(April 17) DELANO, Calif. — After 25 years with Pandol Bros. Inc., president and chief executive officer Jack Breech, 57, is retiring.

In announcing his decision to Pandol Bros. employees April 11, Breech said he plans to remain until a successor is hired, to ensure a smooth transition.

Breech, a certified public accountant who had worked for Arthur Anderson & Co. before joining Pandol Bros., was hired to oversee the company’s foreign investments. He later became general manager of the family’s box manufacturing operation and then the Agri-Cel division.

In 2001, the company created his current position.

Breech said he inherited a very competent staff that helped him learn the fresh produce industry.

John Pandol, marketing specialist for Pandol Bros., said Breech went above and beyond to learn about table grapes.

“Early in his tenure as chief executive officer, Jack spent two full weeks harvesting grapes with the crews,” Pandol said. “The only time he was available to others in the company was during his breaks and his lunch hours.”

Pandol said Breech took the same approach the following winter to learn pruning techniques.

Through it all, marketing efforts evolved.

“It’s not just selling grapes in a plain wooden box any longer,” Breech said.

Ranch manager Andrew Pandol said the company plans to seek candidates through an executive search firm, but there is no timetable.