People in the fresh produce industry news in 2012:


2012 People in the NewsVance Publishing Corporation, owner of The Packer, names Shawn Etheridge vice president and publishing director for the company’s produce division. Publications under Etheridge’s oversight include The Packer, Produce Retailer, and Red Book Credit Services.

Made in Nature LLC, Wellington, Fla., hires Mary Beth Wilson as senior brand manager. The company also hires Brent Jarrett as eastern sales manager and David Blair as western sales manager and promotes B.J. Howard to manager of customer service.

The North American Perishable Agricultural Receivers Association selects John Motley, founder of NAPAR manager Policy Solutions Motley-Scher-Truitt LLC, as its president.

Fourth-generation strawberry grower Miles Reiter, president, chairman and chief executive officer of Watsonville, Calif.-based Driscoll Strawberry Associates, joins the California State Board of Food and Agriculture.

The Giumarra Cos., Los Angeles, promotes Megan Schulz to West Coast business development manager and Adriana Lopez to graphics, social media and events manager.

Ben Alviano becomes national account manager in Canada for Salinas, Calif.-based Mann Packing as part of the company’s sales expansion.

Randall Skoda becomes interim president and chief executive officer of Skokie, Ill.-based Topco Associates LLC after Steven Lauer’s retirement in December.

The Hass Avocado Board, Irvine, Calif., names Emiliano Escobedo as executive director. Escobedo succeeds Jose Luis Obregon in the position.

The Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association hires Shelby Rajkovich as communications director.

Don Harris resigns from his position as director of category development for Naples, Fla.-based Naturipe LLC to start his own consulting firm with Naturipe as a client. Harris’ company, Harris Consulting Solutions, is based in Boulder, Colo.

Yerington, Nev.-based Peri & Sons Farms Inc. hires Cindy Elrod as a saleswoman.

Richard Nieuwenhuis, president of the New Jersey Farm Bureau, is elected to a third term on the American Farm Bureau Federation’s board of directors. Beth Pool, co-owner of Sebowisha Farms, Mickleton, N.J., is elected for a third term on the AFBF women’s leadership committee.

Gary Lucier, retired U.S. Department of Agriculture economist, announces he will remain active in the industry as a consultant through World Agricultural Economic and Environmental Service LLC, Mason Neck, La. Lucier retired from the USDA’s Economic Research Service on Dec. 31, 2011.

George Seifert joins FreshXperts, Lee’s Summit, Mo., as quality assurance expert. Seifert is founder and president of Rochester, N.Y.-based Produce QA Consultants LLC.

DMA Solutions Inc., Irving, Texas, hires Kelly Pritchett and Mackenzie Michel as marketers.

Jerry Munson retires from his position as president of Dinuba, Calif.-based Monfort Management Services after 42 years in agricultural marketing order management. J.D. Allen, the firm’s vice president, becomes president in his stead.

Pure Hot House Foods, Leamington, Ontario, hires Marina Davidson as director of procurement.

Bland Farms LLC, Glenville, Ga., promotes Sarah Seebran to marketing director. Seebran had been marketing manager since 2009. Bland also hires Greg Smith as marketing communications manager.

Ray England becomes vice president of marketing for Reedley, Calif.-based D.J. Forry Co.

Mario Rene Cardenas joins Rio Rico, Ariz.-based Farmer’s Best International as salesman.

Potato grower Steve Crane, co-owner of Crane Bros. Inc., Exeter, Maine, becomes president of the National Potato Council and leader of the council’s executive committee.

Ed Beckman leaves his position as president of Fresno-based California Tomato Farmers to become chief executive officer of the Clovis, Calif.-based Certified Greenhouse/Hothouse Vegetable Producers Association of North America. Beckman had led the group since its inception in 2007.


California citrus grower-shipper Sun Pacific Marketing hires Bob DiPiazza, former senior officer at Dominick’s and Sam’s Club, as president. Sun Pacific also hires Archie Williams as a salesman and product manager for the company’s Ripe & Easy Kiwi program.

Delta Packing Co., Lodi, Calif., hires Matthew Nowak as a salesman.

Los Angeles-based Golin-Harris names Gary Caloroso to the agency’s new executive director position, which leads the company’s food and beverage industry accounts.

Sue Lewis joins the Ottawa-based Canadian Produce Marketing Association as director of market development.

