(March 27) Dan Armstrong, director of national quality for North America at Fresh Express LLC, Salinas, Calif., died March 22. He was 53.

A source with the company said Armstrong was biking and collapsed. He later died at a hospital. Armstrong died of heart failure, according to Struve & Laporte Funeral Home, Salinas.

His career included quality control positions with General Mills, Jel Sert, Quaker, Pillsbury, SureBeam and most recently, Fresh Express for the past four years. He was known for his strong work ethic and his ability to work with others, encouraging them to maximize their potential.

Hank Giclas, vice president of strategic planning, science and technology for Western Growers, Irvine, said he had worked with Armstrong on grower outreach and education programs at Hartnell Ag Institute, Salinas.

“He was extremely knowledgeable and thoughtful,” Giclas said. “Our efforts together were all about lifting the industry and I found him to be very committed to trying to extend his considerable knowledge of the food safety arena into the agriculture community. It was a great pleasure to work with him in those types of environments.”

In 2007, Armstrong served on a committee for a two-day food safety course at Hartnell.

“He was a really fine fellow and very much the professional,” said Neil Ledford, program leader at the institute. “His background was microbiology and as part of the committee he was excellent to work with.”

The funeral is scheduled for March 28, followed by a reception at First Presbyterian, Salinas.