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Stephan Schmekel joins sales team at Vegpro International Inc.
Stephan Schmekel, a 30-year veteran of the Canadian produce industry, has joined the sales team at Vegpro International, based in Sherrington, QC. The addition of Schmekel is part of Vegpro International’s ongoing commitment to strategically invest in its relationships with its partners in Canada and the United States, the company said in a press release.  Stephan Schmekel “The repositioning of our sales team over the last 12 months reflects a... Read more
Homegrown Organic Farms announces new grower services manager
Homegrown Organic Farms recently hired Caylan Gingerich, who is now operating as a grower services manager for the company’s organic blueberry category and will be based out of Jefferson, OR. “We are thrilled to have Caylan on board," Chad Hansen, Homegrown Organic Farms’ blueberry category director, said in a press release. "I believe her experience and roots in the industry will be a great addition to the team and will only help further the... Read more
Miles Fraser-Jones joins Seven Seas-New Jersey
Miles Fraser-Jones has joined the Seven Seas-New Jersey office as its director of global business development. He began his new position officially on Monday, Jan. 9. Fraser-Jones brings with him an extensive background of 18 years in the produce and food industry, serving most recently as senior vice president of AMC Direct Inc. “I am extremely excited and am looking forward to the opportunity that the Tom Lange/Seven Seas Family have placed before me as... Read more
Seasoned sales expert joins Oppy
With an extensive background in both the grower and retail spheres, Eric Jones, Oppy’s new senior sales representative, is well prepared to contribute to the leading fresh produce sales, marketing and distribution company’s Newark, DE-based team.Eric Jones Jones, who joined Oppy Dec. 21, was recently employed as domestic sales manager for Sun Pacific Marketing in Pasadena, CA, where he’d started as a sales executive in April 2013. Previously,... Read more
Howard Roeder joins Sunnyside Farms as president
Howard Roeder has joined the Safeway Group of Vineland NJ, which does business as Sunnyside Farms, as the firm’s new president. He began his new job on Tuesday, Jan. 3.  Roeder joins the Safeway team with a decade of fresh food senior leadership experience. He most recently was president of Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc. in Salinas, CA. He previously had top executive positions at Herb Thyme Farms and Ready Pac Produce. The Safeway Group is owned by the... Read more
California fruit grower Cliff Sadoian was 67
Cliff Sadoian, a longtime member of the fruit industry in California’s San Joaquin Valley, died Thursday, Dec. 29, at his home in Dinuba, CA, following a difficult battle with cancer. He was 67. Mr. Sadoian was born on May 24, 1949, one year after his father, George, and his two uncles formed Sadoian Brothers in Sultana, CA.  The company experienced a great deal of success for many decades as a grower-packer-shipper of grapes, stone fruit, figs and other... Read more
Antone V. Zaninovich dies at 88
Antone V. Zaninovich of Delano, CA-based Vincent B. Zaninovich & Sons Inc., died Dec. 5. He was 88 years old. Mr. Zaninovich was instrumental in the growth of the table grape industry for over 70 years. He was a farmer at heart and loved what he did, working tirelessly to grow the best table grapes for his customers, according to his daughter, Vikki Zaninovich. She went on to say that her father remembered the days of sending grapes by railroad in cars full... Read more
Potandon Produce adds new position
Potandon Produce has added another member to the sales team. Dina Boyce joined the Potandon staff as a new business development manager in late October. Boyce brings 20 years of CPG industry experience to Potandon. She previously held positions with Kraft Food and Nielsen. Her most recent position was with IFCO, working with East Coast retailers. She also worked at Frieda's Inc. for over 10 years selling specialty produce to major U.S. and Canadian retailers. Boyce... Read more
Monterey Mushrooms expands sales and customer service staff
Monterey Mushrooms expanded it sales and customer service staff with the promotion of Jill Moran from Western region customer service manager to national customer service manager and the hiring of produce industry veteran Dana Giacone as the sales manager of Southern California, Arizona and Hawaii.Jill Moran Moran started with the company in 1991 in accounting and worked her way into the sales department in 2005 as the Western region customer service manager.   As... Read more
The Produce News welcomes assistant online editor
Oscar Dov Beckman arrived home in Nyack, NY, Wednesday, Dec. 14 after a 68-day stay in neonatal intensive care units in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Oscar was born Oct. 7 at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ. At birth he weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces, although over the past two-and-a-half months he has added more than three pounds of winter weight, mostly in his cheeks. An avid pacifier connoisseur, Oscar won over the hearts of countless nurses during his three weeks... Read more