Mike Bozick, chairman of Mecca, Calif.-based Richard Bagdasarian Inc., retires from the board of the California Table Grape Commission after 39 years of service.

Bill Vogel opens Vision Produce Partners of Texas in Pharr, with Ben Brittain as executive vice president and managing member. Vogel is the majority partner in the company.

Holtzinger Fruit Co., Yakima, Wash., promotes Scott Hanses from vice president to chief operating officer. The company also names Lawna Wyatt vice president of fruit procurement and hires Sandra Steineke as director of merchandising.

John Hein joins Cutler, Calif.-based Wawona Packing Co. LLC as a salesman.

Kathleen Phillips becomes sustainability coordinator for Monterey, Calif.-based Pro*Act.

Leamington, Ontario-based Pure Hot House Foods hires Bob Donckers as chief operating officer. Donckers previously was with Mastronardi Produce.

JB Cutsinger opens International Citrus and Produce in Burlingame, Calif., as a spin-off company from Splendid Products. Jim Cutsinger and Tony Campos manage sales for the company.

Michael Luckie joins JOH, Billerica, Mass., as a salesman in the company’s fresh division.

Ippolito International LP, Salinas, Calif., hires John Corea and Jeff Post as salesmen.

Andy Jensen becomes potato regional research director for the Pacific Northwest for the Idaho Potato Commission, the Oregon Potato Commission and the Washington State Potato Commission.

David DeBerry becomes onion category director for Crescent Fruit & Vegetable LLC, an Edinburg, Texas-based company opened in January by Jim and Will Steele.

Mike Sims, chief financial officer for Charlotte, N.C.-based Chiquita Brands International Inc., leaves the company. Brian Kocher, previously company president for Europe and the Middle East, is named to the position.

The Allen Lund Co., La Cañada, Calif., promotes Brandon Hill to manager of the company’s Detroit office. Hill previously was assistant manager.

Eddie Lerma joins Giumarra Nogales, Nogales, Ariz., as a salesman.

Orange Cove, Calif.-based Booth Ranches LLC hires Rick Hudson as a salesman.

Family Tree Farms, Reedley, Calif., hires salesmen Brenton Helm and Ryan Howard.

Nathel International Inc., Mount Laurel, N.J., names Paul Newstead vice president of sales and marketing.

David Mixon, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Seald Sweet International Inc., leaves the company.


Denise Donohue leaves her position as executive director of the Lansing-based Michigan Apple Committee to start DeWitt, Mich.-based consulting firm the Donohue Group with her husband, William Donohue. Diane Smith is named interim director of the committee.

2012 People in the NewsThe National Mango Board, Orlando, Fla., promotes Amy Mercado from administration coordinator to director of operations and promotes Marilda Peele from industry relations specialist to director of industry relations. The group names Melanie Teel marketing manager after promoting Megan McKenna to director of marketing in 2011. The board appoints Kristine Concepcion to its new position of communications specialist.

Rabo AgriFinance hires Tony Lopez as Florida senior relationship manager in its Sarasota office.

Wyatt Torosian joins Fresno, Calif.-based Crown Jewels Produce Co. as a salesman, also working in business development and public relations. Tim O’Brien joins the company’s Nogales, Ariz., office as a salesman.

Delano, Calif.-based Sunview Marketing International hires Brian Mullhofer as a salesman.

Westmoreland Sales, Leamington, Ontario, hires Lisa Sirizzotti as a saleswoman.

The Allen Lund Co., La Cañada, Calif., promotes Chris Raihl to assistant manager of its San Francisco refrigerated department.

Al Vangelos, former president and chief executive officer of Bakersfield, Calif.-based Sun World International LLC, joins the board of directors for Naples, Fla.-based Naturipe Farms LLC.

Greg Reinauer is the new president of Tom Lange Co., Springfield, Ill. Phil Gumpert remains as chairman and chief executive officer.

Sun World International, Bakersfield, Calif., names Rudy Heras category director of Mexican grapes and peppers.

Foodpro International, San Jose, Calif., promotes Mark Washburn to vice president of marketing and sales and promotes Olga Osipova to vice president of technical services and secretary of the company.

The Giumarra Co.’s Walter Ram wins The Packer’s Importer of the Year Award.

Watsonville, Calif.-based Monterey Mushrooms Inc. names Michael Muehlbauer sales manager for the Midwest and Sandy Malouff-Quintana sales manager for the Rocky Mountain region.

