019-20 Produce Marketing Association board of directors took office Oct. 17 during PMA’s 2019 Fresh Summit Convention & Expo in Anaheim, CA. New Chair Joe Don Zetzsche, director of floral and BLOOMS for H-E-B, is joined on the board by six other officers and 32 directors. “I am excited for the opportunity to collaborate with a diverse group of female and male industry leaders from around the global on the PMA board, which includes representation from Australia,... Read more
RFG promotes Raina Nelson, hires Mark Lodge
Renaissance Food Group, a fresh food company that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Calavo Growers Inc., has announced that Raina Nelson has been promoted to executive vice president of business development, one of two newly created executive vice president positions at the company. Mark Lodge, formerly with Revolution Foods, joins RFG as the new executive vice president of operations. In her role as RFG’s executive vice president of business development, Nelson... Read more
D’Arrigo California welcomes new talent to the sales and marketing departments
D’Arrigo California has hired Maya Capurro as a sales assistant and Morgan Tinari as a marketing and culinary assistant. Capurro graduated from California Polytechnic State University in just three years.  She majored in agribusiness management, and as a student was active in the National Agri-Marketing Association, Food Distribution Research Society and was an Agribusiness Management Club officer.  Prior to joining D’Arrigo California, Capurro worked... Read more
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 is a name that means great quality citrus to so many people around the world,” said Christian Harris,... Read more
Church Bros. Farms hires Rick Russo
Church Bros. Farms hired Rick Russo as the company’s vice president of strategic growth and planning. The focus of the new position will include building competitive sales/marketing programs to grow new and existing business, vetting potential partnerships, fostering alliances and leading competitive product line development and profitability for the company’s domestic and international operations. “Rick is joining us at a pivotal time in our company’s development,”... Read more
Scott Rossi is the new director of sales and marketing for Fresh Farms. Rossi will lead and develop Fresh Farms’ sales and marketing strategy “as we continue to expand our Mexico grape and vegetable programs and our California grape and specialty fruit programs,” the company indicated. He is a proven industry leader with previous executive sales experience with Four Star Sales and Pandol Bros. Rossi started his career in Minneapolis with Castle & Cook/Dole. Fresh... Read more
Chicago industry veteran Frank Capone dies
Chicago produce industry veteran Frank J. Capone died peacefully, surrounded by family, on Sept. 11. Mr. Capone was born Feb. 20, 1934, in Chicago. His parents were Anthony and Josephine Capone and he was one of six children. At a young age, he went to work at the South Water Market in Chicago. Mr. Capone worked for the LaMantia house until 1959. During that time, he met and married his wife, Angela Corso. They were married on Aug. 11, 1956 in Lake Forest, IL. In... Read more
A produce star retiring as a new one emerges at IMG Citrus
IMG Citrus, a family-owned, vertically integrated citrus grower, packer, importer and shipper in Vero Beach, FL, has announced the upcoming retirement of IMG Citrus’ Vice President Veronique Sallin after 40 years with the company. Sallin’s retirement will officially begin at the end of the 2019-20 Florida season. The company also announced the promotion of Sydney Allison to the role of director of sales.Sydney Allison During her tenure with IMG Citrus, Sallin built... Read more
West Pak newcomer Joe Nava headed to Fresh Summit
This spring, West Pak Avocado Inc. welcomed Joe Nava as its vice president of sales and business development. His responsibilities include exploring new territories and helping to strengthen the company’s customer relationships. “West Pak has afforded me the ability to connect with our retail customers as well as current foodservice and wholesalers to strengthen our relationships and help grow our businesses,” Nava said. “The company is allowing me to develop accounts... Read more
Paul Dolan, Potato Bowl Parade Grand Marshal
Paul Dolan, who retired last December after managing the Associated Potato Growers for the past 25 years, was the Grand Marshal of this year’s Potato Bowl Parade in Grand Forks, ND. Ted Kreis, marketing director of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, said that Associated Potato Growers is the largest fresh shipping operation in the Red River Valley with plants in Grand Forks, Grafton and Drayton. Kreis wrote in his association’s newsletter that, “Paul... Read more
IFCO names VP of retail sales
