Produce importer Nathel International, Inc., has named Paul Newstead vice president of sales and marketing.

Based in Mt. Laurel, N.J., the company was formed last year by Ira Nathel and Sheldon Nathel, partners in Nathel & Nathel, Inc., a wholesaler at the Hunts Point Terminal Market in New York.

Newstead is expected to start Feb. 27. It’s a new position.

“With this being a new venture, my responsibilities will be wide,” he said. “I’ll promote the growth of the company and its customer list, and put together the kind of programs that I’m used to being involved with for the growers we represent. It’s building on a message that we’re doing things that give them a great return.”

The program includes Chile and Peru but is open to expansion, Newstead said. Commodities include apples, pears, grapes, citrus and others.

“We’re very excited about the murcott out of Peru,” he said. “I don’t know a lot of guys who are working with that piece of fruit.”

He comes to the importer from Yakima, Wash.-based Domex Superfresh Growers, where he spent nearly nine years. Newstead, an account manager there, in recent years split his time equally between core customer sales and business development.

Newstead has worked in the industry since 1993, including stints at Shurfine Markets; Issaquah, Wash.-based Vanguard International, Inc.; and Earthbound Farm, where he was a purchasing manager.