Immokalee, Fla.-based Lipman hired Steve Williams to lead a customer service retail initiative.

Williams has 35 years of experience in the produce industry.

Previously, Williams was the director of fresh merchandising for Sweetbay Supermarkets.

“Steve provides us with valuable insight into the supermarket industry, which in turn, allows us to modify and enhance existing products and services to best complement the needs of our retail customers,” Darren Micelle, chief operating officer of Lipman, said in a news release. “We know that grocers are looking for more than just a product and price … and his expertise will help us become even better business partners.”

Williams was named National Produce Retailer of the Year in 2008 and Florida Retailer of the Year in 2009, according to the release.