(April 20) In a flurry of activity to support its ambitious growth strategy, Irwindale, Calif.-based Ready Pac Foods Inc. hired five people, including industry veterans Robert Spence, Tip Murphy and Scott Harrington.

Mike Celani, senior vice president of sales and marketing, said the new growth strategy is actually returning to a tried-and-true way of doing business.

“Ready Pac has been in business 38 years, and for the first 35 of those years we were focused on being more customer- and market-specific in our approach to bringing products to market,” Celani said. “We got away from that the last couple of years. Now we’re committed to bringing back what made us strong. We are going to customize our programs for individual customer needs.”

Spence, who was with the company two years ago, recently rejoined as division vice president of retail sales. He is responsible for developing the company’s business in central and Western U.S. markets. Before returning to Ready Pac, Spence was vice president of business development for Pacific Tomato Growers Ltd., Palmetto, Fla.

Murphy, who was with Cincinnati-based Chiquita Brands International Inc. for 13 years, is responsible for the east central and Northeast markets.

Harrington, who most recently was with Monterey Mushroom Inc., Watsonville, Calif., also is returning to Ready Pac as vice president of business development. He focuses on new channels and key customers in the Southwest.

Other new hires include Tammy Gainey and Brian Orr, who have joined the company as national account directors. Gainey will office in Bentonville, Ark. and Orr in Pleasanton, Calif.