Marketing Plus, Fresno, Calif., hires Kristina Sivas as marketing traffic coordinator.

Holtzinger Fruit, Yakima, Wash., hires Luke Anderson as a field representative based in the company’s Yakima office.

Deardorff Family Farms, Oxnard, Calif., selects Luke Patruno to lead the business unit for its newly-opened organic packing and distribution plant.

Mark Rogers joins Special Edition, Kingsville, Ontario, as senior retail specialist in the company’s Virginia office.


Sakata names Dennis Storm director of supply chain for Sakata Seed America, Morgan Hill, Calif. The company also names Ken Reid facilities operations manager for Alf Christianson Seed Co., Burlington, Wash.

YottaMark Inc., Redwood City, Calif., hires Michael Bromme as senior vice president of sales.

SureHarvest, Soquel, Calif., hires David Sypnieski as director of sales.

Rod Sbragia becomes director of sales and marketing for Nogales, Ariz.-based Tricar Sales Inc.

The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, promotes Steve Young to lead its Calgary, Alberta, sales staff.

Awe Sum Organics, Santa Cruz, Calif., hires Cheryl Johannes as marketing manager.

Joseph Galeone becomes vice president of commercial development-perishables for OHL Corp., Brentwood, Tenn.

Scott Soares steps down from his role as commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources to be executive director of the Cranberry Marketing Committee. Gregory Watson becomes commissioner in his stead.

Jason Osborne becomes salesman in the Northeast U.S. and Canada for Wapato, Wash.-based Pace International LLC.

DiMare Fresh, Arlington, Texas, hires Andrew Schultz as vice president of strategic business development.

Molly Golden becomes director of marketing for the New York Apple Association, Fishers.

Bonipak Produce Inc., Santa Maria, Calif., hires Dana Giacone as national accounts and business development manager.

Jason Christopher joins Christopher Ranch LLC, Gilroy, Calif., in the company’s post-harvest technology division.

Barrett Johnson leads the newly-opened La Quinta, Calif., office of Orange, Calif.-based Interfresh Inc.

Bernadette Hamel, vice president of national procurement for Montreal-based Metro Inc., wins The Packer’s Canadian Produce Woman of The Year Award.

Mocon Inc., Minneapolis, hires Alex Liu as an application specialist for the company’s GreenLight food safety product line.

Harvest Sensations, Los Angeles, names Chris Coffman president.

Steve Glennon joins Or-Cal Inc., Junction City, Ore, as national sales manager.

Produce industry veteran Jim Gallagher is the new chief executive officer of Fruit Patch Sales Inc., Dinuba, Calif.

Lee Frankel opens his own consulting firm, Frankel International Solutions, in Salt Lake City.

Martin Weijters becomes vice president of agriculture for New York-based Bright Farms LLC.

Maglio & Co., Glendale, Wis., hires John Carkoski as operations manager and Dan Vega as multi-unit director.

YottaMark Inc. names Reggie Griffin to its advisory board.

Dawn Gray leaves her position as vice president of sales, marketing and categories for Vancouver, British Columbia-based The Oppenheimer Group to start her own consulting firm, Vancouver-based Dawn Gray Global Consulting.


2012 People in the NewsParamount Citrus president David Krause accepts the 2012 Man of the Year Award from The Packer’s Editor Greg Johnson.

Tim Chestnut becomes vice president for the global food safety and quality division of NSF International, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Adam Blocker joins the sales staff of Brooks, Ore.-based Curry & Co.

The Watsonville-based California Strawberry Commission promotes Rick Tomlinson to vice president of public policy and promotes Dan Legard to vice president of research and education. The commission also hires Claudia Reid as governmental affairs director.

The Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement hires Clarisa Molina as food safety consultant.

The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, realigns its staff. David Smith becomes senior vice president for sales and categories; Doug Grant, senior vice president and chief operations officer, also oversees marketing strategies; James Milne becomes director of marketing; Bill Poulos becomes director of import grapes; Marc Serpa becomes director of domestic grapes; David Nelley, apple and pear category director, acquires responsibility for Oppenheimer’s California and Northwest cherry deals; and Eric Coty is promoted to director of West Coast sales.

Danaco Solutions LLC, Highland Park, Ill., hires Dave Peterson as vice president of produce and Jeff Priebe as director of quality and food safety.

