CMI Orchards announced that Steve Lutz, vice president of marketing, will end his service in his current position effective March 31, beginning a new role with the company.
“I fully appreciate the contributions Steve has made to marketing excellence at CMI,” Bob Mast, president of CMI, said in a press release. “Under Steve’s leadership, the marketing team has taken our programs to the next level. His strategic and analytical skills are unmatched and Steve has had a profound impact on our programs.”
Mast said he and Lutz have worked closely over the past several months to ensure a smooth transition. “As a result of our planning, CMI is very well positioned for the future. We have hired Steve’s successor and we will be publicly announcing this in mid-March,” Mast said.
Lutz joined CMI in 2013 as vice president of marketing with management responsibility for company marketing functions, brand development, corporate communications, business development and category management.
"Last summer I approached Bob about changing my role at CMI,” Lutz said in the release. “We talked about the fact that over a career spanning nearly 40 years I had personal and professional goals that I still want to pursue. Bob was very gracious in working with me to initiate the transition that is now nearing completion.”
Lutz said a severe bike crash in the Boise Ironman in 2014 that left him hospitalized caused him to begin giving serious consideration to resetting his priorities. “I’m back to 100 percent, but the long recovery from that crash was a wake-up call. It caused me to start thinking about the importance of prioritizing personal goals that have always been second to my professional responsibilities,” said Lutz.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to work with the CMI team as needed on strategy development, category management and data analysis, but in ways that allow more flexibility with my schedule,” said Lutz.
Prior to joining CMI Orchards, Lutz served as president of the Washington Apple Commission. In 2000 he became a founding partner and executive vice president of the Perishables Group, a Chicago-based research firm. Lutz and his partners finalized an agreement to sell the Perishables Group to Nielsen in 2012. At the completion of the sale, Lutz left Nielsen Perishables Group to join CMI Orchards.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Steve in a role that allows him the much deserved freedom to pursue more of his personal goals while still allowing him to be actively involved in an industry that he has helped guide over his many years of service,” said Mast.
“CMI is a wonderful organization with outstanding management and a terrific staff,” said Lutz. “I’m grateful to Bob Mast, the ownership and the entire CMI family for the opportunity to be a part of this really great team.”