UPDATED: COO leaves Sun World for Columbine Vineyards


(UPDATED COVERAGE, 4 p.m.) Kevin Andrew, longtime executive at Bakersfield, Calif.-based Sun World, has been named chief operating officer at Columbine Vineyards in Delano, Calif.

Andrew started Dec. 1, he said. Andrew spent 26 years at Sun World, and was chief operations officer since April 2008.

“Leaving Sun World was the toughest decision I ever made,” he said. “It had to be right and this felt right.”

He had been with the fresh produce packer and marketer since 1984. Before its 1990 acquisition by Sun World, it was called Superior Farming. He started there as an area superintendent after beginning his career with a five-year stint managing ranches for Farrior Farms in Fresno.

Andrew became Sun World’s chief operations officer after serving 12 years as a senior vice president.

He called Columbine, a family-owned business whose president is Martin Caratan, a progressive company.

“They’ve been in a growth spurt for four or five years,” he said. “And they’ve got their own patented varieties. When you invest in a breeding program like that, you really separate yourself from the crowd.”

Sun World also has proprietary varieties, he said, in the produce field.