Ryan Talley of Talley Farms becomes chairman of the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement. Vice chairman is Ron Ratto, president of Modesto, Calif.-based Ratto Bros. Inc. Victor Tognazzini is treasurer.

California Giant Berry Farms, Watsonville, hires Gary Bertone as logistics manager.

Irwindale, Calif.-based Ready Pac Foods names Don Brumley regional sales manager.

Josh Leichter leaves The Oppenheimer Group to become general manager of Reedley, Calif.-based Pacific Trellis Fruit LLC.

Mark Bucek joins RPE, Bancroft, Wis., as regional sales manager in RPE’s Dallas office. Scott Keyser joins as an account manager in the Bancroft office.

The Oppenheimer Group hires David Wazny as a salesman for western Canadian customers.

Jeff Niesz joins the domestic sales staff of Columbia Marketing International, Wenatchee, Wash.

Chris Jacoby becomes sales manager for Los Angeles-based Progressive Produce.

Jeff Oaks buys Gentile Bros. Co., Cincinnati, becoming president.

Red Book Credit Services, a publication of Vance Publishing Corporation, owner of The Packer, hires Bettina Lippisch as general manager.

Yvonne Marpert becomes new product manager for pineapples for Kingston & Associates Marketing LLC.

Key Technology, Walla Walla, Wash., names Jack Ehren president and chief executive officer.

Produce Alliance LLC, Nashville, Tenn., adds Chelsea Rollins to its administration staff and Scott Bagan to its sales staff. Steven Schrimpf joins as purchasing and sales coordinator.

National Produce Consultants Inc., Plano, Texas, promotes Courtney Dyess to vice president of national accounts.

Richard Pazderski joins Utah Onions Inc., Syracuse, Utah, as director of business development.

Mark Zachanowich becomes vice president of operations for Peak of the Market, Winnipeg, Manitoba.


Empire Fruit Growers Co-op Inc., Wolcott, N.Y., hires Rich Leous as general manager.

The Milwaukie, Ore.-based Pear Bureau Northwest promotes Bob Koehler to the new position of lead regional marketing manager.

Bob Keeney, deputy administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service, announces his plans to retire from the post in October.

Wholesum Harvest, Nogales, Ariz., hires Dennis Moleta as an account manager.

Fresno, Calif.-based Crown Jewels Produce adds export veterans Bill Lewis and Shani McKinney to help expand its South American fruit deal.

Chris Veillon rejoins Mastronardi Produce, Kingsville, Ontario, as director of marketing.

SureHarvest, Soquel, Calif., adds Melanie Beretti to its professional services staff.

Brian Peixoto becomes sales manager of Lakeside Organic Gardens, Watsonville, Calif.

Lisa Taylor joins Danaco Solutions LLC, Salinas, Calif., as procurement manager.

Grower’s Organic LLC, Denver, hires Mark Zeller as vice president of operations.

Ryan Holterhoff becomes director of marketing and industry affairs for the Moses Lake-based Washington State Potato Commission.

After 21 years at D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of California, Margaret D’Arrigo-Martin joins Salinas, Calif.-based Taylor Farms as vice president of community development.

The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, hires Julia Hashim as business development representative in its Newark, Del., office.

Aaron Freitas becomes vice president of McDill Associates, Soquel, Calif.


The National Mango Board, Orlando, Fla., names celebrity chef Aarti Sequeira its spokeswoman.

The University of Florida names Nick Place the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences dean for extension and director of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service.

Kingston & Associates Marketing LLC, Idaho Falls, Idaho, promotes Mike Anderson to director of international procurement.

Columbia Marketing International, Wenatchee, Wash., hires Katharine Grove as a marketing specialist.

Paul Newman becomes organic category manager for Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers, Wenatchee, Wash.

Katrina Tonkogolosuk joins Marketing Plus, Fresno, Calif., as an account executive.

Sun Pacific Marketing, Pasadena, Calif., names Jean Ashby director of marketing and category management.

Melany Jolly becomes executive vice president of Produce Alliance LLC.

The Organic Trade Association, Brattleboro, Vt., hires Marni Karlin as its associate director for legislative and legal affairs.

Fresh Tex Produce LLC, Alamo, Texas, hires Chris Hoffman and Armando Palacios as salesmen.

Michael Vanderbeek becomes director of business development for Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Naturipe Farms LLC, Naples, Fla., hires Donna Lynn Johnson as director of food safety and social responsibility.

