(Feb. 13) VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Al Vangelos is launching the next phase of an already multifaceted career in the produce business as the new chairman of the board at Vancouver-based BC Hot House Foods Inc.

Vangelos, who for the past two years has operated an agribusiness consulting firm serving clients worldwide, said he would help BC Hot House design and follow through on a long-term plan to meet supply needs year-round, as well as gauge concerns of members of the grower-owned cooperative.

“Like any company, they need to strategize how to grow in this (consolidated) retail environment,” said Vangelos, whose resume includes serving as president and chief executive officer of Santa Ana-based avocado grower-shipper Calavo Growers of California, the world’s largest avocado cooperative, and chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Fresno, Calif.-based dried fruit shipper Premier Valley Foods Inc. and Bakersfield-based dried nut shipper Treehouse Farms.

Vangelos also is a director for the Russian Farm Community Project, a shipper that distributes fruits and vegetables to grocers in Moscow.

BC Hot House, which is recovering from recent tribulations associated with anti-dumping wars waged between the Canadian and U.S. greenhouse tomato industries, as well as the loss of several member growers in the last year, is looking to possible alliances with companies in other parts of the world, Vangelos said.

“This is something they’ve been looking to do for some time — reach out through partnerships, alliances and agreements to help fill (supply gaps) for customers,” Vangelos said. ”In the past, I guess because so much was going on, getting zeroed in on that was impossible.”

Vangelos said he took up his new duties in early February, beginning with some strategic planning sessions with executives in Vancouver. He added that the position would allow him to maintain his ongoing outside business interests. He will commute between his home in Laguna Beach, Calif., and Vancouver about once a month.

Vangelos is the second major addition to BC Hot House’s executive staff in a year that has seen several changes in management. The company hired David Smith as its president and chief executive officer in June. He succeeded Andy Smith, who resigned in May. That had followed the resignation of Kevin Doran, a marketing executive involved in the anti-dumping suits.

Telephone calls to David Smith for comment were not returned.

Vangelos said BC Hot House had impressed him by looking outside the company for leadership. Vangelos added that he likely wouldn’t be the last outsider to be brought in.

“There’s a plan probably to bring in more people from the outside with the same skill sets and hopefully help them moving the company beyond where it is today,” he said.