Jim Richter has been promoted to chief executive officer of potato and onion grower-shipper Wilcox Fresh.

Richter, who had been Rexburg, Idaho-based Wilcox Fresh’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, took the new job Jan. 6, said Lynn Wilcox, the company's president.

The CEO position is a new one at Wilcox Fresh, giving Richter more control over the direction of the company, Wilcox said.

"He is deserving of the promotion because of the terrific leadership he has provided in his previous roles with the company," Wilcox said.

Richter joined Wilcox Fresh in 2007 as senior vice president of category management. Before that, he worked for Lee’s Summit, Mo.-based Market Fresh Produce LLC.

Before joining Market Fresh, Richter worked for 20 years for retailers and wholesalers including Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc., Kansas City, Kan.; Houston-based Randalls Food Markets Inc.; Indianapolis-based Marsh Supermarkets Inc.; San Antonio-based H.E. Butt Grocery Co.; and Dallas-based 7-Eleven Corp.

In addition, Richter has extensive experience with the Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Association.

He chaired PMA’s exposition and convention board in 1998 and also served on the organization’s board of directors and retail board.

In 1999, the International Fresh-cut Produce Association named Richter its fresh-cut promoter of the year.