Mark Sandell joins Purity Organic Produce, San Francisco, to lead the company’s avocado program.

Jim Lemke, senior vice president of produce for C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc.; Jennifer Biringer, South Coast project director of The Nature Conservancy; Christopher Braden, director of the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and Jorge Hernandez, senior vice president of food safety and quality for U.S. Foods, join the advisory board of The Center for Produce Safety, Davis, Calif.

Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Oviedo, Fla., hires Susan Noritake as director of fresh-cut sales.

Jaime Ramirez joins West Pak Avocado, Temecula, Calif., as a salesman.

FreshXperts, Lee’s Summit, Mo., hires Dean Fahselt as a value-added specialist.

Indianapolis Fruit Co. hires Jan Lawson as sales merchandiser for Midwest new business development; Tony Miller as sales merchandiser for central Illinois; Joe Raimondi and Chad Street as produce procurement specialists; and transfers Antonia Mascari from the company’s foodservice division to a business marketing manager position.

The Allen Lund Co., La Cañada, Calif., hires David Leal as branch manager for its Garland, Texas, office.

RedLine Solutions Inc., Santa Clara, Calif., hires Audrey Van Norman as a marketing specialist.

Sheri Normandin joins MCL Fresh Inc., Los Angeles, as director of sales and customer relations.

Danaco Solutions LLC, Salinas, Calif., hires Jeb Johnson as a quality and food safety specialist.

Curry & Co., Brooks, Ore., adds Sandra White as a saleswoman and Jacob Mayfield as production manager of the warehouse and packing shed.

C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn., promotes Bryan Foe to president of C.H. Robinson Europe.

Bland Farms LLC, Glennville, Ga., hires John Cameron as director of sales.

2012 People in the NewsRobert Verloop, executive vice president of marketing for Naturipe Farms LLC, takes home The Packer’s 2012 Foodservice Achievement Award.

Dirk Winkelmann becomes director of global procurement for Nathel International, Pittsgrove, N.J. Paul Newstead becomes vice president of sales and marketing.

Colorful Harvest, Salinas, Calif., hires Jeremy Burris as vice president for sales and sourcing for its Florida division.

Javier Garcia joins West Pak Avocado, Temecula, Calif., as Midwest salesman.


MBG Marketing, Grand Junction, Mich., names Robert Hawk president and chief executive officer.

The Castellini Group of Cos. LLC, Newport, Ky., hires Dave Schirmann as a salesman and account manager.

Bob Catinella becomes the Milwaukie, Ore.-based Pear Bureau Northwest’s regional marketing manager for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Keenan Farms Inc., Kettleman City, Calif., hires Beth Sequeira to its sales and marketing staff.

Index Fresh, Bloomington, Calif., hires Keith Blanchard as Southern California field representative.

Govert van Drunen becomes sales manager for Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa for Key Technology, Walla Walla, Wash.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Chiquita Brands International Inc. announces it is looking for a chief executive officer to succeed Fernando Aguirre.

2012 People in the NewsLee Frankel becomes director of regulatory affairs for San Diego-based Andrew & Williamson.

The Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association promotes Meg Miller to director of public relations.

Dade Service Corp., Daytona Beach, Fla., hires Greg Schlaffer as a project manager.

The Peruvian Asparagus Importers Association, Miami, appoints Matt DeCarlo as West Coast chairman.

Keith Horder becomes chief executive officer of Harold Crawford Co. Inc. and its subsidiary Harvest Crown Co. Inc., Bakersfield, Calif.

The Texas Produce Association, Mission, hires Bret Erickson as its senior vice president.

Procacci Bros. Sales Corp., Philadelphia, promotes Rick Feighery to vice president of sales and Kevin Delaney to director of marketing.

Tim Whitwood joins Seneca Vegetable Research, Hall, N.Y., as global director of marketing and sales.

OHL International, Brentwood, Tenn., adds Christopher Ryan to its business development group.

Ken Guise, president of Knouse Foods Cooperative Inc., wins The Packer’s Apple Man of the Year Award.

The New Jersey Food Council, Trenton, names Mary Ellen Peppard assistant vice president of government affairs.

Sirna & Sons, Ravenna, Ohio, hires Dean Marsico to cover the company’s Pennsylvania sales.

Fox Solutions, McAllen, Texas, hires Paul Jackewicz as the East Coast representative for packaging and equipment sales staff.

Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Markets’ chief executive officer Shon Boney becomes chairman of the board. President Doug Sanders becomes chief executive officer as well.

Craig Morris becomes citrus category manager for Porterville, Calif.-based Homegrown Organic Farms.

Mann Packing Co., Salinas, Calif., hires Megan Grim to the new position of packaging coordinator and Danny Goforth as a salesman.

James Paul joins the avocado and asparagus sales staff of Los Angeles-based The Giumarra Cos.


The Michigan Potato Industry Commission, DeWitt, appoints Michael Wenkel its executive director.

Southern Specialties Inc., Pompano Beach, Fla., hires Brad Bailey as director of sales.

The Giumarra Cos., Los Angeles, adds Ernest Valencia and Tom Frudden to its Nogales, Ariz., sales staff.

Gilbert Aspeitia joins La Cañada, Calif.-based Allen Lund Co. as corporate sales manager.

Seth Tillery becomes grower relations and operations manager for the San Joaquin Valley for Porterville, Calif.-based Homegrown Organic Farms.

The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, promotes Walt Breeden to director of sales for Canada and promotes David Cheung to sales manager for the company’s Vancouver office.

Travis Blacker becomes industry relations director for the Idaho Potato Commission, Eagle.

Caito Foods Service Inc., Indianapolis, names Bob Kirch president and chief executive officer. The company also promotes Matthew Caito to executive vice president and chief administrative officer.

Stacy Spivey becomes director of North American grower management development for Miami-based Alpine Fresh.

Jill Switzer becomes corporate manager for transportation and logistics for Yakima, Wash.-based FirstFruits Marketing.

Copenhagen, Denmark-based Damco hires Steve Hoffman as global head for the industrial vertical.

Raina Spence becomes director of industry outreach for the Washington State Potato Commission, Moses Lake.

La Cañada, Calif.-based Allen Lund Co. promotes Matt Gronostaj to assistant manager of the company’s Memphis, Tenn., office.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture names Chuck Parrott deputy administrator of the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service Fruit and Vegetable Program.

The Washington State Potato Commission elects Mike Madsen to a commissioner’s position.

EvansHardy+Young Inc., Santa Barbara, Calif., hires Max Martens as vice president of public relations and Heather Dillon as senior account executive for public relations.


Dennis Busby retires as owner of Shawnee, Kan.-based Busby Brokerage after 35 years in the industry.

Market Fresh Produce LLC, Nixa, Mo., promotes Jeff Jones to vice president of supply chain management.

Shawn Avera joins Pura Vida Farms, Scottsdale, Ariz., as director of watermelon operations for the eastern region.

The Hass Avocado Board, Irvine, Calif., hires Gina Widjaja as marketing and communications manager.

Serjio Sanchez becomes becomes an analyst on the sales staff of California Giant Berry Farms, Watsonville.

Mann Packing, Salinas, Calif., hires Denise Takakjian as saleswoman and Brian Bengard as regional sales manager for the company’s foodservice division in the western U.S.

2012 People in the NewsChiquita Brands International, Charlotte, N.C., names Edward Lonergan its new president and chief executive officer. Kerrii Anderson becomes chairwoman of Chiquita’s board of directors.

Bushmans’ Inc., Roshold, Wis., hires John Eckendorf as a salesman for potatoes and onions.

Access America Transport, Chattanooga, Tenn., promotes Jason Provonsha to vice president of sales.

Kingston & Associates Marketing, Idaho Falls, Idaho, promotes Toye Cawley to key accounts manager on its sales staff.

Chief operating officer Dane Lance becomes president of Sunsweet Growers Inc., Yuba City, Calif.

YottaMark Inc., Redwood City, Calif., hires Kevin Shiplett as vice president of retail sales.

Lou Kertesz Jr. joins Ayco Farms Inc. as melon category manager. Mike Dickman joins as category manager for greenhouse peppers and Jason Miller joins as salesman.

The Oppenheimer Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, promotes Brett Libke to East Coast director of sales.

Intelligrated, Cincinnati, hires Paul Hensley as senior sales engineer.

Jack Salemme joins Sunset Produce LLC, Prosser, Wash., as director of program sales.

Val Verde Vegetable Co., McAllen, Texas, appoints Clyde Watson Jr. as greens harvest supervisor.

The Idaho Grower Shippers Association names Mark Klompien president.

