(UPDATED COVERAGE, April 11) Tom Wason is now a managing partner at 20/20 Produce, the first the Magic Valley, Idaho, firm has had since its launch 20 years ago.
He said he is continuing as vice president for foodservice distribution at Sun Orchard Inc., Tempe, Ariz., and will split his time between the two positions, in addition to serving on the 20/20 board of directors.
“To start, I will be spending quite a bit of time in Idaho, now that the snow has melted,” he said April 10.
Bob Williams, founder and board member for 20/20, said in a news release that Wason will help the Idaho produce supplier develop new ideas and put models in place to drive the company’s growth and satisfy the “ever-changing dynamics of our consumers.”
Wason said his background in retail and foodservice will be particularly helpful as 20/20 pursues new clients in those sectors.
He worked for Houston-based Sysco Corp. from 1989 to 2006, following a number of years in retail. Wason also worked in executive positions for L.A. Specialty Co., Santa Fe Springs, Calif., and Pero Family Farms, Delray Beach, Fla., before joining Sun Orchard in 2008.
Wason said he has worked with Williams during the past 20 years and was consistently impressed by the willingness of Williams and 20/20 to try innovative ideas.
“Bob was one of the first potato suppliers I worked with,” Wason said. “Twenty years ago no one wanted to do foodservice. They were set up to ship 50-pound packs and didn’t want to work with foodservice to create packs (that sector) needed.
“Bob was ready to try new things to meet the needs. He and 20/20 are still ready to do that and I am ready to help them.”
Wason said his first task will to become reacquainted with the players involved. Then he and the 20/20 leadership will work on a plan for the company’s growth during the next five to 10 years. 20/20 Produce was founded in 1993 and specializes in year-round supplies of potatoes, onions, apples and other seasonal produce.