IFCO announced the appointment of Jonathan W. Brooks as vice president of retail sales. A senior supply chain executive, he has a successful track record in process improvement and change management, people development, strategic sales, supply chain optimization and design, transportation procurement, and logistics execution. “We are thrilled to welcome Jon to the IFCO family,” said Dan Martin, president of IFCO North America. “His strong track record of leadership... Read more
North Shore Living Herbs welcomes new sales manager
North Shore Living Herbs & Greens hired Debbie Remblence as the company’s sales manager. Remblence joins North Shore boasting over 25 years of management and sales experience in a variety of industries and spanning the globe. “Debbie is both engaging and determined; the perfect fit to lead growth here at North Shore,” said Milas Russell, North Shore’s general manager. With growing demand for fresh and living produce items, Remblence will develop strategies... Read more
Seven Seas welcomes Brent Young to California team
Seven Seas has added Brent Young as manager of sales in the Seven Seas - Visalia, CA, office. “I am excited about the opportunity to join a premier citrus grower such as Seven Seas. The outstanding quality and service they provide to customers, coupled with their long-standing partnerships with growers, makes this a knockout company. I look forward to contributing to the continued expansion of the California citrus program,” said Young. Born and raised in Visalia,... Read more
Leadership developments at NatureFresh
NatureFresh Farms doesn’t only grow delicious produce — it also grows its people into confident, forward-thinking leaders. Cornelius Neufeld and Frank Neufeld have each been working in the greenhouse farming industry for over 20 years, gaining invaluable experience and knowledge that has accelerated their professional growth and development. In recent months, both Neufelds have taken on more prominent management roles within the NatureFresh Farms and NatureFresh... Read more
California Table Grape Commission hires marketing director of category management
David Dudley is the new marketing director of category management for the California Table Grape Commission. Dudley’s responsibilities include expanding the retail demand for California table grapes in the U.S. and Canada through enhanced category management. “We are very excited to welcome David to the team,” said Kathleen Nave, president of the commission. “David’s nearly 10 years of experience in produce management and his experience in the retail sector will... Read more
James Paul joins Crystal Valley Foods
Crystal Valley Foods recently announced that industry veteran, James Paul, has joined its sales team and will handle sales for the entire product line, including asparagus. Prior to Crystal Valley, he was the senior category director for the asparagus category at Grower Direct Marketing. James Paul“We are thrilled that James has joined Crystal Valley,” said Jay Rodriguez, president of Crystal Valley Foods. “With a family history in the fresh produce industry, Paul... Read more
Israel Morales named executive director of sustainable operations at JV Smith Cos.
Israel Morales is the new executive director of sustainable operations for JV Smith Cos. Previously the general manager of JV Farms Organic, Morales brings with him 45-plus years in farming with more than 30 years in organic farming. He will be overseeing all of the sustainability practices under JV Smith Cos. as it continues to develop and enhance these operations at every level within all of its companies. In addition, he will take a vital role on the national... Read more
Rich Dachman named keynote speaker for NEPC expo’s breakfast
The New England Produce Council announced industry veteran Rich Dachman, chief executive officer of Brighter Bites and former vice president of produce for Sysco Corp., will be the featured speaker at the council’s keynote breakfast on Thursday, Sept. 19. “Foodservice, Nutrition, and Making a Difference” is the topic of Dachman’s presentation. The presentation will cover topics such as the complex matrix of foodservice distribution, the success of a distributor-operator... Read more
Michele Hoard joins NMB as retail account manager
The National Mango Board hired Michele Hoard as the its new retail account manager for the West Coast region of the U.S. Hoard comes to the NMB with over 20 years of experience in produce through the roles of field marketing, business development, strategic marketing and account management. Hoard will work with retailers in the West Coast to set strategic programs and help retailers grow their mango category and increase year-round mango sales. Hoard comes to the... Read more
James S. (Jim) Knoll of Knoll Farms dies at 75
MINNEAPOLIS — James Stanley (Jim) Knoll, age 75, died Aug. 18 after a long battle with glioblastoma brain cancer. Mr. Knoll was a lifelong resident of Andover, MN, a northwest suburb of Minneapolis. He attended the University of Minnesota and St. Cloud State University, graduating with a degree in accounting. He then joined his father, Stanley, and brothers at Knoll Farms in Andover, which was founded in 1937 and grew to become a prominent supplier of vegetables... Read more