(Oct. 13) SALINAS, Calif. — Woody Johnson is joining Growers Express LLC in the newly created position of vice president of sales and marketing.

As such, the produce industry veteran will be responsible for all sales and marketing activities, brand strategy and business development, said Randolph Breschini, president.

Steve Koran, who had been director of sales for Growers Express, left in mid-September to become director of retail sales at Tanimura & Antle Inc..

Breschini said he thought Johnson’s experience would prove invaluable to Growers Express, which has undergone several changes to its management this year.

Breschini was named to the newly titled role of president in August, succeeding Butch Corda, who left last spring after 14 years as general manager.

A month earlier, Growers Express named Barry Eisenberg vice president of technical services.

Johnson has a long record in the produce industry.

Most recently, he was with Coral Gables, Fla.-based Del Monte Fresh Produce NA Inc., where he had worked as vice president of West Coast operations. He also worked as vice president of business development for North America, vice president of value-added and distribution and vice president of sales and marketing for North America.

Del Monte has since restructured its management.

Johnson also worked for Bakersfield-based Grimmway Farms as senior vice president of sales and marketing, general manager of fresh processing operations and vice president of international sales. Before that, he worked for The DiMare Co. in Indio and Palm Springs-based New Desert Produce.

Former Del Monte exec joins Growers Express