(Sept. 26) SAN JUAN BAUTISTA, Calif. — The attraction of new responsibilities and a company reputation for innovation in specialty salads and organics have led two new managers to Natural Selection Foods.

Kristen Smith joined the company Aug. 5 as sales manager, and Mike Stevens joined two weeks later as commodity supply manager.

Smith brings 14 years of experience to Natural Selection, including nine as a sales account executive for Oxnard, Calif.-based Boskovich Farms Inc. She also worked for Dole Fresh Vegetables, Salinas, Calif., and most recently for Pride of San Juan Inc., also of San Juan Bautista.

Smith said she was attracted to Natural Selection because she was looking for new challenges and more things to do.

"I missed the day-to-day selling and negotiations," she said.

In her new position she’ll help develop the company’s retail line and incorporate products into it.

Stevens comes to Natural Selection with six years of experience at Capurro Marketing LLC, Moss Landing, Calif. During his time at Capurro, he worked in several positions, including co-manager of sales, organic sales manager and general FOB and export salesman. Before joining Capurro, he spent two years at Tanimura & Antle Inc., Salinas, as a programmer and analyst.

Stevens said he liked the philosophy and the drive of Natural Selection.

"They’re so proactive," Stevens said. "And they have a true commitment to the organic deal. It’s a truly awesome place to be."