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C.H. Robinson's Stenderup Scales K2
At 6:40 a.m. on July 22, John Stenderup became the 21st American to step foot atop K2, the second-tallest mountain in the world behind Mount Everest, which he scaled last year. Stenderup, manager of cold chain solutions for C.H. Robinson in its Robinson Fresh office in Monterey, CA, had been in training for the ambitious mountain climb for many months. He officially began the assault on June 20 with a flight from California to Islamabad, Pakistan. Eleven days later,... Read more
Apeel Sciences hires new director of trade and retail marketing
California-based Apeel Sciences — the company that’s using food to preserve food with its thin “peel” of edible plant material applied to the surface of fruits and vegetables, thereby slowing down spoilage and increasing shelf life — has hired Natalie Shuman as its director of trade and retail marketing. Shuman’s appointment comes as Apeel, which was recently named as one of Time magazine’s 50 Most Genius Companies of 2018, accelerates its industry talent acquisition... Read more
Sunkist welcomes Christina Ward as director of communications
Sunkist Growers announced that Christina Ward has joined the marketing team as director of communications. “We are thrilled for Christina to join the Sunkist family and lead our global communications efforts,” said Mark Madden, vice president of marketing and global licensing. “Her 15 years of communications experience on the agency side and in-house — along with more than a decade working directly on lifestyle and foodservice brands across the U.S. — is a tremendous... Read more
Pacific AgPak promotes two, hires sales manager
Pacific AgPak has made some changes to its staff: Brian Harris was hired as its new sales manager; Sara Gillogley has been promoted to finance director/sales; and Maria Anaya will be handling customer service as well as heading up sales for the Southwest. Harris comes over from Peninsula Packaging/Sonoco Packaging handling various accounts.Brian Harris "His knowledge and experience in the packaging industry will help in discussing and explaining the company’s newest... Read more
Scott Kosnik joins Wilson Produce sales team
To support Wilson Produce’s previously announced growth plans; the fourth generation family farm announced today the appointment of industry veteran, Scott Kosnik. With more than 20 years of experience, Kosnik joins the Wilson sales team with responsibilities including developing and deepening relationships with buyers as the farm rolls out tools for new and existing commodities. Scott Kosnik“We have known Scott for many years, and we’re thrilled that he’s agreed... Read more
Lou Scagnelli joins Alpha 1 Marketing
Retail produce veteran Louis D. Scagnelli Sr. joined Alpha 1 Marketing/Krasdale Foods on Monday, Oct. 1, as director of produce and floral. He will be responsible "for all merchandising and negotiations in relation to produce and floral for our C-Town, Bravo and AIM banners," Gus Lebiak, the company's chief marketing officer, told The Produce News Tuesday, Oct. 2. Scagnelli replaces Josue (Josh) Padilla, who left Alpha 1/Krasdale in mid-September. Scagnelli, 52,... Read more
Holger Brandt joins Fall Creek Farm & Nursery
Holger Brandt has joined Fall Creek Farm & Nursery Inc. as licensing manager, responsible for the ongoing growth and development of Fall Creek’s proprietary and third-party blueberry genetics licensing business. Brandt will lead the development of both traditional and innovative licensing programs for the company, and work closely with the sales and business development teams in the expansion of commercial partnerships around the world. Brandt comes to Fall... Read more
Michigan Apple Committee hires retail, wholesale vet
LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Apple Committee welcomed Marty Head as the new regional manager covering the southern region of the United States. Head replaces Cam Harrington, who will retire once the staff transition is complete. “Marty will be a great addition to our team, having had several years of experience as produce category manager for Save-A-Lot,” said Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee. “His experience and knowledge of the... Read more
Doug Kling to develop initiatives for growth at J&J Family of Farms
J&J Family of Farms has retained Doug Kling, chief executive officer of Kling Strategic Partners LLC, to expand its business development initiatives, increase its value-added packaged sales, and enhance company-wide marketing efforts. Kling and Kling Strategic Partners will be assisting the senior management team in developing strategy, expanding relationships with targeted customers and approaching top retail accounts that are currently underserved by J&J’s... Read more
Church Bros. hires GM for Mexico operations
Church Bros. Farms and grower-owned processor True Leaf Farms hired Jonathan Harmon to direct the company’s Mexico efforts as general manager. Harmon will be the general manager of all CBF Mexico operations. His previous experience includes work with Pricewaterhouse Cooper in the supply chain consultant group. Harmon was previously director of operations and was involved in supply chain operations at Mission Produce in California and Latin America. “We are expanding... Read more
Emily Watson Libsack joins J.C. Watson Packing Co.