Sunsweet Growers Inc., Yuba City, Calif., promotes Brad Schuler to vice president of global sales and marketing.

Damco, Copenhagen, Denmark, appoints Pernille Fabricius as global chief financial officer.

George Hardwick joins IPR Fresh, Nogales, Ariz., as a salesman.

Harvest Sensations, Los Angeles, hires Pamela Castellano as general manager.

Bamford Produce Organization, Mississauga, Ontario, hires Benoit Lecavalier as president for Bamford Produce Food Service Distribution division and Freshline Foods.

John Anderson, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Vancouver, British Columbia-based The Oppenheimer Group, wins The Packer’s Produce Marketer of the Year award at Fresh Summit 2012 in Anaheim, Calif.


Homegrown Organic Farms, Porterville, Calif., hires Gunnar Avinelis as the company’s sustainable systems and business intelligence coordinator.

Gourmet Trading Co., Los Angeles, names Brian Miller president.

Paper Pak Industries, La Verne, Calif., appoints Sara Bishop Cohen to supply chain manager, a newly created position.

Ricardo Islas becomes director of Latin American sales for YottaMark, Redwood City, Calif.

A federal judge sentences Kenneth Nelson to more than six years in prison and ordered him to pay a $9 million judgment for defrauding the organic produce industry by selling them fertilizer that he wrongly represented as certified for use in organic operations.

2012 People in the NewsChief executive officer Steve Grinstead retires after eight years at Monterey, Calif.-based Pro*Act. President Max Yeater assumes the majority of Grinstead’s responsibilities.

The Giumarra Cos., Los Angeles, hires Gary Caloroso to focus on avocado and asparagus sales as director of marketing in its Escondido, Calif., office.

Scott Harrington joins Pasadena, Calif.-based Sun Pacific Marketing as director of business development.

Giumarra Wenatchee, Wenatchee, Wash., names Gene Loudon to manage sales accounts and implement an apple and kiwifruit program for North American clients.

Steve Wiley joins American Takii Inc., Salinas, Calif., as general manager.

Sky Johnson joins the sales staff of Yakima, Wash.-based Borton & Sons Inc.


David Lessard begins his new role as vice president of produce and floral operations for Carlisle, Pa.-based Ahold USA.

Balls Food Stores, Kansas City, Kan., promotes Mike Beal to chief operating officer, Tim Bodine to vice president of finance and administration, Dave Gryzowka to vice president of store development, and Gregg Frost to vice president of Hen House operations.

Steve Timsak joins the Salinas, Calif., sales staff of Salinas-based Ippolito International.

The Giumarra Cos., Los Angeles, names Scott Ross its East Coast business development manager.

Jef Pryor joins the Eagle-based Idaho Potato Commission as foodservice promotions director for the Southeast.

Chiquita Brands International Inc., Charlotte, N.C., names Brian Kocher chief operating officer.

2012 People in the NewsTom Tjerandsen announces he will retire as North American managing director of the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, Sonoma, Calif., and that Karen Brux will succeed him.

Flavor 1st Growers & Packers Inc., Hendersonville, N.C., hires Dan Jones for the new position of general manager.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture appoints Mariana Gonzalez, Daniel Pollak, Tomas Quezada and Eddy Martinez to the National Mango Board, Orlando, Fla. The USDA also appoints Joshua Moore, Daniel King, Jack Wallace Jr. and Kevin Green to the National Watermelon Promotion Board, Orlando.

Andy Tudor joins Selah, Wash.-based Rainier Fruit Co. in the new position of director of business development.

Bland Farms, Glennville, Ga., names Bryce Edmonson its chief executive officer.

Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion removes Cathy Green Burns as president and appoints Beth Newlands Campbell to the position.

Intelligrated, Cincinnati, hires Mike McCarthy as sales account manager.

The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, Nogales, Ariz., names Allison Moore director of legislative and regulatory affairs.

Audrey Desnoyers joins Vancouver, British Columbia-based The Oppenheimer Group as national business development manager.

Carol Glancy is Delta, British Columbia-based Houweling’s Tomatoes new Canadian sales manager.

Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc., Lakeville-Middleboro, Mass., promotes Keith Benoit to vice president of global partners and developing markets.

Eden Prairie, Minn.-based C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc.’s senior vice president Jim Butts retires Dec. 31.

Note: Sections Editor Dan Galbraith contributed to this compilation.