Mann Packing announced the hiring of Alex McCloskey, Jasper Salazar and Jesse Guillen as product manager, senior business analyst and district manger on Thursday, Dec. 15. McCloskey and Salazar will be working from the Mann’s corporate headquarters in Salinas, CA, and Guillen will be based in Dallas. McCloskey’s role as product manager will impact growth and profitability through strategic planning for products and brands. He joins the company from... Read more
West Pak Avocado welcomes Pacheco as CEO
West Pak Avocado Inc. of Murrieta, CA, announced the appointment of Mario Pacheco as chief executive officer. Pacheco will manage day-to-day operations at West Pak and oversee all financial and business building efforts for the produce distributor. West Pak Avocado co-founders Randy Shoup and Galen Newhouse, who are looking to retire from the daily operations of their 30-year-old business, are enthusiastic to welcome Pacheco to their close-knit family operation.Mario... Read more
The Selection Committee for The Florida Citrus Hall of Fame has announced three distinguished leaders will be inducted into the Hall during the 55th Citrus Celebration Luncheon on Friday, March 10, 2017 at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, FL. James H. (Jim) Ellis, of Bartow, FL, T. Ralph Robinson (deceased), and Michael W. Sparks, of Apollo Beach, FL, will be honored at the luncheon, scheduled to take place at 11:30 a.m. in the Hollis Wellness Center. Ellis... Read more
J&J Family of Farms names director of business development for its western division
J&J Family of Farms recently hired Steven Condit as its new director of business development, western division. He brings more than 17 years of produce experience to J&J. Most recently Condit served as director of sales for Marengo Foods Co. in Dallas. Prior to that role, he served as national sales manager for 16 years at Lipman Produce HQ in Immokalee, FL.Steven Condit Condit will be leading J&J’s business development efforts in the West by... Read more
Frieda’s Specialty Produce names director of procurement and sourcing
Frieda’s Specialty Produce has added Allen DeMo to its roster as director of procurement and sourcing. “We are excited to welcome Allen to the Frieda’s family,” Karen Caplan, president and chief executive officer of Frieda’s, said in a press release. “He will direct our buying and grower development team, nurturing our relationships with suppliers and growers around the world.” DeMo has more than 25 years of experience... Read more
Beaver named director of NJDA'S Division of Marketing & Development
New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher announced Nov. 15 the appointment of Thomas Beaver of Mt. Laurel, NJ, as director of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture's Division of Marketing & Development. He replaces Al Murray, who is retiring Nov. 30. "Tom Beaver has a wealth of experience, having spent much of his career working in the farm community, advancing the interests of agriculture in the Garden State," Fisher said in a press release.... Read more
Oppy builds Calgary sales team
Sales Representative Maryam Ahoo joined the Oppenheimer Group in late October, strengthening the full-service marketing and distribution company’s presence in western Canada. Ahoo comes to Oppy’s Alberta location with varied sales and marketing experience, including her prior role as a membership development representative with Farmers of North America, an agri-business trade association based in Saskatoon, SK.Maryam Ahoo As she recently completed... Read more
Jack H. Brown, Stater Bros. executive chairman, died surrounded by family Nov. 13, 2016. He was 78. A native of San Bernardino, CA, Mr. Brown began his supermarket career as a box boy at Berk’s Market Spot in San Bernardino at the age of 13, sparking a 65-year career in the grocery industry. Mr. Brown was passionate about the supermarket industry. He loved his “family” of employees and the loyal Stater Bros. customers who he proudly served since... Read more
Mann Packing bolsters staff with three new hires
Mann Packing has hired Tom Langell, Jennifer Lind and Dylan Eads, who recently joined the company as director of IT, sales operations manager and sales analyst, respectively. They will be working from the Mann Packing corporate headquarters in Salinas, CA.Tom Langell Langell will be responsible for the overall planning, organizing and execution of all Mann’s IT functions at the company’s various locations. This includes directing all IT operations as... Read more
EPC to honor Allen, Murray at dinner dance
The Eastern Produce Council will host an evening this spring honoring the careers of two longstanding EPC members who will be retiring from their positions of leadership in the produce industry. Jim Allen, president of the New York Apple Association, and Alfred Murray, an EPC board member and New Jersey’s assistant secretary of agriculture, will be honored at the council’s 51st annual John J. McAleavey Dinner Dance, scheduled to take place Saturday... Read more