(April 14) The chairmanship of the United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association, Washington, D.C., will pass in 2005 from one value-added pro to another.

Nick Tompkins, president and chief executive officer of Apio Inc., Guadalupe, Calif., has been nominated chairman-elect of the association. He will succeed Larry Kern, the new president and chief executive officer of Ready Pac Produce, Irwindale, Calif., whose term begins at United 2004 May 2-4 in Chicago.

Tompkins, who has had the top job at Apio since its founding in 1979, also serves on the Ag Business Advisory Council of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Chairwoman Karen Caplan, president and chief executive officer of Frieda’s Inc., Los Alamitos, Calif., will remain on United’s board and executive committee for a year as immediate past chairwoman.

Five others were nominated to start two-year board terms in May:

  • Glen Barnhouse, director of produce merchandising and procurement, The Kroger Co., Cincinnati.


  • Rick Cooper, vice president of sales for national accounts, Del Monte Fresh Produce Co., Coral Gables, Fla.


  • Mark Hilton, vice president of produce and floral, Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Charlotte, N.C.


  • Jim Lemke, vice president of produce, C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc., Minneapolis.


  • Walter Strickland, owner and president, Strickland Produce Inc., Nashville, Tenn.



Two board members appointed in February will stand for their first election:

  • Rick Antle, chief executive officer and principal of Tanimura & Antle Inc., Salinas, Calif.


  • Hugh Topper, director of produce, H.E. Butt Grocery Co., San Antonio, Texas.



Six board members will complete their terms in May:

  • Ron McCormick, vice president and divisional merchandise manager for produce, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Bentonville, Ark.

  • Gale Prince, corporate director of regulatory affairs, Kroger.


  • Mike Rempe, former vice president of produce, C.H. Robinson.


  • Will Rousseau, a partner in Rousseau Farming Co., Tolleson, Ariz.


  • John Sorenson, president of Novartis Seeds Inc., Boise, Idaho.


  • Robert Stumpo, former director of purchasing and distribution for Wendy’s International, Dublin, Ohio.



Also completing his board service is immediate past chairman Steve Grinstead, former executive at Standard Fruit and Vegetable Co. Inc. and Del Monte Fresh Produce NA Inc., both based in Dallas. Grinstead served on the board for six years.