With more than a decade’s experience in domestic and international produce and ag-related operations, Emily Watson Libsack joined J.C. Watson Packing Co. as vice president of marketing. As the fourth generation of Watsons at the Parma, ID-based company, she now works alongside her father, Jon, who is corporate president; mother, Margie, secretary/treasurer; and brother, Bradley, vice president of operations. Also her husband, Colbie Libsack, is farm manager, and... Read more
Fall Creek Farm & Nursery hires Matt Kramer
Matt Kramer, a 33-year veteran of the horticulture industry, has joined Fall Creek Farm & Nursery Inc. as director of product development and commercialization. In this newly created position, he is responsible for the company’s intellectual property business, including its blueberry breeding and variety development programs. Kramer will lead the advancement of commercialization strategies for a complete blueberry variety portfolio, including licensing platforms.... Read more
Mergers and acquisitions expert joins FreshXperts
FreshXperts has added Eric Bosveld as its newest team member. Bosveld has expertise in food and agribusiness mergers and acquisitions, agribusiness finance and operations, and private equity.  "FreshXperts is thrilled to have Eric join the team; his expertise and experience in the industry is going to be nothing but beneficial," the company said in a statement. Bosveld is the director of food and agribusiness at SDR Ventures and leads the firm's M&A... Read more
Mike Stuart steps down after 40 years
When Mike Stuart was a young man, he approached his future father-in-law to ask for Karen Moffett’s hand in marriage.   “He asked me how I was going to support her and my idea wasn’t good enough,” said Stuart.  “I made a deal that I would work full-time while Karen finished her degree and then after that I would go back to college and get my degree.” Stuart did just that and unwittingly launched a career at the same time.  While his wife was finishing... Read more
Tom Lange announces three retirements and four promotions
The Tom Lange Family of Cos., headquartered in Springfield, IL, recently celebrated several veteran careers as they entered retirement and announced the promotions of four into leadership roles. AtlantaEric Hoffmann, vice president of sales and a Tom Lange board member, retired from the company after 42 years. Hoffmann started his career in Indianapolis and transferred to Atlanta in 1982 to expand the Tom Lange presence and was instrumental in building the... Read more
Javier Usabiaga, Mexico ag leader, dies at age 79
Javier Bernardo Usabiaga, a leader in Mexican agriculture, died Sept. 9 after a long battle with cancer. From December 2000 to September 2005 he served as Mexico’s national secretary of agriculture under President Vincente Fox. He was the president of the Guanajuato vegetable grower-packer-exporter Comercializadora GAB. The firm is best-known for its Mr. Lucky label. Mr. Lucky is based in Irapuato, Guanajuato.Javier Bernardo Usabiaga Mr. Usabiaga was a businessman... Read more
Russ Davis Wholesale hires head of food-safety quality assurance
Russ Davis Wholesale, a leading fresh produce processor and distributer, has tapped Lavonne Kucera to head its product quality initiatives. In this role, Kucera will oversee food safety and quality assurance for the company. Kucera joins RDW after most recently serving as senior director of food safety and quality assurance for Caribou Coffee Co. Kucera’s hiring further cements RDW’s demonstrated commitment to providing retail customers and produce consumers throughout... Read more
Starr Ranch Growers’ Dalton Thomas given inaugural Impact Award from Asiafruit Congress
Dalton Thomas, who retired from his position as president of Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers in 2017 after 52 years in the fruit business, was the recipient of Asiafruit Congress’ first-ever Impact Award for “pioneering contribution to developing Washington/U.S. fresh fruit exports to Asia” at a Sept. 4 ceremony in Hong Kong. Hosted by the Asiafruit Congress, the event honored four recipients: the Chilean Cherry Committee/ASOEX, Indian importer IG International, Indonesian... Read more
Vince Ferrante joins Southern Belle Organics
Southern Belle Organics has hired 30-year produce veteran Vince Ferrante as executive vice president to help facilitate its expansion to organic and conventional vegetables and provide valuable insight into the company's large organic berry farm, packing and cooling facility expansions. Ferrante worked for 20 years helping to manage Teixeira Farms, his wife’s family business, before moving to Dole Fresh Vegetables and later to manage Dole Berry Cos. West Coast... Read more
Alisha Albinder Camac appointed to USApple board of directors
Hudson River Fruit Distributors headquartered in Milton, NY, announced that fourth-generation owner-operator family member Alisha Albinder Camac was appointed to the USApple board of directors at the 2018 Apple Crop Outlook & Marketing Conference Aug. 23-24 in Chicago. Albinder Camac is a recent graduate from the United Fresh Leadership Program, Class 23. She also sits on the board of the New York Apple Association and the New York State Horticultural Society... Read more